Turkey has almost broken me.

Turkey has almost broken me. Day 2 out of Istanbul. Around 40 degrees and the mountains become steep. Close to tears….not due to the beauty this time….self loathing and doubt. Li rides ahead and I push. I can’t push, 5 steps….rest….there is no rest…there is no shade….it’s too hot.
A truck stops and offers me a lift up the mountain, plenty of room for the bike….I am not quite so broken….decline the offer….hold back the tears and push, 5 more steps….push…..maybe another truck?…..
Fickle religion, my religion to move forward, question my quest, and again move on. Day 3 is heaven….well it’s still bloody hot, maybe hotter, but I cry several times, no longer self pity and disgust, am moved more as the days continue. I am so filled with passion. It’s coming thick and strong. Looking backwards at what we have traversed!… oh dear….looking forward at more desolation, then forward, more mountains….but how truly beautiful. It’s huge, never ending.
This is the hardest part of our journey to date, the expansive landscape, our reward. I climb, crest, catch my breath…. and lose my breath…. as I look down in awe. I am in awe, constantly. The landscape is changing by the hour, dramatically, and the colours and time of day amplify the contrasts. A red ochre, imposing, jagged mountain, , mirrored by the next, yellow ochre and greens.
I talk to my self
“Look at that” due to exertion
“I think I may be about to die! But look at that!”
“Fuck…..look at that!”
Swearing for want of simple words that express power, contrasts, anger, love, the obscene, the beauty ;perhaps; harsh but soft and welcoming.
I learn to climb, stay on the bike, slow, deep breaths, no hurry. After a week mountains grow less steep, the heat is not less but we are learning to cope. Up before the sun, sheltering, making our own shelter between midday until early evening before more pedalling. And these breaks bring their own experiences, some challenging, some more rewarding than imaginable.


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