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2 May, Istanbul to Orhangazi, 15km + 9km lift in baker’s van
Topçu Otel 40TL

We had planned to spend two nights in Istanbul, take an early ferry to Yalova, and cycle to Iznik on May 3. Instead, on the spur of the moment, we crossed the Sea of Marmara a day early ie today, planning to get a head start to Iznik tomorrow. When we did not see a hotel on the road to Iznik, we opted to cycle the 20-odd km to Orhangazi. A foolish decision, perhaps, given that it was 18:00 and we had already had a long day. Knowing though that night arrives late, we set off in high spirits to overcome the hills that lie between the coast and the small town of Orhangazi. It was inevitable, I suppose, under the circumstances, that we did not make it. By the time we had cycled and walked 15km uphill, we were shattered and it was dark. At the top of the pass was a garage and restaurant where we first ate then managed to arrange a lift in the back of the baker’s van – all of it downhill! Had we started an hour or so earlier... but that is life on the road.

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