Day 102, 04/12/2022 Rain, rain go away…

I woke up in my tent close to Kocagöl, after a cold night. Being back in the elements felt rough, after all the comforts Istanbul had provided. For some reason I felt incredibly cold during the night, even though the temperature read 12 degree, with a windchill temperature of 9 degree. During this journey I had already encountered temperatures as low as 3 degree at night, hence I was confused about feeling cold. This was a warning to prepare myself for actual winter – for snow and ice, as Kayseri was already having temperatures below zero. I was thinking back, back to summer days, when I was sitting at a lake in Italy, cooking lunch, wearing a crop top and shorts – oh how I miss those days. It is a shame, that I will not experience Türkiye during warmer days, however it is safe to say, this will not be the last time, I am in Türkiye.

It was windy, hence I decided to cook breakfast keeping the tent shut. Afterwards the chores: packing and loading the bike. For the first time on my journey, I started cycling in long pants – winter had arrived. It was difficult to decide, what to wear while riding, it was a fine line between being warm and being hot. Arriving in the next biggest town, I went to the supermarket to stock up on groceries and water. When I came back to my bike, it was raining. I nibbled on some bread, dates and almonds before putting my rain gear on. The clouds were hanging low over the mountains surrounding the town. I was unsure if it was a good idea to head up into the mountains, but I had no other choice. When I studied the map, I noticed that there will be villages throughout my route. ‚If I get into a rough patch I stop at a village and ask for help’, I thought. Then I continued towards the mountains. The road was patchy, which made riding more challenging and tiring. Finding a flow, seemed impossible today, as I continuously needed to stop to put layers on or take layers off. Eventually I was ascending in full rain gear up the mountain. The clouds were hanging low and the fog was exceptionally thick – I could hardly see ahead. I barely met a single soul riding along this extremely remote road. After having had a break from riding, I felt nervous riding such a remote road in these terrible weather conditions. What if there is a problem with my bike? Since having exchanged my tyres, I felt blessed though, as I finally was not battling punctures daily. Hence I felt more confident riding in remote areas. Suddenly I was facing two huge barking dogs – ‘gooood boy, goood boy’, I said with a kind voice, clenching the brakes. The huge fierce dogs, started wagging their tales and ran towards me. Luckily their tales signalised: they want attention and love. After a cuddle, I tried to say my farewells and carry on. The dogs however, kept me company and ended up running besides me for kilometres. It warmed my heart and I enjoyed the company thoroughly. Eventually I came across three guys with riffles – hunters I was hoping.

When the rain increased to a pouring my mood declined. My mind was weak, longing for comfort and warmth. Instead I was fighting myself up the mountain in the pouring rain and cold. Additionally to that my lowest gear would not work, therefor ascending was more exhausting than usual. I could feel the wet clothes against my skin, wet from sweat beneath my raincoat. I was aware that I could not camp tonight, as I was already on the verge of getting sick. When I finally left the ascend of the day behind, I was descending down to a lake. The landscape was picturesque and in warmer or dry weather, it would have offered countless mesmerising spots for camping. At around 4pm I was soaked and my soul was crying for a warm space and a cup of cay – tea. Hence I cycled to the next village, in the hope, it had a tea house. When I found the tea house in the village, I entered with my rain gear covered in mud. ‘Merhaba’, I said to the men looking at me with curious eyes, one said ‚welcome‘ and offered me a chair and cay. I set next to the oven, in my wet clothes. Eventually I managed to get out of my clothes and change into something dry. With the help of google translate, I asked the owner for a place to sleep. He said he had something for me. Suddenly he brought me a tray with olives, fried cheese, bread and cay. I smiled gratefully and thanked him. Then another man put a bag next to me, ‚afiyet olsun‘, he said. Enjoy your meal. More olives, bread and cheese – Teşekkürler. Then the owner pointed me to follow him, to show me where I could sleep. He led me to a room across the tea house. There were two beds. I hesitated and asked, if he is staying there as well, as this thought made me feel uncomfortable. I was relieved, when he added, that he will sleep in his house. So I took his offer thankfully.

So long – güle güle from Araovacik!

6 responses to “Day 102, 04/12/2022 Rain, rain go away…”

  1. Karen Johanna Meyer Avatar
    Karen Johanna Meyer

    When you’re able to endure all this – how can any education or training compare to those skills of will and suffering which you’re obtaining during those far more challenging circumstances than what was met during the friendly and welcoming season of summer. Had you been imagining this also? I always find it much more easy to support mentally when psychological issues cloud the spirit… And doing this on your own in addition. Being together doesn’t necessarily make these challenges easier as the bad wether has its ways of contaminating the mood as well – as you describe it. And then being frustrated together might give conflicts and acting out toward the other. At least you don’t have that problem – just to look at it a bit from the bright side… I hope you’ll have a good nights rest and that the weather gods will be gentler to you tomorrow! Here in Copenhagen it’s cold and windy also – so I’ve kept myself indoors. Cosy and warm. Sending you all my sympathy and support – keep up the spirits. Important though to have the right clothings. I was very pleased to see that you wore a Patagonia rain jacket… I wish you the best of luck – also with finding ways to comfort yourself while enduring these tough conditions. Bon courage! Again and again and again

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was aware, how lucky I had been, to not encounter weather like this earlier. Days like this, definitely show, that bikepacking in warmer days is more enjoyable. I was preparing myself mentally for getting into winter and that there will be rain, but mentally prepared or not, it will hit mostly when experienced. I think the summer was endless and then winter came really sudden. Luckily I found shelter and an abundance of cay. I am also very lucky to have my dear best friend Andrew, who gifted me so said Patagonia jacket for my farewell, as you probably can imagine, I would not buy it myself. What a good friend I have. Greetings to Copenhagen! ❤️🇹🇷


  2. Madeline, what a great blog and journey. I realy enjoy travelling in spirit with you. Stay warm. Enjoy! Holger

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Holger, thanks so much for your feedback! Greetings from Türkiye


  3. Chapeau, Madeline. Winter cycling is harder, but has its own particular beauty, especially when it isn’t raining 😊. It’s interesting that the dogs you’re meeting are so friendly to strangers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Mark. Most of the dogs are definitely not friendly, I have been lucky a couple of times though!


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