After a short diversion via a wedding in Denmark we arrived in Turkey, Trabzon to be precise. It was from here that we would start what is for now our last bike tour. With around 30, 000km so far and 28 countries visited we have had an amazing time. I love travel and, for the most part, find cycling a fabulous way to meander through a country. However, sadly we are unable to just keep going and sooner or later we knew we would be planning the final stages. It seems sooner has arrived.
While we had been unable to do our trip in one go, having had to make return visits to see family, we were both in agreement on one thing. For our final trip we wanted to ride both in and out of the UK. We left in July, via Denmark as I said and we then needed to work out where we could start our journey home from to be back for Christmas. We had heard so many positive stories from cyclists who had been through Iran and this was where we really wanted to begin our journey. Unfortunately we came to the conclusion that this may be too far given all the other places we want to see on our way. An Iranian Visa would be costly and this was a place we didn’t want to rush through. So, Trabzon it is.
I have been to Turkey once before – to watch the eclipse in 1999 and John, my cycle buddy, has been on numerous occasions. His sister lives here and so this was certainly a place he wanted to come and ride. On my last trip I also visited the Cappadocia region. I was backpacking then but I can’t resist going back again – this time with my bike of course. For those of you familiar with Turkish geography you will know we are not then heading straight back. Starting in the North, on the Black Sea coast we will go to the central region, where Cappadocia can be found before continuing to go further out of our way through Antalya and Olu Deniz, on the South coast, Pammukale and Kushidasi, inland and West before finally going through Istanbul and into Bulgaria.
Then it got tricky. There are so many places we then wanted to see. Eventually we have opted to go through Roumania, Hungary, Slovakia,Poland, Germany and The Netherlands. We may still make variations, do additional loops and change our final ferry crossing point but for now we have a route we are really looking forward to, a ride out group for our ferry ( other guests at the wedding) and simply a rough return date for mid December. Exactly what happens between now and then will become apparent in time and no doubt, if you keep reading, you’ll get to find out.