Day 178 – From Erzincan to half way up Sakaitutan Pass (2400m)


Today’s distance / 今日の走行距離: 55.58km
Average speed / 平均速度: 10.2km/h
Time on bike / 走行時間: 5h 25m
Total distance to date / 今日までの積算距離: 2060.4km (plus 4200km)
Ascent / 上り: +590m
Descent / 下り: -175m

Woke up feeling great. No head wind, it was relatively warm (only -5 degrees). Today is going to be a great day!

By the time I had packed up the tent however, the familiar stiff headwind from yesterday had picked up again. I decided to push hard. Head wind shmed wind. I can beat this, I thought.

Good afterble consternoon (approaching Erzincan City, Turkey) / 看板(トルコ、エルジンジャン市)

Problem was that the headwind was cold. I cycle hard, I heat up. I sweat. I remove layers of clothing. The chilly wind cools my body too much… In the end I resigned to plod on at a slow pace to avoid sweating too much. Ugh.

Windy windy day leaving Erzincan

(Click on image for short video clip – will open in a new window)

Erzincan was only 20km away, so I am there by 9am. A rather convenient time to indulge in a second breakfast. The first was my usual porrage (rolled oats (300ml mug full), hazel nuts, dried apricots, raisins, three tablespoons of olive oil, salt, 750ml water, boiled for 15 minutes, sugar on top), the second was Turkish Chicken Doner.

I attempted to update the website at a nearby internet cafe, but only succeeded in uploading a few photos. The computer I was on was slow and sluggish.

The headwind lasted all day as I inched up the ever so gradual almost unnoticeable uphill out of Erzingan. It was one of those roads that stretched into the distance, ever so straight. You can see where you need to get to, and you are moving at a snails pace to get there.

Uphill into the wind near Erzincan, Turkey / 向かい風が続く(トルコ、エルジンジャン市)

I stopped at a truckers’ cafe for lunch. They had the best sized portions of any restaurant I have been to here in Turkey. 300 plus grams of fried chicken and a massive salad. I paid for it though. NZ$7. The most I’ve paid for a meal in Turkey.

It was around 3pm when the most unexpected thing happened.

“Aye? Those two don’t look like Turks!” I thought to myself.

Sure enough, the couple driving the Volkswagen Campervan were not Turks, but Michael and his girlfriend (if you’re reading this, Michael, do remind me of your girlfriend’s name), driving from Germany to India. What an adventure. On a bicycle, you cross borders with very little hassle. With a vehicle, you’ve got all sorts of document stuff you need to think about.

Michael is living the dream of driving from Germany to India (15km from Erzincan, Turkey) / マイケルさんの夢 - ドイツからインドまで

They treated me to some great German coffee, and we parted ways. Thanks guys, you lightened up an otherwise tough day.


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2 thoughts on “Day 178 – From Erzincan to half way up Sakaitutan Pass (2400m)

  • Aunty Lyn

    Why is Turkey so windy. Is it more exposed than where you have been so far?

    I guess we are the first to see your site again. it is 6:30pm here in Thailand but after midnight in NZ.

  • Andrew C

    Haha. Good ol' Rob forgetting people's names as usual! I have actually been impressed by how many people you have remembered and mentioned on your site so far