While we only had one couple stay with us, December saw us meet up with the largest number of cycle tourists in Istanbul to date. Most of the people we met were taking their journey slowly and trying to delay moving into colder regions for as long as they could. Here are the people we met:
Matt and Debs are cycling towards Africa with the aim of reaching Ethiopia and then figuring out the rest of their route onwards from there. They had followed the Rhine and Danube rivers through Europe and were busy arranging for re-supplies of gear and deciding whether to risk getting a Syrian visa on the border or not when we met them. Since leaving Istanbul they have followed the southerly coast towards Antalya from where Debs will head home to the UK for a few days to secure their Syrian visas.
Follow their trip at: www.ontheroadwithatoad.blogspot.com
James Rathbone and his cycling partner Stu had been in Istanbul for a long time before our paths crossed on a wet afternoon where we visited the Istanbul Decathlon store together. James and Stu were staying on Princes Island with regular ferry trips into Istanbul city for busking. With the replacement of Stu’s bike, a couple of new cookers and two of the most stylish ponchos I have seen they managed to escape the clutches of Istanbul city life and continue on with their adventures east towards Georgia and Iran.
Follow their trip at: theadventuresofjimmyrathbone.blogspot.com
Via a post on the Warmshowers website we discovered Julien & Michelle a couple cycling like ourselves towards South East Asia but via Central Asia rather than our more northerly route. They started their journey from Paris in August and had also decided to spend the winter in Istanbul. Since meeting them we have swapped many stories, enjoyed leisurely bike rides together and enjoyed exploring the city together. Its great to have other people with similar aims and interests to spend time with and ease the passing of the dreary winter months in Istanbul.
Follow their trip at: www.worldbybicycle.com
It feels like an age since we met Mike Quinlan in October and since then he has completed a round trip through central and southern Turkey and flown onto his next stop India. While he was in Istanbul we met up for a farewell dinner and put him in touch with Stu (mentioned above) and another cyclist William Clifford. Mike was looking to lighten his luggage before heading to India and was able to recycle some of his winter gear to Stu and Will.
Follow his trip at: www.crazyguyonabike.com
The last cyclist we caught up with was Rob McIntyre who is cycling from John O’Groats in Scotland to Cape Town. He was in Istanbul for a break from cycling and to spend some time with his wife who had travelled out from the UK form Christmas and New Years. Rob has an interesting road ahead of him as he tries to race the winter weather across Turkey before he heads into Syria, Egypt and then down the East Coast of Africa.
Follow his trip at: www.cyclingthelongwaydown.com