Onwards to Istanbul….

In Bucharest Endi was staying with a warmshowers host. We had met her with Endi whilst we were there, for a quick drink in the evening.
She invited us to a beach in Bulgaria to camp for the night.
The beach was on our route and a decent distance from Constanta. Perfect!

We reached the beach by mid afternoon and met up with Elena and her friends.
We swam in the sea, ate at a local restaurant and had a campfire then slept in our tents on the beach. This was a real treat, it was a great day.

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The next morning I was lucky enough to wake up at sunrise (5.30am)
I’ve dreamt of taking a photo like this for years.

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Group photo.

After parting ways we continued along the Black Sea Coast for another 2 days before making our way to the Turkish border inland.
Bulgaria didn’t make it easy for us to leave and the terrain got very steep, however it did provide for some incredible decents and a few nice views!

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We entered Turkey on the morning of 4th June.

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As we approached the first town Endi had a problem with his pedals. Whilst waiting to get them fixed we were given some tea, Cai (chai).

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This happened again when we had a quick kebab to eat. Delicious!

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The next day we carried on eastwards towards Istanbul. 1 main road through the hills and forest. Our last night wild camping together was here.

The last day cycling as a trio was for 70miles. Surprisingly this was our first proper encounter with aggressive wild dogs.
The road also widened out to a 3 lane motorway,
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however this didn’t stop some dogs from having a good old scratch in the middle lane!

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The road then climbed up and over the hill in the photo above.
Halfway up a group of road cyclists overtook. Stubbornly I decided to race them. I managed to beat one of them to the top, which I assume may have knocked their confidence as I was on a fully loaded steel touring bike!!
Their support vehicle, seemingly impressed, handed me a reward out of the window for my efforts, cheers guys!

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15miles before reaching Istanbul both sides of the motorway turned into single file roadworks. I can honestly say this was the worst cycling experience of my life. Literally inches from massive trucks our lives were completely at the mercy of the competence of each driver and there was no escape.
Thankfully we got through.

Upon reaching Istanbul its been a case of relax and unwind, hence the delay in posting. I haven’t done too much as I’m waiting for a friend to arrive in a week.
I’ll update you all of my time here in a fortnight.

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So thats Europe done, next stop, Asia!

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The stats:

Miles cycled: 3000 (4800km)
Countries cycled in: 10
Punctures: None!
Shortest day: 35miles
Longest day: 80miles
Biggest hill: A measly 750m elevation

Favourite scenery : Serbia
Friendliest country: Romania

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I hope you are all well Xx