Across Continents

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East towards Istanbul

Before drifting off to sleep the previous night, I’d mulled over the tooth situation. Remain in Edirne and get treatment? Or stick to the plan and push for Istanbul and the English speaking dentist I’d been told about? I wasn’t sure. What decided it the next morning was the distinct possibility of a tooth extraction, definitely one for Istanbul, together with increasing confidence in my ability to keep the situation stable until then. I’d an e-mail advising me to take a further antibiotic, the very one I’d deduced from my expedition medicine handbook might be sensible to self administer.

Over breakfast – a simple affair of boiled eggs, bread, cheese, cucumbers and tomatoes – I considered my route towards Istanbul. The original plan had been to head along quieter roads towards the Black Sea coast, entering Istanbul from the north. Now it was all about getting into the city as quickly as possible whilst the tooth held out. That’d be the D-100, a route that had a poor reputation amongst long-haul cyclists. I reckoned two days to cover about 120 miles to the southern coast and the Sea of Marmara. That’d leave the weekend to complete the remaining 50 or so miles into the heart of the city. Might not sound like much, but I’d been told traffic can be quite ferocious, and I’d want plenty of daylight on Sunday to find a secure location for myself and Emma. Might be there a little while.


In the end I found the D-100 rather uneventful, helped by a wide hard shoulder and supportive toots from passing motorists. Just a blustery cross wind to contend with. Passing a small petrol station close to the town of Havsa the owner waved, raising his glass of cay. Time for lunch. I circled back. Sweet, warm Turkish tea. There was little to eat, just a few packets of biscuits. Covered with a thin film of dust. Sitting close to the stove, I explained my mission, carefully sipping my tea. Behind the counter someone lay on a small bed, mostly obscured with a blanket. I thanked the owner for his hospitality and returned to the road. New Year’s Eve and soon time to find somewhere to stop for the night. The town of Luleburgaz sounded promising.


One response to “East towards Istanbul”

  1. Margaret says:

    Happy New Year Ken. Hope the tooth will not trouble you for long. Good luck & take care – from Fitzhead in a light dusting of snow and rather cold! Margaret

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