Roadtrip to Trabzon

There was a grand adventure that happened awhile back, one deemed entirely worthy of telling. But, as my avid followers know and for which I regretfully apologize, my blogs have been few and far between, leaving gaping holes where stories should be. So, as I work to fill up those holes, travel back with me to Trabzon: a place and a trip I would re-live over and over again, starting now with this very blog.

The catalyst to adventure began with an itch; an itch to use up our vacation days and get out of the busy city before it gets busy again. Mountains sounded appealing, as did a little road trip. Putting two and two together, five girls and five guys booked a flight to Trabzon where we would then drive rental cars a couple hours into the Kackar Mountains.

And boy did we drive. And drive and drive and drive. We drove 4 hours to a rest stop where we decided to call our hotel reservation and let them know we’ll be there in about an hour or two. Jesse hung up the phone with a funny grin on his face, then told us the news: we still have 5 more hours to go.

Apparently the route we had mapped was a trail for herding cows. Oops. Unless we decided to wrangle and ride, the less direct and only other way to get to our destination was a curving 5 hours around steep mountainside roads.

Well, we said we wanted a road trip, so a road trip was what we got!

Gulping down buckets of hot, watery Nescafe, we got back into our sparkly white Fiat rentals and began scaling the twisting heights.

The sun set and the stars came out. Pitch black country skies twinkled brilliantly above us, the bright moon guiding our way round and around and around…

“Where’s the road? I don’t know. You go that way, we’ll go this way. See if you can find it, then meet back here.” Yeah, when directions are incorrectly mapped we were left with no other option. Eventually we found a visible road and continued on.

Tired and hungry and wild from sitting, we stopped to stretch our legs at sight of a tiny mountainside cafe. Was there a bathroom? Around the corner- here’s the key. Oh great, no light. Taking turns, we held up the iphone so the flashlight app could shine over the top of the bathroom walls pleasantly placed in a trashy alley.

Hungry, we inquired about food; our only dinner selection was called Bomba, and it was indeed as dangerous as its name! Grilled sandwiches with egg, chillies, mayonnaise, peppers, sausage, and ketchup. A bomb of greasy goodness whose fragrant presence traveled with us the entirety of the roadtrip…

Although our cars were filled with plenty of gas, it wasn’t the kind to make the engine run. When we stopped to fill-up the tanks, there happened to be some music playing. Of course, we casually started dancing. Entertained by the group of 10 Americans dancing outside of a gas station, the music turned up louder and we got indicating smiles from the workers inside. Pretty sure this would be a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence for this crew.

We called the hotel again to tell them our whereabouts, to which they kindly offered to find us a closer hotel to sleep at– the roads that were still ahead of us shouldn’t be driven at night. Thankful to not risk our lives more than we already had, we found our lodgings and made plans to head out the rest of the way in the morning.

Wow. Day one of adventure was a grand success, and it was only just the beginning…

 

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