Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Pilgrimage from Sultankoy to Celaliye 01/06/08

I asked Najate to wake me in the morning after he finishes praying, so at 6am I get a tap at the door. I am presented with a huge breakfast, say my goodbyes and get going.

Some of the locals have already started gathering in front of the coffee shop and don't let me leave until I sit down for a tea :)

I get some nice views while walking around the coast but all in all it's pretty uneventful. The gaps between the towns are becoming almost nonexistent as I make my way closer to Istanbul.

I stop at a shopping center on the outskirts of Slivri, have lunch, jump on the net, and by the time I get moving again it's really hot! After 45 minutes I'm ready for another break, yet I hate stopping at the bottom of hills, so I set my sights for the top. A hundred meters later a guy in a sailors hat yells out and waves me over for a tea. Well, I'm sure the hill will still be there when I get back... ;)

Turns out he is the boss of the company in front of us and wears the sailors hat because all his staff call him "Captain". Another funny group of guys but only the security guard can speak some English. Sitting down for tea in the smoko area an old guy starts making eating motions and pointing at me...

I smile and wave my hands "No thanks, I just ate"

Two minutes later he turns back up with the biggest sandwich I have seen since the breakfast roll I had in England on my first day! I have noticed that "No thanks, I just ate" or "I'm full" doesn't appear to have any translation or meaning in Turkish at all :)

The security guard laughs as my eyes almost pop out of my head when its laid out in front of me. I manage to finish about 4/5 before he finally takes pity on me. I must look like I'm about to throw up...

"It's Ok, it's don't have to finish"

I smile thankfully but as soon as I put the sandwich down the security guard gets another laugh The old guy notices, runs over, takes the remaining meat balls out...

"Eat, eat!!!"

Yep, I wasn't getting away that easily :)

A noticeable smell of rain is in the air as I leave but I can't see a cloud anywhere. Fifteen minutes later I can feel it getting cooler, glancing behind me see some big, dark, menacing looking clouds welling on the horizon.

Reaching the Istanbul beach area, there is no shortage of hotels and I'm hoping that they will be reasonably priced. I spot a campground and go ask how much their cabins are...

"How much for a cabin or caravan?

"One tent or two?

"Just one person, but for a caravan"

"20YTL for one tent"

"20YTL for one tent!? For camping?

"Yes, 20YTL"

Well, that was that...20YTL for a camping spot! Not worth finding out how much for a cabin :( I keep searching and come across an old commercial building where someone had smashed in the front window. It's off the main road and after a quick look around I decide it looks perfect :)

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