The Bull is In the Bag

December 3, 2009

2579.7 miles in 51 days cycling and I have finally achieved my goal of cycling from London to Istanbul.

The only land mark of Istanbul I knew of before arriving is the Blue Mosque so this is where I headed to complete my goal. In honesty, actually arriving was a an anti climax since the suburbs of Istanbul are 220km  from East to West and it has taken me 2 days to reach the center. I cycled the last 10 km getting mixed responses at my cries of “Am I in Istanbul yet?”

From the Blue Mosque I pushed my bike down through the Bazar in a light drizzle of rain and found the Orient hostel where people were sitting around smoking hookahs and drinking Cay. I felt a little bit lost as I strolled through the crowd knowing I wouldn’t be climbing aboard my bike for another days long cycling adventure. Part of me was also relieved that my sore backside could recover.

I sat down and bought myself a large Efes beer and downed it before I attended to the very pressing task of washing my kit since I had put it off for the past 10 days.

I am as confused about writing a blog as when I started 8 weeks ago. There are a few loose ends to tidy up, earlier entries to add and pictures to update but this is pretty much it so thank you for reading and thank your supportive emails.

The End……….

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The Final Furlong

December 3, 2009

I turned my nose up when some one suggested it might take me 3 days just to negotiate the sprawling suburbs of Istanbul.

I think I have finally found a good reason to have cycled to Istanbul with a set of mountain bike tyres.  I knew like everything else on my bike that they would have a purpose and trying to negotiate the traffic and crazy roads from 30 miles out of Istanbul has meant some serious off-roading.

Sometimes my stubbornness can get in the way and there is no way I am coming all this way to get a bus or a boat into the city centre. I will climb fences, I will ride through ditches, I will ride through dog infested dumps of rubbish and I will run face to face with the ugliest dirty polluting vehicles that man has to offer.

I do not recommend this.