Today's double feature - Volume 2 - article from 18th of July, 2015



This morning I was awakened by my phone receiving the text "Ramadan Bayraminiz mübarek olsun. YUSUF BASAR!" from my provider. I still don't know a lot of turkish but my interpretation is "Ramadan is over. HAPPY FEEDING". Indeed, you could see people eating shamelessly during daylight, everywhere. Crazy!
Apparently, this public holiday put people in a good mood. I experienced a lot of warm welcoming since I am cycling the black sea road, but today was extraordinary:



After I got up, I ate from the cake a family brought to me yesterday evening when I was about to go to sleep. In the bag there was also some juice (apart from that, they handed me a dish with rice and grilled chicken for dinner). I have no idea how they knew I pitched my tent down there on the river, but I figured out that somehow, every inhabitant knows if there is stranger is in town.

I It was already pretty hot, around 29°C, so I was very happy that it started to rain as I started cycling, what a perfect timing. I did not put on my rain gear but selected the "best of Supertramp" album on my ipod and enjoyed getting wet.
After 1 hour, the rain stopped and I decided to move my bowels on a gas station, which was not possible without being invited to at least 2 Cay by the workers, and where I practised to avoid direct answers to questions like "Do you like Erdogan?"

When doing my laundry and drying my tent on one of the springs next to the road, a huge car with a huge family stopped and not 1 minute later the picnic table was filled with tons of salad, bread, dolma, köfte, potatos and a lots of other stuff. I heavily declined everything they offered cause I really wanted to go on, and as I stuffed my tent into the bag I saw a green thing approaching my mouth and following it. I opened my mouth a little bit to say something, and this thing just disappeared in my mouth. Mhja, ok it was dolma, delicious.

In Ünye, I decided to have lunch break and bought two tomatoes and a bread, then I passed a sandwich restaurant on my way to the beach. The two young waiters shouted and waved. In the rest of the world this means "Please have food here". In Turkey, this apparently means "Please, have YOUR food here": When I pointed to the bag with the tomatoes and bread dangling on the handlebar, and then to a bench on the beach where I intended to eat it, they already made a table ready. What followed was very crazy. As I sat down, they brought my bag inside and appeared after a minute with the bread and tomatoes cut into slices, on a dish. Moreover, they put some cheese on it. 3 minutes later, they brought a glass of ayran, then cay, then water. Meanwhile, the two waitresses from the café next door brought some olives and chocolate and also sat down on the table. I found myself eating MY food in a restaurant, spiced up by their gifts, surrounded by the complete personnel of 2 places. Some of them knew English, we had a nice conversation, exchanged our contacts, most of them were students on their summer jobs. When I started to play a song on the ukulele, out of a sudden they jumped up and ran away. I felt a bit like Troubadix, but the actual reason for the mess was that the manager showed up and kicked their asses. I felt so sorry for them. It was not really my mistake but somehow, I felt responsible. Still, they persistently wouldn't accept any tips. "No money, please. That's Ikram!"

Since I am east of Sinop, the civilsation is more dense. Whereas in the mountainous regions west of Sinop you are happy when you find some bread, here, the situation is quite different. The mountains are almost gone, here you find the bigger cities. The roads are good and flat, you can travel twice as fast. If you can resist the food! I cannot help it, I am magnetically attracted by all the pastry shops along the way. My god, this Turkish pastry is out of this world. Thousands of different cakes, baklava, cookies, Turkish Delight, piling up to the ceiling, thousands of colours, usually some ice cream in the same shop. It is very hard to continue pedalling. I usually react with a full brake. The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it, if I remember Oscar Wild correctly. Mesmerized, I ordered a mix of cookies "for 5 lira", what I got was a big bag of delicious cookies (chocolate topping, jam filling, Helva based things and other imaginable stuffings) for less then 2 Eur. I'm pretty sure that the guy gave me some extra. When I left the shop with a smile from one ear to the other, he ran after me, asking me to sit down on a free table. And deja vu, again the whole personnel (5 people!) of the shop sat down as well and had Cay with me.
Two hours later, I met the whole gang again on cape Yason, where I did this beautiful selfie (without selfie stick, as a side note!).
I really recommend to travel along the black sea.

Not 3 km away, I found a beautiful place for my tent on the beach.

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