We have embraced the opportunity to keep well-showered, sleep in comfortable beds, become far too used to having easy access to a flushing toilet and hot water on tap, sore bums and aching legs have recovered, panniers have been emptied, cleaned and the contents assessed to determine whether we've brought things with us that are surplus to requirement and need to be returned to the UK (yes, a few unnecessary items had sneaked in somehow!). Clara and Dorothy have been given the 'once over' and are both in tip-top shape once more (to be fair to them, they have behaved majestically so far). For anyone considering a similar cycle tour, both Ashley and I would highly endorse the Surly Long Haul Trucker (without wanting to sound too much like a Surly salesman!).
In short, Ashley and I are very much ready to get back on the road!
We've spent hours poring over maps of Turkey, Iran and Central Asia; planning different routes based on whether or not we will be able to cycle through Iran. We've also been making good use of the hotel's internet to find out the latest visa news from travel forums. Whilst the internet is often a wonderful tool, it can also be an incredible time waster and sometimes a simple question can yield a myriad of results containing information of questionable reliability!
On Tuesday we leave Bulgaria and enter Turkey where we plan to spend the next 7 weeks. Our excitement levels have jumped up a notch as we leave Europe behind and prepare for the next stage of our journey. The visa application process is one that has tested our patience somewhat...and I'm sure there will be a few hair-tearing-out moments yet to come as we struggle to comprehend the senselessness of all the red-tape! Sometimes it feels as if certain countries are trying to actively discourage tourists from visiting their country...especially those of us travelling by bike!
For now though, we can simply thank Bulgaria for being fabulous and treating us so well and play the 'visa waiting game'. We expect to hear about our Iranian visa in around 2 weeks' time and until then, we will try and forget about it and simply enjoy Turkey and all the wonders (and mountains) that it has to behold!
Bring on the kebabs!
Love and hugs. X