What better way to commence your day than to discover adorable cute puppies with their mommy! Then to cycle past children and have them running after to meet Lucy. A blessed little morning!
Today’s panoramic back drop to our cycling is once more beautiful. And once more I am fatigued, the legs not favoring the turning of pedals.
No more than 10 miles from the day’s starting point, I spot a patch of grass and decide to be a slave to my body and obey it’s convincing’s. I lay a blanket on the grass and lie down under a sign flashing the petrol station’s fuel prices to it’s passing trade. Oblivious to any wonder we may cause we sleep for 2 hours. A spot of rain hits my forehead. I wake up and I’m ready to own the day. I then realize it’s bird poo that woke me up.
Forehead wiped and back on the bike. I pass a group of school boys chatting next to their motorbikes. It’s too absurd and outrageous for my British eyes to witness such a young age riding motorbikes and I laugh because I don’t know any other suitable reaction. Within minutes the boys are screeching past me doing lots of cool and dangerous looking tricks at high speed. I am cheering, laughing and loving the show they are putting on for me. Then my situational awareness returns which had been blinded by such alluring jeopardy. My stunt men were barely 13 years of age and none were wearing helmets. I scolded myself into adequate shame and continued with sobriety.
Reaching Mersin before nightfall was my misjudgment completely. I imagined a little sea side town when I had viewed it’s dot on the map. With just under 1 million people I had imagined wrongly. Night time is advancing, the concrete jungle is getting denser and I realize the possibility of such a mistake. When caught out by night and a city, I prefer to sleep on a bench rather than in a tent. I feel more ready to jump and fight or jump and run when I’m escaping the baddies in my mind. But the forecast is for rain. I know no hotels will take me with a dog so we head to the beach. I discuss my situation with a cafe’s employees and pitch my tent on the beach next to their entrance. Later a Kurdish man arrives who I assume is the cafe’s owner due to a great welcoming and his fussing over myself and Lucy’s contentment. He insists I re-pitch the tent inside the cafe’s garden when closing time comes for ensured safety.
I realize that night that our Kurdish friend is not the owner. He is the person sleeping on the floor of the cafe because he has no where else to go. The next day I leave the cafe before it opens and I do not get to hear his story or thank him profoundly. He remains in my thoughts, even today, that such a nice man is sleeping on a hard floor of a cafe.
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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.