We left Alanya refreshed, happy and completely ignorant of what lay ahead of us that day. It was to begin with Lucy fighting and would end the same way for me. The road would be the toughest yet but also by far, the most beautiful, causing a continual state of both pleasure and pain.
We did our best to oblige the Alanyan beaches demands for our time and attention until Lucy acted out Ninja Dog. The photo below captures the moment before an almighty fight breaks out between Lucy and this beautiful beach dog on what I decided would be our last beach stop for the day.
In all honesty, it was Lucy baring her teeth first when the dog came close to me to be petted. Not even a breath had passed before both dogs jumped at each other fast forward Matrix style.
Beach dog was bigger and stronger and had Lucy’s ear between it’s teeth and in that moment I was for the first time, so thankful to the person who cut her ears. I kicked the dog halfheartedly with absolutely no effect. I wasn’t willing to hurt the dog to save my dog. Different if a pack were attacking Lucy but not this. I spat the dummy at them both and shouted that they would stop this fight immediately and they would behave when in my company. They stopped instantly, walked away in opposite directions and both lay down. It’s the Scottish accent. No matter which language you speak or which species you belong to a Scottish person shouting at you is downright scary.
I checked both dogs were unhurt before cycling onward, stopping for a snack.
We cycled some more. Many people wanted to be friends with Lucy.
I was really happy when a duck wanted to be my friend.
We passed women on the side of the road baking bread. Of course they offered us samples. We were happy. Life was good.
Then the climbing began.
Lucy likes to pretend she has helped me cycle when we stop …
I like to pretend I’m normal …
I can’t think of cycling such steep hills before and I have cycled the full length of the French Alps and Pyrenees mountains, not to mention the infamous destroyer of cycling souls who dare; the ‘Bealach na Ba’ of Scotland. It was a continual hell of hills and I was cursing the road makers in my mind. Why did they make this road. Why did they not make a flat and straight road? I was absolutely fuming with them. Beauty is more powerful than rage though and these thoughts were replaced when the most superb cycling scenery I had ever encountered entered my vision.
My thoughts were now thankful and I knew I was blessed to witness such magnificence of nature. But the road never left us and these hours were a strange experience of time, so much pain physically but so much pleasure from within.
As the sun left us for that day there was a small incident which resulted in us being surrounded by the Turkish Army. The man in question had pestered the wrong woman that day for the wrong thing. I advised the army as an alternative for my identification they should ‘Google’ my name I-s-h-b-e-l-T-a-r-o-m-s-a-r-i, spelling out the letters. I explained I had left my passport in a hotel, which I actually couldn’t remember the name of but was in Alanya. Again my Scottish accent came to my rescue as there was no denying my home country and the passport I would consequently hold. They took the man away to jail. Neither myself or Lucy were harmed in any way and I would like to give my thanks and admiration to the Turkish Army for how they handled the situation. Their priority was my and Lucy’s well being and I thought they were truly wonderful.
A few hundred yards on I asked the owner of the 24 hour Lokata Market/Restaurant near Gazipasa if I could pitch my tent there for the night. A Turkish family were sitting by the front door finishing off their meal.
They had lived in America for some years and their English was marvelous. They got me soup and tea and arranged my camping spot. They were so friendly and warm and had such a great sense of humor they had me laughing within minutes and I forgot all about the bad experience before.
The father knew my phone charger was broken and in the morning when he dropped his kids off to school he purchased me a charger and delivered it to my tent as a gift.
I was already packing up and we enjoyed more conversation and tea. His wife gave me her ring for my cycling to give me energy. It’s beautiful and I’m still wearing it today. I really hope I meet them again on my return journey I fell in love with this family.
Join us for our next few days of cycling in our next blog post – enter your email in the subscribe box and a copy will be sent to your inbox. Thank you for your support and belief.
Love WBG & Lucy xxx
Ishbel, creator of World Bike Girl, has spent her life on bicycles, from road racing, to velodrome sprinting to cycling the world. She has pedalled across 20 countries solo and promotes commuting by bicycle. Much to the dismay of her friends, she is an avid wearer of socks and sandals.