Day 34 – 10th May 2014 leave 12.00noon Miles rode 195 Antalya – Konya

Where do I start what a day.

It rained all night and continued to rain in the morning and after the shit day yesterday I wasn’t feeling great. At about 10.30 I headed out to buy a better waterproof jacket, not so difficult hey! Think again, I walked around the shops for an hour being sent here and there by people trying to help me but no joy. Had I wanted swimming shorts or sunglasses no problem. I was heading back when I saw a small hardware store down a narrow road so I thought why not have a look and to my amazement they had 4 rain coats, I snapped one up. By the time I got back I thought I would just chance my luck with the rain and do some miles. By the time I left at midday it had stopped raining.

I had hoped to ride the 250 miles to Konya but as all of the weather forecasts had predicted rain and I had to ride over a mountain range I thought I might just ride down the Coast 50 miles. As I rode the clouds dispersed and some blue skies emerged but to my left clouds loomed over the mountains. When I got to the point where if I was going all the way I had to turn left and head inland I stopped to prepare. I filled up with petrol put extra socks on, thermals, warm top as well as the usual ridding gear and headed to the mountains. As soon as I headed inland I saw a sign saying Konya 220km, I thought that would be a long ride in the cold and rain but I had prepared today.

The road quickly climbed and soon I was at 1000 meters and in front of me were the blackest clouds I had ever seen! Not another horrible day! Before I reached the clouds the ridding was magnificent with long sweeping bends as the road went up, down and through valleys, wonderful. Then, an amazing thing happened as I was just about to enter the black clouds and rain the road turned 90degrees west and kept on that course for the rest of the journey, as my Dad would have said ‘I’m a lucky man’. For the next 100 km I had some of the best riding ever. When the road peaked at just under 2000 meters I was cold so stopped to put the waterproofs on for warmth, as I put my new rain coat on the material ripped before I even got it on!

Bikers – if your ever in that part of the world it’s the D695 Manavgat to Sedyisehir. The road crosses the Taurus Mountains which peak at 3750 meters which is nearly 3 times higher than Ben Nevis.

I prepared and I had luck on my side, the speeding ticket the nice policemen gave me didn’t even bother me:)

I found a cheap guest house in Konya and met Arista an English lady traveller who told me that there was a talk followed by a performance by the ‘Whirling Dervishes’ this evening. I had been reading about Islam and heard about the Whirling Dervishes so I joined her. There was a talk for an hour about them and Islam which was fascinating as it clarified some points for me. The dancing was amazing. Whilst there I met Anamika an Indian girl from New Delhi who said I should met with her when I’m there.

At the end of the evening I had food with 5 guys from Afghanistan, it was interesting hearing them talk about the problems there.