Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Even more photos from the black sea coast, and Safranbolu, Rain, more Rain and a Broken Bearing

We stayed two nights in Inebolu. I can't remember why, but it was a pretty nice spot so paying for a second night wasn't too much of an issue. Maybe because it's been 14 months now and any day spent packing, moving house and then unpacking is good.

The rocky beach towards the centrum (centre of town!)

Lined up along the beach.
After the two days we set back out along the coast road.

Just west of Inebolu

Another small town with beach.

More coastline. But now I can't spot where this was along the coast on the maps.


Kurucaşile (I think)
 We stopped in Çakrazova for the night where I had read there was a camp site next to the beach. And it was there, but very crowded and for $10 a person a bit expensive. There were two parts to it where cars parked next to tents, and then another smaller part at the back that was for tents only but both areas looked packed, not sure where we would have fit in there. We wandered around looking for other places and next door to the first camp site was another open yard that was also a camp site. We stayed there instead at the far end of a large open space pretty much to ourselves. There was a lot of discussion with the lady running the place about "güneş" where we were setting up the tents. We assumed it was all ok but she just kept saying güneş (said like 'ganesh') and pointing to different parts of the field. She left us alone after a while but later we found out from an English speaking turk that it means sun!

Drew got to talking to these two (whose names I forget) and they invited us over for dinner. They lived in Bartin and just came down for the afternoon to picnic at the beach. She is an English teacher at a private school, and he is a nurse after trying many other different professions! He couldn't speak English but she was translating for everyone. And once I find their names I should edit it in here. They both started with H though.

Old lady making the pasty cheese thing that I don't know the name off. It's probably right there on that sign.

While setting up the tents we thought we'd done the smart thing and found a spot on the opposite side of the field from the other camp site away from the noise (and güneş for the morning). However, in the night we found out that we'd moved very close to where a Turkish wedding was going on. And it was loud, and involved songs that went on FOREVER and had very loud fireworks (which are quite surprising after you've been reading about the PKK and just see bright white flashes and loud bangs from inside the tent). Eventually the wedding died down at some time around 1am, I think.

After a very interrupted sleep we headed inland to Safranbolu.

Amasra. There seems to be a giant gap in the guide books and internet sites for tourist information between Istanbul and here. Makes it difficult to plan a route. We didn't bother going into the town though.
Safranbolu is a world heritage area because of the well preserved ottoman era houses. We found a hotel not far from the old city area which was in a 260 year old mansion. It was a bit of a maze to find it but it was very quiet during the night and pretty cool to sleep in an old mansion like this, so we stayed two nights!

The only other guests there were a German family who was travelling up to the black sea coast for a summer holiday. We all went out for dinner and shared tips on where to go along the black sea coast and in Istanbul. They have invited us to stay on their farm and feed the cows on their farm near Stuttgart, so we will see them again!

A wooden minaret. I have video of it blasting out the sunset prayer...

An old house.

More houses.

A new stone mosque.

A burnt out house.

Grape vines over the market district.

The view from the market district.

The view from the hill near the new city. The yellow looking building on the opposite hill is the city history museum (now).

Baby wanting to fall out the window. Which reminds me of my new favourite joke...

Creepy doll inside one of the museums showing you how people lived. Like creepy zombie dolls it seems.

Inside the big old hotel in the middle of the old city. There was a wedding on there the previous night.

Another view over the old city.

The central square at night.
After Safranbolu it was time to head off. This time we were going to head off in a random direction back to the coast. The road out of Safranbolu was one of the best so far, winding through the valley through lots of tunnels. I would have stopped and taken photos but I was enjoying the ride too much.

We emerged on the coast at Zonguldak, a big industrial town, with a burger king!
We followed the coast some more to Tezel camping which I had discovered the website for before we arrived. As the forecast for the next day was storms and rain we asked about room prices which were quite high, but after a lot of discussion over the price we eventually found out there were no rooms available (that would have helped beforehand). Not really wanting to ride anywhere else we set up our expensive camp ($10 each, breakfast not included) on one of the areas overlooking the restaurant and the water and waited to see what the weather would do.

While there a Swiss guy and then an Italian couple turned up on motorbikes also. Seems to be quite the popular area.

About 1am the wind picked up and thunder could be heard off in the distance. Then the wind got very strong and the lightning and thunder quite close and loud. The temperature dropped very quickly and I had to retrieve my woolen layers to stop shivering. It felt like a drop from the mid 20s to 10 degrees almost instantly. Then I watched from the inside of my tent as it tried to blow away into the distance. Occasionally I poked my head out of the tent to make sure I wan't under any heavy branches that might fall off in the wind (it was very strong). Then the rain started, and didn't stop for a long time. I only managed to get a small amount of sleep through the night. In the morning I found everything still there, but small branches and leaves scattered around the place. It was still raining lightly but the swiss guy and french couple managed to pack up somehow. We waited a little longer for the rain to ease more before packing up our wet everything.

Bored and awake in the tent, I took a photo of the inside of my living quarters. I have a loft!
The nice wet camp ground in the morning.

We headed south in the afternoon, but still hit more rain. We took it slow, stopping for all the heavy rain but it took over five hours to get to Sakayra, 90km in total for the day.

Because of the rain we just headed to the nearest hotel in the GPS, The Lima Park hotel. Quite expensive but I don't think we were interested in shopping around when soaking wet and still tied from lack of sleep.

In the morning while getting ready to pack and head into Istanbul, I went down to oil the chain on my bike and check tyre pressures etc and try to find the noise I've been hearing lately. But then I noticed that the sprocket on the rear had a wobble to it that the wheel didn't. I had seen this before in Dubai when they changed the tyres but the mechanic there said it was all OK while I was off paying and didn't see him put it back on again before he pushed the bike out the shop. I decided to take the wheel off and have a look because of the strange noises over the past few days. Once I took the wheel bits of bearing fell out (Number 21 from here). So that was the noise then...  It's been like that for six weeks too, lucky it didn't fail more spectacularly elsewhere. Replacing bearings was one of the things on my list of things to get done in Istanbul to.

I gathered all the bits of hub and bearing together and assumed this would be a very long day running around looking for a bearing shop and trying to translate what I need done. But luckily the taxi driver that turned up at the hotel spoke very good English. He went to a mechanic friend of his who directed us to a nearby shop, and I had a new bearing in my hand in minutes, then it was down the road to get the old casing removed and the new bearing put in. After about half an hour and $25 later I had sprocket back on my bike and it was all good to go! And after he asked, if you need a german/english speaking taxi driver in Sakayra, call Mehmet Kuş on 0 536 592 87 76!

Welding something on to the old bearing casing to help knock it out of the hub.

Mehmet, the helpful taxi driver! Badly framed photo thanks to the hotel staff...

So now tomorrow is navigating Istanbul day...

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