It feels good to smash another thousand mile marker. Arriving in Trabzon in many ways marks one third of the trip as being complete. I’m exactly 3,000 miles into a roughly 9,000 mile trip and I’ve ridden through 40 of the 121 degrees of longitude that are the namesake of this blog. This is also where the real bureaucracy starts but I’ve hit the ground running by successfully getting an Iran visa, an application process more akin to a lottery.
Another little leg of the journey done and I’m glad to of found out that my fitness hasn’t seemed to have suffered too much despite my 6 week break back in England. I rode just over 400km in four days through fairly tough terrain climbing two passes over 1100m. Not bad at all!
Well I’m finally back on the road and have just finished my first little stint. I momentarily considered changing my route, heading south to Cyprus, but changed my mind yet again after realising the ferry to the island costs almost as much as a flight from London. I’ll save that trip for another day.
Around 50km or so North East along the road from Hargeisa to Berbera, the capital and port city of Somaliland respectively, there is a rocky outcrop that is home to a set of caves and shelters that feature what are considered to be some the best preserved cave paintings in Africa.
Tell someone you are going on holiday to Somalia and you should rightly expect to be called insane a few times. Especially when you mention the fact that you intend to check out some of the desolate beaches that line the Gulf of Aden, the most pirated stretch of water on earth. Now obviously I am not insane (At least I hope that that’s obvious…) and nor do I have some deep desire to be kidnapped by Al Shabab militants. So what’s the secret?
I’m back from my little side trip to the Horn of Africa and will be back cycling out of Istanbul on Monday. In the interim I’ll be putting up a few posts from Ethiopia and Somalia. I’ll keep the text in this post short and sweet and head straight on to the pictures.