A quick village breakfast and with a little help to carry our luggage, from the insistent hotel staff, the ANIMAL was loaded and we were on our way around 9.00am from Samsun to Trabzon (300km). As Vince was sorting out the bike a Turkish family came over to him and chatted for a while – they live in the Netherlands and had returned to Turkey for a holiday. The streets of Samsun were deserted with not a soul to be seen – everyone was indoors enjoying their festive day.
Just out of Samsun the grey skies opened up and the rain started to fall, quite heavily at times. The road became quite slippery in the rain – it possibly hasn’t rained here for ages and the oil deposited from the cars and trucks lifted up and became a slick mess. Neither of us have our jacket linings in and it wasn’t long before we were wet to the skin and feeling the cold.
Even in ‘rain’ mode Vince managed to get the back-end of the bike sliding around on the slippery road under brakes at one stage, which added a bit of excitement to the ride. Traffic on the road was reasonably light – probably again because of the festive day – but what few drivers were out on the road this morning all wanted to be Wacky Racers and some of them were downright stupid – like the Audi car driver who insisted on splitting lanes every time he arrived at a red light. He’d just squeeze between the trucks and cars, and race off to the next red light and do it all again. Patience is not an admired virtue over here.
The D010 coastal route from Samsun to Trabzon is a four lane (2 lanes in either direction, with a centre strip and barriers separating the oncoming traffic), and in most places it’s a comfortable 110kmh ride, but in many towns it passes through it grinds to a halt at traffic lights, so we couldn’t really maintain a steady pace for the ride.
And on the subject of red lights – many of them give a red+amber warning for a split second before turning green, which gives car drivers the opportunity to beep their horns at the cars in front, perhaps encouraging them to start moving, or maybe to show how fast their reaction times are. Whatever the reason – every green light brings on an orchestra of honking cars.
The road follows along the southern coast of the Black Sea however it looked more blue to us, with rock sea walls and patches of brownish grit for beaches. In some places little onion-shaped huts had been installed, kiosks serving goodies for beach-goers, not that we saw anyone at the beach today.
We arrived around 1.30pm at Trabzon and found our hotel without too much bother, though the cobbled streets were crowded and the GPS may have instructed Vince to ride the wrong way down a one-way street – or maybe the locals just wanted to have the whole road to themselves. At 50 Euro per night however our tiny room (so tiny that the small double bed was set sideways against a wall in the middle of the room… as the room was not wide enough to fit the headboard against the wall!) was disappointing. Our “sea view room” was non existent …we overlook an alleyway…the “private parking” is just the street in front of the hotel and the free internet does not work….can we pick them or what!