Black Sea Coast

Trip Start Aug 15, 2007
Trip End Jun 01, 2012

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Flag of Turkey  , Turkish Black Sea Coast,
Monday, August 18, 2008

The Pontic Mountains that run along the Turkish coast of the Black Sea help create the wettest area within the country... having warm and wet summers with showery, moderate winters... topped off with thick cloud cover and fog possible throughout the year... No wonder it is the fabled realm of the Amazon tribe of women warriors, the land where Jason and his argonauts captured the golden fleece and where many of the mountain peoples of Turkey continue to practice the old ways... with the sounds of native bagpipes and local drums echoing through the valleys...

We had been wanting to get up to this green region for some time... and decided that we would spend time in a few coastal villages... swimming and taking in the scenery... We ended up doing just that... nestling into a smallish village of a few hundred... boat builders and fisherman... parking our van on the coast... and took in the isolated lifestyle of the locals...

We ended up heading east along the sea... driving the long and windy road that dipped, dove and twisted it's way along the coast... rising into the clouds... and out again as we skirted the edge of the bluish-black water... through tiny villages... At one point we stopped to ask for gas... in what seemed like a good sized village... they looked at us in a confused manner... and told us that the town about 2 hours up the coast was the nearest to get gas at... Unable to cut my speed... or not go uphill... which sucks gas pretty quickly... we watched the meter drop to 0 on our uphill climbs and rise to 1/2 a tank on our descents... in a constant state of confusion as to how much gas we really had left... after about an hour we hit a short mountain valley... leveling off for a few minutes... and were able to get a good reading... not enough or maybe just enough!... we ended up making it to Doganyurt... gassed up and swore we would never forget the lesson of always having a full tank... if possible... when in rural Turkey...

We were very happy to have placed two new tires on the front of the van... for many sections of the road are as treacherous as we have seen... at one point I joked that if we drove off the edge... we would at least be able to take in a sit com episode before we hit the bottom... free-fall style... that is if we had a TV in the van... one frivolity that we will not be buying anytime soon... much to the distress of the boys...

The forest and rocky coast of the Black Sea reminded us of many places... but not Turkey... it is often described as causing many travelers to feel like they are in Switzerland... and in some ways we could relate... but feel it is more wild and less tamed... for most travelers... locals and foreigners alike head to the Aegean or Mediterranean coastline... instead of the Black Sea... and with cleaner water... and warmer temps... who can blame them... but for those who want a more rugged and isolated location... where the local culture lives on... it will not disappoint...
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