Our adventure continues, and we are finally taking our motorcycle riding up in the mountains of Turkey, something we knew had to happen to find tea.
Our initial research back home indicated that we would be able to find tea all the way from Fatsa to Rize, with Rise being the creme the la creme of Turkish tea production. However, on the field, we have been presented with a different reality.
On the road, we did, in fact, pass by a small tea plantation, and when I say small, I mean “for private consumption only” plantation, and a tea factory, however, nothing big enough to write home about, and everyone we keep on talking to about tea, sustain what we have seen, pushing us to Rize. But I might be getting a bit ahead of myself here.
On the last episode, we left you guys with a very nice sunset over the Black Sea and a problem with the XT, and that reality has changed!
The XT problem continues to hit us for another day, as we moved from Amasra to Sinop. A trip that was not that long, clocking at around 300kms, but that still took us around 6 hours. We continue not to understand exactly how fast we can go on the Turkish roads, but at this point, we accepted that slow and steady will still get us there, free us from speeding tickets, and keep the fuel consumption down. All good things when you are on a budget.
Still, the little XT660 was struggling the entire way. Shutting down time and time again, getting worse as the day move forward. So many hours on the saddle though gave us time to troubleshoot, test, and with the help of the guys at the xt660forum, we got to a conclusion. I was making the problem bigger than it was. New spark plug and the bike was running like a Swiss watch again! The problem with over preparation? You sometimes forget to KISS - Keep It Simple Stupid!
Sinop got us closer to what we hoped it would be the beginning of our tea adventures, and the further we dive into the country, the more amazed we are with the people. Everyone has been incredibly nice with us, helping in any way they can, offering everything from a smile to a meal, and showing that humanity knows no language barriers when it comes to grace and goodwill.
With everyone being so nice to us, and the tiredness from the first 12 riding days hitting us a bit harder as the no rest days continue to occur, we decided to start taking things slower. We are getting closer to the tea plantations, people are being super friendly, let's enjoy it!
This mentality and our low budget, lead us to a very clear decision. Hotels are nice, but only from time to time as they deplete our bank account, even the cheap us, and the cities are not a place where we feel that comfortable, so finding a camping site up on the mountains was the way to go! Some research on iOverlander, our new favorite app for camping site searches, especially when mixed with some google research, lead us to Livera Kamping, our new favorite place in Turkey.
As we made our way up over narrow and twisty roads, crossing clouds and feeling the polluted air of the cities being left being, we finally saw the sun and blue skies, a sight we had not seen in close to a week, followed by the most beautiful plateau, surrounded by pine trees, grassed fields, and the cutest little huts, all managed by the sweetest couple we have encountered since we left home. Livera immediately became our home away from home as we pitch our tent overlooking the mountains and made the fire to cook our dinner.
What was supposed to be a one or two-night stay ended as a 5-night stay, between rest, off-roading around the incredible tracks and views that surround the camp and light work. Putting miles on the bike is a fantastic feeling, but finding places where people treat you like family and nature welcomes you with open arms is something that is hard to find, hence it deserves to be enjoyed.
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