- ODO 3366km
- Location Istanbul
- Weather 22-28 with 30/40kmh gusts of wind and clouds
Despite our best efforts we had a big day left on to make it to Istanbul. We left nice and early after changing Jelle’s back inner tube. His bag packing had become really quick over the days we’d rode together. Over the final day we climbed nearly 2000m. Hill after hill on back roads. At each peak we got a new glimpse of the city. After seeing Jelle off at the railway station – which looked more like and industrial estate back entrance – for his train back to Sofia I had 20km more to do.
I’d heard much about the roads of Istanbul and they didn’t disappoint. My Komoot route took me on a network of back roads but that meant repeated heart straining climbs followed by steep cobbled decent merging into highways at the bottom. It was exciting, it reminded me of London riding. I reached the hostel in the dark and I was spent. The heat and noise of the city closing in around me. I went out into the city to find food and ate meat for the first time in a couple of years. I couldn’t communicate what I wanted at any of the shops in the fisherman’s district of town. I went bloated to bed.