Monday, 21 May 2012

21 May Stage 39 Cine - Mugla

Dep  9.15      Arr  3.00        Dist  63.8 km      Total  3871.3 km

After taking advantage of the limited blogging opportunity in the noisy internet cafe Christoph and I went hunting for some food. I had sort of had my way with chicken shish at dinnertime so he was understandably insistent on his favourite, corba, which is soup, and we wandered around for a while trying to find an appropriate place. I was a bit knackered and I let the old guy have his way but we just couldn't find a soup kitchen. We actually ended up in a fast food pizza express next door but one to the hotel after a full lap of the town centre (about 400m) I ordered chicken shish with chips and ended up with pide which is a pizaa on bread, and no chips Christoph had the most enormous pizza which he wolfed down. I fancied a beer, surprise, surprise, but there were no obvious outlets so we went to our respective rooms for the night.

It's worth describing our arrival at the hotel at this point. I had my plan sorted. Separate rooms. Chris must have some Yorkshire blood and he actually considered sharing and kicked of good style about there being no breakfast. I've got some stuff on my bike but he's got twice as much, for obvious reasons. Either of us would have filled a double room with the contents of our bags. Anyway, 70ytl for a double, 40ytl each for a single - no contest We just assumed there would be wifi and we took our stuff up three floors only to find there wasn't any. I actually considered loading the bike up again but the proximity of an internet cafe took that out of the equation.

I was sat in the room and it wasn't very late. I still fancied a beer so I nipped down to the shop downstairs and  snaffled a couple of cold ones. I enjoyed them immensely while watching Turkish TV.

I didn't sleep well at all. What's more I found in the morning that my phone hadn't charged properly and Terry was going to text me the address of the hotel in Mugla which he had arranged for me. Tension on it! Chris and I convened at nine at another of the tiny cafes around the tiny hotel and had some pastry with cay and it was a decent start to the day especially since I had already had a packet of biscuits in the room.

The first half hour was a doddle, flat or down with no wind. The rest wasn't. It was a tough uphill grind with an occasional short downhill bit. It started with a steep climb for 5km after Eskicine, then just gradual uphill until another big steep one just after halfway and then another gradual climb up again to Mugla  I knew what to expect because I had seen the profile when I made the first plan and had then frantically looked at other routes but there weren't any. So it was head down push one, push the other, blow the sweat off the nose, you know the drill etc. We stopped for lunch at a posh petrol station place after we had got past half way and Christoph's dream nearly came true. It looked like soup but it was actually a lovely chicken stew, which we had with rice and tons of bread and not too expensive either. We knuckled down and made it to Mugla itself. We found a place to have a coffee and had a last drink and chat and made our farewells. I checked my phone and the hotel details were there. There was only about 10% power left on my phone so it was a close one. Chris had to make progress to get to Antalya for a ferry to Cyprus and then on to Israel for a ferry to Morocco, overland in Africa to Ghana and then a boat to Brazil. We will keep in touch and I hope all goes well for the lad.

I was then left with the task of finding the hotel from the address that Terry had texted me. My phone was on its last legs, battery-wise but, miraculously the text was there. I then asked a waiter at the coffee place and found I was very close. I found the hotel about five minutes later. I got everything plugged in and charging and listened to England winning the test match and then had a monumental swill and ventured out for food and drink. I have had my usual with a couple of beers and actually later found a street with a few pubs in. I had a mini pub crawl of three places. One was a nice garden type place where there were two policemen talking loudly to the staff until they left with a bottle of Jack Daniels - a gift, the barman told me. The second was was a very dimly lit bar which had a lot of women in but strangely none of them had a drink. The third was an Irish bar with not the slightest bit of Irish-ness about it apart from the odd shamrock.

I made it back to the hotel with some crisps and a couple of cans and will have a proper sleep in tomorrow. I can't believe I'm so close after all this time but then I think about Christoph and his adventure, of which I've been a very small part, and the young Korean Jeonghwan Kim who's been 'out here' for a year or more and will be for a lot longer.

Today's track


  1. Hi Tom

    I would thinks its about 30mins from Mugla to Ula.
    We will be on the road on the way out of Ula. We will get there for 10.30ish (in case you are early)
    It should be fun going down the pass into Karabortlen

    Phil & Pete

  2. OK lads. I look forward to seeing you tomorrow.



  3. Hi Tom,
    I have been reading your blogs with great interest. What a fantastic journey. Thankyou for choosing to support Wigan and Leigh Hospice and I look forward to hearing lots more about your adventure on your return to the UK.
    Good Luck and Take Care. Nearly there now!!
    Julie Houston.
    Community Support Officer Wigan and Leigh Hospice.

  4. Thanks Julie

    I have emailed Danny earlier today. I will be delighted to call in for a chat when I get back.

    All the best to you


  5. Sounds like a hard day on the bike after reading todays blog Tom.

    Get some rest... sound like ya need it.

    good luck for tomorrow


  6. Thanks Dan

    Nearly all downhill from here