Downhill, baby! After pushing our bikes up some severely graded hills yesterday – a climb that left our calves aching even after a good night’s rest – today we reaped the rewards with a eye-watering descent that lasted all the way into Antalya. And a good thing too since we were running close to empty on food so lunch was looking sparse if we had to eat up in the mountains. It was a wonderful feeling coming into Antalya; first seeing it spread out beneath us as we emerged from pine forests to views of the city and beach and then coming into streets we knew and didn’t have to think about to navigate our way around.
Cycling into a city is one of the more stressful parts of travelling by bicycle for us since we almost always get lost. The other lovely part of our day was arriving at our hotel to find Friedel’s bike part waiting for us. We quickly installed the new brakes and gear shifters and they work a treat. All ready for the next 20,000km or so. The rest of our afternoon was filled up with boring but necessary tasks. We changed some money into U.S. dollars in hopes of getting into Syria, where apparently a few dollars are good to have. We also hunted around for bus tickets to take us as close to the border as possible, since we decided the coastline between here and Syria is not so interesting to us and filled with its fair share of motorways. We hope to get a night coach from Antalya but first we have to do some more research and see who will take our bikes on board. With luck we should be at the border in a few days and with even more luck we will get a visa! If not, it’s off for a commiseration lap around Turkey’s interior and possibly towards the Black Sea.