After 2157 miles, 9% of the globe’s circumference, I have arrived!
I have been told that there is no nice way to cycle into Istanbul. The route I had been advised to take certainly wasn’t. Technically the 12 lane road I took is not a motorway. Lanes and lorries appeared on the left and right and no amount of adrenaline fueled attentiveness could stop the feeling that I was about to be crushed. In those moments when instincts react before the brain, it is my belief that the muscle reaction of a Turkish driver will lurch to the horn as opposed to the brake. Braking is a last resort once other alternatives have been exhausted.
A few miles out of Istanbul I was overtaken by a group from Edirne cycling team who had a police escort. I decided it was prudent to keep up with them and I enjoyed the luxury of state protection on my entrance into the city. I tried to have a chat with my fellow cyclists and I got the impression it was OK for me to stick with them.
My parents have come out to visit me here and in the comfort of familiarity and a rented apartment I realise that I am quite tired. My hankering after home and the familiar is in sharp contrast to my parents excitement of new smells and the hustle and bustle of the exotic city.
Having reached my destination, I feel this blog needs to come to an end. If this is the case I must take a moment to thank the people who made this journey special. Every host did something wonderful and shaped my view of humanity. Thank you to Heather, Mrs. Slocum, Josephine, Joost, Margitta, Paul, Sophie, Christine, Freya, Lawrence, Philipp, Nadja, Julia, Lisa, Agnes, Agnes, Kriszti, Lee, Nigel, Carmen, Andrea, Aleksa and his family, Elena, Ahmet, Yalcin, Ayhan and Zafer for hosting me. I believe people in this world are fundamentally kind and intrinsically want to do good. Where we see people act differently to this I am sure it is not their true nature but a distortion of who they really are. Face to face, people of this world are kind and a welcome awaits you if you wish to explore it. There are many websites you can use eg. Couchsurfing, Warmshowers and BeWelcome.