Cycling in Turkey, we departed our second day during agricultural rush hour from the small village near Lake Bafa. The rides throughout our many miles during the 12 day tour would be spent with extra road companions.
Sharing the fresh early morning air with local Turks taking their cows to assorted locations for grazing, it remained unknown who was more surprised, the men and women in traditional dress of covered heads and long pants or skirts, the big brown eyed cows or the band of brightly colored, Lycra clad cyclists.
A fourth group saw no amusement in the addition to the morning traffic flow; the dogs. As in the year prior when we had cycled in Italy, dogs were everywhere but in Turkey much freer to roam. Other than the ones who looked like they might eat the local livestock if not secured, the pups remained footloose and fancy free.
Our good friend and cycling companion D has never been particularly fond of the four legged barkers. Over the years of two wheeled companionship, Hubby and I have instinctively pulled up alongside D at the sight of even a chihuahua on the sidewalk in Canada. Since D is a ridiculously strong cyclist and usually ahead of me, it can require a full out bike sprint to race to protect her.
During such a situation on a Turkish road, I declared to D to just keep pedaling, everything would be fine; as the dog in question made himself busy snarling and snapping at my left foot.
I imagined how very reassuring it would be to my friend to watch my foot being eaten as a canine appetizer while I rationalized that one just had to keep moving and ignore the noisy beast. By some miracle my bravado act succeeded and my limb remained intact. No blood transfusion required on the Turkish road.
Cycling in Turkey absolutely astounds the senses to move from the wee tourist spots beginning to blossom and then a few kilometers later feel as though you climbed aboard a time machine and are 100 years in the past.
One has to weave one’s bike past the gentleman on his donkey with wooden crates draped on each side of his ride carrying olive oil only to come to a screeching halt as a cow walks out of the barn door which just happens to exit on to the road you are traveling. Trust me cows have the right of way over cyclists every time.
Along with the cows crossing the road to graze, being swished along by the owner, the goats and sheep pass on their greetings while the roosters and chickens belt out a chorus or two of cockle doodle doos.
Have you ever had any extra companions on your road or path? Looking at the photos would this be a holiday for you?