Day 48 Arac – 13 km west of Tasköpru (camp 7)

The unburied and unsalted pasta

After an early start from our mountain lodge looking hotel we had a nice downhill for 5 minutes before it was time to start climbing again. It was a big main road and that kind of road is usually not so exciting from a pure cycling perspective. Eventhough the road itself was dull, the view from it was very nice. As we got higher and higher the nature started to change. Below it was dense forests but on the higher altitudes the forests were replaced by mor bush looking smaller trees.

Mountain lodge looking hotel where we were the only guests

Mountain lodge looking hotel where we were the only guests

Our aim was to reach the pass before it got too hot and then enjoy being cooled down while rolling down in the heat during the early afternoon. The wind had been on our backs for a few days and helped us climb the slow ascent, but all of a sudden it changed and we had to ride the last 5-6 km to the top with a headwind.

Look at the cloud. Are they testing nuclear bombs somewhere nearby?

Look at the cloud. Are they testing nuclear bombs somewhere nearby or what…?

We got a nice view of Karabük city from above and we could then see that there was some kind of ring road around the city. It also appeared that if we went to the city we would have to climb out of it again while we would remain at the same altitude if staying on the ring road. Staying on a boring ring road or ride through a city we didn’t intend to see anyway was an easy decision to make.

Let's hope we won't see more snow on this trip....

Let’s hope we won’t see more snow on this trip….

Deniz – the kind woman who hosted us in Istanbul when Wej’s bottom bracket broke – had told us that we had to go to town of Tasköprü which is known to have the best garlic in all of Turkey. Since we trust Deniz the aim for the day was to get camp somewhere before Tasköprü.

Finally at the pass at 1230 meters altitude. The highest so far on this tour

Finally at the pass at 1230 meters altitude. The highest so far on this tour

We have visited hundreds of gas stations since we left home and all those outside Sweden have had staff filling the customers’ tanks. In Sweden, and maybe in Poland too (can’t remember), the customers have to fill their own tanks and go inside to pay. I don’t know what such a position at a gas station would be called, but since we meet a lot of people working in that position we need to call them something and the word we use is ”tank-filler”.

All Turkish gas stations have toilets that visitors can use for free. Some even have a simple shower and in the late afternoon we stopped at such a station to shower and see if it maybe was possible to camp there.

The owner of the gas station and some of his tank-fillers where sitting at a table drinking tea and as usual it took about 30 seconds after our arrival before we were offered tea. While Wej went in to have a shower I started to talk to the staff. Unable to communicate I asked if there was a wifi internet, which it was. With my iphone now connected to the internet we could start to have a meaningful conversation.

I started the google translate app and wrote in simple English:

– We, put, tent, where ?

The tank-filler pointed at an empty house on the other side of the road and I typed:

– safe ?

He nodded and I walked to take a look. Having passed dozens and dozens of graveyards the place looked to me as just another little cemetary so I picked up my iphone and typed:

– cemetary?

The tank-filler asked to borrow the phone and typed in something in Turkish that was translated to english as.

– unburied

I started to visualize the plot for a new horror movie called:

”The cycle tourists and the unburied – based on a true story”.

What was it that was unburied that he thought it would be a fine idea for us to sleep beside. My confusion got bigger and I once again turned to the Google Translate, our saviour, and typed:

– coffins?

He once again nodded as an answer and I started to get second thoughts and typed:

– corpses ?

He didn’t understand so I tried again by typing:

– dead bodies?

He than laughed, took the phone and typed something that was translated as:

– empty

Hmmmm…….I now thought that I had started to understand what this was all about but to be sure I typed:

– coffin factory ?

The tank-filler then nodded as a confirmation.

So what to do – should we sleep beside a bunch of ready made or half ready coffins laid out on the lawn in front of the house opposite the gas station or go on cycling to see if we could find another place that would bring us more peace of mind? We decided that sleeping beside coffins is something we all will have to do sooner or later and not anything we wanted to do right now so we said good bye to the guys at the gas station and their neighbouring coffin factory and continued along the road.

Camp site photo taken the following morning

Camp site photo taken the following morning

After half an hour of cycling we found a place we thought would make a decent place to pitch our tent. It was in the corner of a field where cows had grazed, there where some high walls around it that prevented us from being seen from the road and 50 meters away there was a well with a tap where we could fetch water to drink and do our dishes in.

We put up our tent and started to make cook our pasta but soon discovered that we had run out of salt. Unsalted pasta tastes very plain but we managed to spice it up with some tomato salsa and canned tuna fish that we had bought in Bulgaria. Not any 5 star dinner, but at least we didn’t have to go to bed hungry 🙂

Cooking unsalted spagetti

Cooking unsalted spagetti

3 thoughts on “Day 48 Arac – 13 km west of Tasköpru (camp 7)

  1. Dan Claesson

    Här är det ännu en helg dag.Kristi himmelsfärd dag. Regn och sol som brukligt här i gamla Svedala . Dock värme. Så för en annan som inte kan mygla till sig klämdag återstår 1 dag till helg igen.

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