Monday, May 14, 30 k

I wake to a 6:25 am alarm. I'm up, but not motivated. I examine the situation:

  • I'm exhausted.

  • My objective, Konya, is apparently the rational place to take a rest day, but it's 88 k away.

  • This is a real nice hotel. It's clean and quiet, it's got a tub, it's got a view, it's got a great restaurant. It's cheap!
  • .

10:30 am now, and I believe that I've come to a fair compromise. I will chill here until check-out (I'm assuming 11:00 am), then ride a mini-day, 30 k, to the next town that's been identified as having a hotel: Kadinhani.

It's 7 pm now. Wow - What a miserable day. Per my plan, I was on the road before noon, but immediately the situation was bad - big headwinds! Seems like most of the ride was in the lowest or in the second lowest gear. I was miserable! What's really strange, as I sit here calculating distance and time, is that my pace may not have been as hellish as my foul mood warrants. Earlier I calculated this trip's non-wind, non-downhill pace-including periodic stops for photos, sodas, teas, etc.-to be about 15 k/hour. My notes for today indicate that this 30 k flat ride took from 11:15 to 2:15, or about 3 hours-2:40 if I back-out the 20-minute lunch. Maybe I misread my watch at some point, or maybe the hell of headwinds is more psychological than real. I'll have to think about this.

Anyway, today's destination, Kadinhani, was visible just off the freeway. Something about the long climbing road leading into town didn't feel right. This place just doesn't seem big enough for a hotel. (The population sign said 15,000, whatever that was worth.) At the first gas station the guy responds to my "otel" with a gesture "straight ahead." A kilometer or so later, two guys wave me over. My German+English+pantomime skills aren't serving me well. Then two burqa'd women get involved: one is fluent in German, so she takes charge, escorting me the rest of the way through town. I feel awkward: I equate burqas with the ultimate in conservatism, and here these women are, escorting this spandex-clad guy through town. We're communicating in German, so I'm missing a lot. She says something about putting me up in a school building, and I have mixed feelings - I sure can use my own room. The women lead me down a side road to a school building, say something to one of the managers, then say good-bye, and disappear. I draw a crowd.

One 20-year-old does speak crumbs of English. I'm invited to stay and told to lock up the bike, and bring my gear inside. I'm shown a volleyball court sized room with couches along all four walls. I'm advised that two others are staying in the room. Lots more is said, but I don't understand. There is a mention of a hotel near by and I struggle to get out of this dorm-situation. With communication hit and miss I explain a few times that I go to bed before 11:00 pm and will be waking up at 6:00 am. "No problem! We can wake you up. No cost to stay here." A couple more rounds of this and they agree to show me the hotel. It's just a few hundred meters away, and just off the main street. The gals who escorted me here walked me right passed it. What was that about?

So I sign up for a hotel room, go back to the student building, reload the bike, and head back to the hotel, where I unpack the bike, carry everything up, strip down and shower and check the clock. It's 4:00 pm. Wow, what a hassle for a 30 k day!

Reenergized, I turn on my MP3 player for the first time, and familiar music really helps my mood. I decide to leverage the room's good light and large tile floor and photograph everything I'm carrying (see full set of pictures at Trip Overview.)

Tomorrow needs to be an early start to try to beat some of the wind. It's only 62 k to Konya. As soon as I find a hotel I need to get laundry done.

The room was nice.
The bathroom was clean, and had hot water.
But it was time to ride.
In Kadinhani: Turkey's famous long, thin pizzas.
  Next: Kadinhani to Konya  
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