Thursday, 21 May 2015

Day 317-322: To Giresun via Ordu


 Yener and friends from Fatsa whom I met briefly on the road.

 I was supposed to sleep under here but when rain and lightning came I decided to..... try my luck in moving into the hut

 So I eventually got permission to stay in this hut. It belongs to a 4 star hotel and this is their external social place for guests. 

 My room

 Kubilay even brought me dinner from the hotel kitchen

 Thanks to Kubilay for all this arrangement & hearing me bitched about the assholes I've met


 A quick breakfast treat from a bakery along the way

 Vitaliy, a hitch hiker from Ukraine. He is actually on his way hitch hiking home and says it'll probably take him 2 weeks. Sorry I can't take you, I'm fully loaded... haha


 Arriving at Giresun on special order of my brother. haha just joking.
Photo: Left (2004); Right (2015)
And the story goes... 11 years ago, Granny Zennibe took in 2 young touring cyclists without any hesitation, kept them dry from the monsoon, fed and took great care of them here in this village.
11 years passed, though they didn't managed to revisit, the sister of one the cyclists happened to pass this village again on a bike too. Thus, here she is, on a mission to deliver some photos and to say a Big Hello to everyone. You can read about the 2004 write up here.

After an emotional introduction with some tears involved... I was quickly sat down and stuffed silly with food

 Mountain of hazelnut trees in the background

 Newly purchased goats... only 2 of them... keeping as pets? haha

 Free range eggs

 Hazelnut butt... 

 Erik can (Green plum)

 Erik can tree... using a stick to whack them down

 Peas. Very tasty eating raw too.

 I was in time for a 5yo birthday bash :)

 Selime & her daughter Tugce

 The sisters - Granny Zennibe's daughters. Unfortunately, granny is not around anymore. They had tears in their eyes when they saw the photo that Selime (middle) holds in her hand. The photo was Sean & my brother (aka the 2 cyclists) with Granny Zennibe back in 2004.

 If a puppy is missing in the village when I leave..... Its not me.

 Smell of fresh milk is unpleasant to me... Only after boiling over heat it smells like the milk I'm familiar with

 Milk & water... spin in this 'machine'... then eventually it thickens and you put in the fridge and it becomes this below.

Greenhouse - Selime picking some vegetables for prepping dinner

 Mulberry tree


 She is ever so bubbly & funny

 He is the little boy on the right in the photo

The grown up version of the 2 in the photo

 She is the little girl with curly hair on the left in the photo

 Again the grown up version of the kid in the photo

 Trying to dance with my 2 left foot again 

At a wedding with Bahadir & Tugce. This lovely pair will wed in coming July.


 Selime brought me to a pastry shop and bought me a mixed selection of Turkey cookies

Anne Emine showing me the peas

 Emine & Yasar (Emine is cousin of Selime)

 with her daughter-in-law, Serap and her daughter

 Serap's son

 Anne Emine made me burst out laughing when she use my camera the wrong way round. We all end up having a great laugh and I simply love her adorable reaction after that.

Tugce 'wedding dress fitting' night

 This is just one of the many she tried on. Ain't she beautiful.


 Joined them for some grass cutting session

 Giresun cityscape


 Turkey's concert

 They always drink water after eating ice-cream so you won't fall sick.. I was told


Giresun festival with many stalls, games areas & dance performances

 This grandpa just decided to go up the stage to dance...

 Some politician (surrounded by body guards) giving speech for opening ceremony...  

 Make a wish

 Samet (Tugce's brother)


 An evening with more extended family where I met Elif who was a high school English teacher. She hosted me for a night and invited me to her school to meet her students

 Dereli, the town she is teaching in

 One of my favourite in season!

 At the school

 With Elif collegues and student

 With her students. We spent some time in the class letting them practise their English through introduction of themselves and various Q&A sessions... Interesting to know, students commonly think there isn't a point of learning English as they have no use of it, furthermore their education system in relation to English doesn't seems well established from what I learnt.

 Gizem's little sister on the left making me a present


 Its actually their Science festival today so there are various activities going on around the school today

 Loved these 2. While I have attracted big crowds of students coming over to surround me, these 2 made full attempts to speak English with me the whole day. I hope my short visit will encourage them to put in more effort in learning English and hope all their aspirations that they've shared with me will come true someday. They were very envious that I get to travel and told me it will be difficult for them to do the same... somehow its different for them, they are usually at home and are closely bonded with family plus they are afraid... it was then I wonder, should I or should I not encourage them... at the end of the day I just left it as it is... its their life and they can decide for themselves. I'll be glad if I have inspired them in someway...


 One of my favourite quick snap shot. These families in this village are all related to each other in some ways... if they need to talk or find someone, they just come out and shout. 

From Selime!

 Emine made me Dolma to take away plus a bag of hazelnut.

 Serap made me bread to takeaway.

Just look at all the food hanging off my bike... I am so grateful to the love they have showered me. The 2 cyclists (Sean & my Brother) left gaining weight 11 years ago and so have I. Emine had a great laugh at me when I failed miserably learning to crack hazelnuts with my hands... now with this bag of hazelnuts from her I bet I will master it eventually on the road. Almost didn't know where to begin but me too have gained fond memories of my time here. They urged us to return and I said we will... hope its not another 10years. Thank you all for taking time out of your busy schedule, taking turns to keep me company and showed me around. Not forgetting the many feasting sessions, I can hardly find my waistline now. It was here I celebrated birthday, particpated in circumcision party, attended a wedding, joined a prayer ceremony for a passing relative, went gown hunting with the bride-to-be, stood in a crowded Turkish concert and went to a festival... all in a short period of time. Boy was I busy during my days here. 11 years passed, many things have changed but one thing that never remains was their heartwarming hospitality. I'm missing all of you dearly.

16 May 15: 84.94km [Sunny]
17 May 15: 55.86km [Sunny]
18-21 May 15: 0km


  1. Wow! That's one loaded bicycle! How do you manage with all of that weight on it? :)