At 6:00 a.m, our earliest wake-up yet, we got dressed during the wailing songs of the mosk tower, and before the last ‘Allahu Akbar’ was finished we were on our bicycles, riding into the darkness that precedented a breakfast sunrise. In the first village we came across we met a German speaking Turk, who explained the inland was covered in a thick layer of snow, and suggested we should follow the coastline eastward. On our way towards the Black Sea once again, we suddenly heard a loud ‘Geri geri geri!’ coming from behind us. We looked back over our shoulders and saw a man standing on his doorstep, clearly gesturing us to come inside for a chai. We parked our bikes, warmed ourselves by the stove, and within 60 seconds the empty room filled up with all the locals from the small village for a chat.
When the hunter of the group showed a picture with his catch of the day, we asked in our best Turkish sign language whether we could launch a shot. Without hesitation he took us outside, grabbed the gun from the backseat of his car, loaded it, and put it in Oli’s arms. He then pointed towards the sky and Oli aimed the rifle upward, following the non-verbal instructions. BANG! Oli missed a skypenguin by a feather, but the adreneline made up for this missed opportunity. After the shot all the locals got back to their business and within 5 minutes the room was empty again. Without a doubt one of our strangest chai breaks yet.
At the end of the day we were happy to see our new love the Black Sea at larboard again, as we cycled the coastal road, through 5 tunnels before we arrived in Ereğli. We made a luxurious rubbish castle out of a local bakery’s garage and slept the freezing -2 °C degrees night away, comfortably warm in our fort.