Best Cycling Day Ever!

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I awake in the tent at 4 am with Lucy’s big eyes staring back at me, her face as close as it can get to mine without touching.  Her cuteness makes me laugh.  I love these moments.  I am grateful to the UK’s pet immigration’s rule book. That Lucy must serve this 3 month quarantine period before being allowed entry to unite with her happy ever after family.  I giggle at being so thankful to the rules – this may well be a first for me.  Once every day, I ensure I think of the moment when I cycle away from Lucy in England.  To help prepare myself for what’s coming.  I love her so much.  I have no idea how many years it will take me to cycle the globe.  I have no idea if the shot gun pellets inside her are slowly poisoning her as so many have advised me.  Will I ever see her again?

The hill I have to over come to begin the day’s cycling is brutal.  The steepness is much worse than I had imagined in my tent the night before.  This would be a valuable lesson to me in life as the experience turned out to be one of absolute joy.

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The compelling beauty of the landscape envelopes us, nullifying all else which exists in this time.  With such sensory exhilaration, there is no room for attention to the steepness of the road.  In parts, I simply can’t turn the pedals quick enough to keep the bike upright.  So I get off and push the bike up with not a care in the world about having to do so.  It’s a glorious day and I feel good.  I want to remember this hill.  Even though in life I may see an obstacle ahead of me; I cannot foresee all the factors that will contribute to how I will experience this.  The result may well be joy rather than hardship.

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We stop off at a school in Bozyazi and enjoy a great response from the children.  Many are now following our journey online.  The more kids who have the chance to play with Lucy on our journey the better.  Each of these moments plants a seed with the capacity to alter their behavior towards dogs induced by fear.  What stronger way to attempt the change of beliefs than to allow a child to personally experience the opposite truth to what they are being taught by the society they live in.

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We spend the day cycling a coastline untouched by tourism.  This is a new experience for me.  Farm land greets the sea instead of hotels and eateries.  I notice new roads being built and I wonder if such tranquility will last much longer in this area.  Having cycled the touristic developed coastlines of Turkey and now this I am conscious of the negative impact tourism can have.  Not just to the landscape but also to traditions and culture.

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Today I am delighted not to have given up.  There were many moments I had wanted to.  To be here now, experiencing this beauty which probably has the inevitable sell by date that such places of untouched nature have.

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It’s getting close to camping time and a dark cloud is chasing us in the distance. We stop at a road side cafe and are welcomed by the entire staff in recognition of our mode of transport.  I am enjoying roasted chicken when a lady places a neatly folded skirt on my table gesturing it as a gift.  I suddenly become aware of the holes in my clothes, my money bag positioned to hide the ones in my top.

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I notice Lucy has not eaten her dinner which lies on the floor beside me. Strange.  I know she is hungry.  I venture outside to investigate and there is Lucy sitting to attention, guarding her bicycle with another dog facing her a meter away.  Lucy thinks all dogs want to steal her bicycle and she guards it with passion.  It warms my heart that a 10 year old girl who loves riding her bicycle is waiting to be part of her new family in England.

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Love WBG & Lucy xxx

27 thoughts on “Best Cycling Day Ever!

  1. The picture with the road carved into the mountainside reminds me of Big Sur, California. I rode by myself and had to walk many of the hills. My trip was from San Franciso to San Diego, to promote the Organ & Tissue Donor Registry in California. It was a 2-week, >600 miles, and I loved it. You inspire me to do another trip. Keep up the amazing journey!!!

  2. I too always cry when reading your stories. So inspiring. If you’re ever cycling in Swansea South Wales, UK. Look me up. Would love to chat over a drink 🙂

  3. So glad you are still climbing those mountains – be they real or imaginary 🙂 I still don’t know how you are going to put that girl on the plane.

    • Thanks Jean! I am delivering Lucy personally to her new family. Oh God maybe I will be crying on the plane the whole way lol

  4. The compelling beauty of the landscape envelopes us, nullifying all else which exists in this time……..your writing is coming on leaps and bounds. That’s REALLY nice!!!

  5. Chris Davies says:

    So much to admire from your endeavours and pluck that shame’s me(man) to want to take on something similar, bon voyage both.

    • Thank you Chris! I had a thought in my head since I was a teenager that I wanted to cycle the world. I’m 34 now. Took me that long to decide my fear was not going anywhere I just had to attempt it anyway. If you ever want advice on anything I’m here 🙂

  6. anne marie russell says:

    What beautiful photos Ishbell, so glad you are both still enjoying the journey,im so glad the children are seeing dogs for what they are, loving companions that can be your best friend for life, stay safe both of you

    • Thank you Anne Marie 🙂 Yes. The Turkish people are missing out on the absolute joy that showing love and compassion to a dog can bring. And the Turkish people love to love. Reduce the fear and the rest is a natural progression.

  7. Thank you for sharing your journey. I am in a small town in Maine, USA. Each day I follow you and Mike/Bixby. You give me such inspiration and hope for what could become the future of our world, with wonderful people like you reaching out with Love to all those you encounter in your travels. Peace be with you ~

    • Hello Lorraine! Hello Maine, USA 🙂
      Mike and Bixby are on an amazing journey – I look forward to meeting them one day – maybe I can ride some miles with them. My view of the world before this trip was formed from the medias portrayal of it. What is missing from all this is the daily acts of kindness people make each and every day to the world around them.

  8. Glad to see you have had a better day Ishbel. One of my mottoes is ‘All things pass’. Of course the world is a very beautiful place, as are people at heart, I do believe, if one choses to see them that way, and sometimes our perspective is changed by external events that seem harsh or punishing. These ‘events’ and ‘people’ have things to teach us as you are discovering daily. The important thing to remember is that what is inside your head – how you view things – is far more important than anything going on externally. I have said before you are a valiant and kind person, in your heart and in your mind, so external ‘hardships’ can be overcome (resilience/hardiness) with your mind-set and view on life and living (mental focus). I always try to find something to be grateful for each day – big or small – and I write it down – and it really does have a lasting effect on outlook. Have a great day tomorrow, or if not, look for the silver lining in the clouds. Hugs to you and Lucy and wishing angels walk with you. Many are ‘holding space’ for you on your journey. xx

    • Thank you so much Robyn – I absolutely love your feedback. I read you posts many times to fully digest your words and meaning for me. Thank you xxx

  9. The greatest part, for me, in all of this, is seeing the reaction of the children to Lucy. Here in Turkey there is an innate fear of dogs by just about everyone. It is slowly changing for the better but Lucy and you are educating them to the fact that dogs can be such great companions and worthy of love and attention. I think both you and Lucy hit the jackpot when fate brought you together. x

    • That’s the greatest part for me and spending time with Lucy. Turkish people have great respect. When they witness my love for Lucy they give her the same respect I have for her. Think this quality in Turkish people is key to changing attitudes.

  10. Lynda wickett says:

    Im cryIng at your stiry ishbel,the love u and lucy have together is so beautiful,ur such an amazing woman,i dont no any other woman as strong as u,good luck with the rest of ur journey xxxxx

    • Thank you Lynda. We are all going to cry when ‘that’ moment comes. I know everyone here will make the time easier for me with your words of support and empathy and I too will return this. x

  11. Love Following you and lucy….now my friends from norway and the ones I have here in turkey is also exiled about youre adventure. Cant wait to take that Coffee with you 2

  12. Glad to see you decided to carry on.I knew would and Lucy will always be by your side.Safe journey x

  13. love ur blog posts, so many pics! bless Lucy guarding the bike <3

    • I know! It’s so funny! I try to explain to her that the dogs are not going to take her bike away from her or harm it but she doesn’t understand ha ha ha x

  14. Lucy is not young when will she reach her forever home in England?

    • Lucy’s quarantine time does not end until the end of March. I must then get the final documents from the council with her vet Serkan Tarim then book a flight to Istanbul then Belgium. I will then cycle and hitch to England from there. So I would say on a guess mid April.

    • thank you for the reply. I know you will get her there safely as you obviously love her! She will miss you but I know you will find her the best home possible and perhaps be able to visit her when your amazing tour is done. Thank you for saving her and for your beautiful story and photographs
      Ann

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