Day 14 Saray- Istanbul 140 km

So everyone… This was the FINAL day of our biking trip. I am now in Istanbul and so happy to have made it! We started our last day very early, got up at 5 am and were on the road by 6. We were puffing our way up one of our first hills when Guven told us to pull over.. the unimaginable had happened. On our last day Annas tire had popped, my heart sank along with it as I imagined never making it to Istanbul. We had a bit of work in getting the tire off and fixing it and then putting it back on, the cause of the sudden puncture was apparently a very small piece of glass that had wiggled its way through the now thin, tire. We now noticed while fixing the tire that the spokes of the wheel were coming off, I really couldn’t believe it, Annas bike had been absolutely amazing the whole time and I just couldn’t understand why on the last day it was falling to pieces. We decided that although 3 spokes were loose, we would duct tape them together to prevent them getting more loose and continue as long as the wheels turned. It was about half an hour later that again Guven told us to pull over, I just couldn’t believe that Anna’s tire was flat again. I was just thinking the day before how absolutely wonderful it was that she had not had one single puncture the entire time. Well we changed it again, this time we checked more thoroughly the inside of the tire and found another little piece of glass. We lined the inside of the tire with protective tape and a cut piece of inner tube to protect the new inner tube. Finally it seemed we were back on our way as we cycled onward and… UPWARDS. There were so many massive hills, we kept thinking that this must be the last one every time we puffed up another huge and long hill, but no we werent so fortunate, we were always faced with yet another. Every time we were in a village, a villager would tell us and assure us quite confidently that there was one more of the toughest hills, but after that… Flat all the way to Istanbul. Hmmm we soon discovered that it was because they only knew the next 5 kilometers and had no idea what was ahead. Ah for the optimism of villager life. Our optimism was quickly fading as we were facing an absolutely huge amount of very steep hills and strong headwind. Today was the last day and we had 140 kilometers to get through, this was more than any other of our cycling days. We had been sure we could do it, but now I was starting to wonder, first the bike had set us back on time, but now the hills were incredibly hard. I was having a very sharp pain in my quad, and we were…. just miserable at the amount of effort every hill was taking. We were inspired to know that this was our last day and that we would not have to do this again for…. well hopefully.. forever (just kidding).

At the top of one of our never ending hills we had the most beautiful view of Istanbul on one side and the Black Sea on the other, it was beautiful and we felt that there would be no more hills all the way there… but we were wrong.

Well the wonderful thing is that we overcame them, we made it, we got to Istanbul around 6.30 in the evening, making us on the road for about 12 hours, our longest and hardest day. We looked like filthy little street urchins when we arrived, but we were absolutely happy. I can’t count the times people told me that this was impossible, that we would die or be raped or hurt along our way.. but we made it, we fought and won this battle. Our reward is not just Istanbul, but knowing that nothing is impossible and seeing how amazing life can be when you fight to live your dreams.

Our journey to Istanbul is over, but we are ready for the next challenge whatever it may be, wherever it may be, we know that as long as we have faith and we believe in what we do, its POSSIBLE. Yessss the future is bright, LETS GO.