City of Samsun

The Black Sea, Samsun, Turkey

I’ve been a bit quiet the past few days because I haven’t really done very much. The intent was to get to Samsun and then stop for about a week, which is how it has worked out. Initially, there was rain here – lots of it. Essentially, a three day thunder storm that was annoying, if spectacular. Cue several days of hiding in my tent eating fresh bread with (weird) local cheeses and starting on the complete works of Charles Dickens (‘A Tale of Two Cities’ was jolly good).

The weather has since calmed down and I’ve managed to fix this bloody grinding noise coming from the rear of the bike. Result! After pinning down the period of the grinding to be the same as that of the chain, a replacement chain was saught and procured. After much wrangling, and using my new chain breaking tool (any excuse to buy a new bike tool is a good excuse), the new chain is installed and the grinding noise has ceased. Job done!

In other news… Having been on the road for over a month now, and my skills at hand-washing clothes being less than exemplary, my miniscule wardrobe is starting to feel a bit… A bit like I’ve been at a festival for a month. I have therefore treated myself to some new socks. That I write this is testament to how little I’ve done these past few days, however I was unprepared for the sheer joy I experienced in donning the new footwear. It was a feeling of absolute bliss to wear something that is genuinely clean. The experience of wearing clean socks has been one of the hilights of my week 🙂

I’ve decided to ditch all of my cooking gear and I’ll gift it to someone during the week. This will let me repack the bike so that it’s lighter and more manageable for Russia. Cooking itself isn’t so much of a nuisance but keeping everything clean and carrying things like pasta and oil is a real pain, especially when street food is so cheap here. Kebab shops are everywhere, and a nice bit of evening grub costs the equivalent of about £1.

Samsun is a really fun city to explore. It has endless streets with funny little shops, foody smells and interesting people all a mixed. I definitely like it here and may stay a little longer.

The rest of this week involves admin stuff. I need to book my flight out of Vladivostok and take care of some UK bills/admin (joy of joys).

At some point next week I will start trundling east again towards Georgia, but it will be at a slow pootle-rate – I still have over three weeks until the doorstep of mother Russia and not very many miles to cover until I get there.

Here are some bikey photos.

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