I’ve arrived in Istanbul’s sea front suburb of Buyukcekmece where I am to meet my Warm Showers host for tonight. (www.warmshowers.org)

I’m enjoying a rare treat of coffee in a cafe rather than my usual coffee in a bus shelter.  A fierce headwind and relentless rain are to blame for this extravagance.  ‘A wee treat will make you feel better’.  It used to be a dress or new perfume.  Now it’s a cup of coffee in a cafe.  How times have changed.

Tomorrow I will reach the centre of Istanbul and I have a few days to make my decision as to which way I will cross Turkey into Iran.  I had of course assumed the whole of Turkey was warm in winter.  My wind burnt face proves I was seriously mistaken.

Options for consideration:

1) Follow the northern route along the Black Sea.  Then through some mountains into Iran.  The locals are advising rain every day and cold temperatures.

2) Cycle to Ankara, then through the middle of Turkey into Iran.  The locals are reporting massive mountains, minus ten degrees temperatures and snow.

3) Follow the coast of Turkey south towards Antalya and Adana and into Iran via Turkeys south east.  The locals are reporting good weather but terrorist activities and ‘hot spots’.

It’s so difficult because there are three to choose from.  If there were only two I could flip a coin.

Any thoughts or advice gratefully received.

Thanks

World Bike Girl

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.