Okay, that’s total exaggeration, but you get my drift.
There were many little roads leading off in all directions but I wisely decided to stick to the road that had the big yellow line down the middle of it. At least then all I had to do was follow it back home.
We’re not in Kansas now, Toto.
It was a HOT day, but it was fab whizzing downhill on Seánie.
Not so great going up the blasted hills.
We arrived in the neighbouring village of Kestel. It’s a quaint little place compared to Mahmutlar.
I espied the sea down a side road and we veered off the main path. There was a lovely beach, if you could ignore the rubbish strewn all over the place.
It was invigorating standing in the sea.. The waves were very powerful and nearly dragged me in a couple of times. I almost had a Cinderella moment. There was a pebble caught in my sandal and I had to take it off. A wave came in and swept it away. There was a mad panic to get it back as I didn’t want to have to pedal barefoot back to Mahmutlar.
We headed back home through the village where both Seán Óg and I made new friends!
Two little boys started cycling beside us. I had no Turkish and they had no English but we all instinctively knew that a downhill race was in order! Off we whizzed. Of course I let them win! How cruel do you think I am? I deliberately went slower as the little fella on the back almost did himself irreparable damage as he was practically sitting in the rear mudguard!
At the finishing line I opened my purse and gave them their winnings of a lira each! You should have seen their faces light up. I felt like a cross between Bob Geldof, Mother Theresa and Santa Claus! The two boyos sped off, obviously to tell all the other kids in the village that there was a weird women giving away money. I legged it down the road before I began competing in the juvenile Tour de Turkey!!
Nearer to home I spotted a little shop tucked away at the side of the road. I was in a bucket of sweat by this stage and so I stopped. When the owner slid back the door of the ice-cream freezer I nearly climbed into it! I chose an ice-cream and went to pay for it. Alas I had given my last lira to Lance Armstrong and his brother and all I had was a 20 and a 50 lira note. There was no way that this poor devil would have the change of that. I had a few tiny coins stuck in the bottom of my purse. They were so small that they couldn’t have been worth anything. I prised them out and handed them to him in my open hand. He sifted through them and took a few, indicating that it had enough. There were two coins left (worth about 2 cent, I’d say). I pushed them towards him, indicating for him to take them but he refused. I had paid enough.
He then waved his arms, raced inside and came out with a chair. He placed it in the shade and beckoned for me to sit down and eat my ice-cream in peace.
So there I sat at the side of the road, watching the occasional car or bus as it passed. That’s what I call service.
To be continued....