Which Way to Turn?

Trip Start May 22, 2009
Trip End Feb 16, 2010

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Where I stayed
Okan's Place

Flag of Turkey  , İzmir,
Sunday, November 29, 2009

Getting to be an expert at getting lost in different countries.  Takes some practice, but I’m getting better and better as this trip continues.  It wasn’t for want of trying though.  I must have asked in almost every store in town yesterday for a map.  The only ones I could find were full country maps with only the largest of roads shown.  The one I finally settled on has a scale of 1:1 750 000 - we might as well be using a globe!  The last map we used was 1:300 000 and it wasn’t quite as good as we usually like. 

All the places I’ve looked before failed.  Tourist shops, book stores, grocery stores, gas stations, junk stores, school supply stores.  Where else could I look?  I even tried a few car rental agencies thinking that when giving cars to tourists maps might go well, but apparently not! 
People are certainly kind enough through.  Shop owners repeatedly showed me the same bad mps over and over again touting it’s desirability.  At one gas station I found a faded tourist map in the window, and when I asked where I could get one, the man shook his head, but went to his car and brought out an extra map he had floating around.  The woman at the car rental place did the same pulling a miniscule version out of her purse.  Very helpful, but still not what we needed. 

We’re experienced world travelers now.  What do we need a map for? 

Setting off, upon arrival at the first junction there was a looming ‘no bicycles’ sign on the entrance to the highway.  And none of the other directional signs showing names of towns matched anything on our maps.  Which way would lead to a better road?  Which was going the way we wanted?  Who knows!  Seems as though you need to be born and raised here to know which way to turn. 

We decided to head towards the coast and try following the water.  It worked well for us in the Peloponnese, so it might work here…

Went through a cute little town and saw a sign for a campground!  But the further we cycles away the more disheartened we became.  Not quite a main coast road, this road got smaller and smaller and more and more filled with potholes until it ended at a dead end along the water.  Where were the motels, restaurants, and sea-side campgrounds that were advertised on the various signs I followed?   There was what looked to be one private residence and that was all

We must have stood around bewildered long enough led the dog to bark enough to alert someone inside.  Turns out there are no coastal roads and we’ll have to backtrack to Cesme and try to find an old road that shadows the bike-banning highway. 

But that something that can be worried about tomorrow.  Now we’re being led through a property to have tea while listening to booming Turkish music and watching the sun glint off the waves. 

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