Samsun: The end of our trip

The last time we posted pictures only, here are the stories we promised to tell.


After Istanbul we cycled along the black sea till a small town called Alapli (see Maps for the exact route). We didn’t like cycling along the black sea, too much traffic and nature is not that beautiful, so we decided to turn inland. Near Bolu we met Øyvin, a Norwegian cyclist. The first impression was that he is a strange man. He looked as if he has not been washing himself for some weeks (which was true) and he seemed to talk in an odd way. But after an hour we were laughing about his jokes and enjoying his company. We decided to share the road for some days and so we did. Øyvin not only had interesting and funny stories to tell but he also is a master in making campfires and cycling on a very bad and old bike. We camped together with him on salt lake Tuz Gölü and visited the beautiful area Cappadocia with Ihlara valley and the underground city Derinkuyu. Derinkuyu is a very special place. The city has been built down into the ground, not into a hill or a mountain, just down in the middle of a flat and wide valley. The hallways are very small and narrow and go down approximately 60 m. Men start building this city in the 8th-7th century B.C. and there have been living 20,000 people together with their livestock and food stores. While walking around in these underground hallways feelings of astonishment, disbelief and happiness arose. On our last night with our dear friend Øyvin we have been sleeping in a cave in Cappadocia which completed our visit of this area.

Wintertime and illnesses

Till then we have been very lucky with the weather. We had sun and about 18 degrees everyday. The nights have not been cold and there has been no wind. Øyvin’s fires kept us warm from the outside and çay (Turkish tea) kept us warm from the inside.  After we left Cappadocia we slowly felt winter coming. We had 3 days of rain, fog and about 3 degrees up in the mountains to the north. Those days have been tough for all of us. Ben had to wear a lot of clothes, including gloves, which enabled him to play in the trailer. We could not let him sit in his little chair in the front of Petra’s bike. As parents we find this situation unacceptable for our child. At the same time we found out that we had a parasite called Giardia, which caused diarrhea and made us limp. Peter took some medicine which made him limp and weak too. We took some more resting days but finally decided to descend to the black sea again.


We have been invited by Ali to visit him at his parents house in Samsun. Ali is a very attentive and friendly man and his family was very hospitable. We had deep conversations, we heard warm stories and listened to the beautiful music Ali is able to make. This family has been our best encounter with Turkish people and culture. Thank you so much Ali.

The end

Samsun is the unexpected end of our trip. We didn’t make it through Asia but flew back to Europe. We have some big news we have been quiet about:

Somewhere in the middle of Turkey we found out that Petra is pregnant. We thought about continuing our trip and get the baby wherever we are. But the coming wintertime and the visa problems we had to face through Asia let us decide to fly back. Furthermore we think that traveling like we like to do is not possible with two little children. We will have to wait a few years, till they can cycle themselves.


We have cycled till Samsun, Turkey. We cycled 4269 km in 74 cycling days and 15 resting days.


9 thoughts on “Samsun: The end of our trip

  1. Congratulations! I read your blog through Feedly so I have been a lurker, but just wanted to extend my warmest wishes to the three of you for an amazing accomplishment and best of luck for the remainder of the pregnancy!

  2. Hello dear friends ! What news ! Shame on us, because we didn’t send any mail since your departure, but you can be sure that we read very attentively each mail from you… We were very interested by your luggage’s pictures before leaving, too ! We hope you are not so sad to finish your trip… It is not an end, actually, but really, a new departure ! Wahou !!! 2 children ! Wonderful ! You already made a so nice way… Well, hopping you will find a nice life in your country : tell us, when you have time and desire to. Lots of good thoughts to you ! Kisses and love. Rachel and Guillaume, with Jeanne, Claire (who love watching at the videos when you visited us !) and Agathe.

    Date: Wed, 11 Dec 2013 20:03:53 +0000 To:

  3. Gefeliciteerd beide!! Wat een cool nieuws!

    Ben met kerst en oud en nieuw in Nederland, lijkt me leuk om even langs te komen (als jullie op dat moment in Nederland zijn).


  4. Proficiat voor jullie alle drie. Geniet maar van de trip die jullie hebben afgelegd. Nu de rust vinden om het zwangeren te genieten.

    Gr. Hanny en Rien

  5. Congratulations on all points of the trip. Thanks for all the splendid blogs. And back to dear boring old Utrecht. Love from David and Ann-Charlotte. PS do you want to borrow our Burley d’Lite trailer? 2 seats – useful.

  6. Hee lieve mensen,

    Wat een grote wending voor jullie droom ! Net on de road en dan nu een nieuwe droom in de maak 🙂 Julllie zijn er druk mee hahahha. Voelt het als een afbreuk aan jullie droom of juist helemaal niet?

    Wij zijn benieuwd hoe het verder gaat, en hoe het verder gaat met de travelbug. Blijven ullie updates doen via deze blog? We hopen dat de emoties die het allemaal teweeg kan brengen zijn plaats kunnen krijgen. Geniet ze !

    Liefs, Isa & Youri

  7. Lieve Peter, Petra en Ben
    Gefeliciteerd met jullie nieuws! Ik hoop dat jullie ook van je leventje in Oostenrijk kunnen genieten. Groetjes, Carla.

  8. Dear Petra, Peter & Ben,

    Big Congratulations!!!! We received your e-mail with news of your pregnancy on my birthday. It made me think of that old song by The Byrds:

    To everything – turn, turn, turn There is a season – turn, turn, turn And a time for every purpose under heaven

    A time to be born, a time to die A time to plant, a time to reap A time to kill, a time to heal A time to laugh, a time to weep


    Returning to Holland and raising a family doesn’t mean the end of your cycle touring days but perhaps just a pause for some time – it’s just not the right season at the moment …..

    We could totally sympathise with you about having giardia, Lins and I had in it Sth America and it can really make you suffer. Hopefully, that’s all cured now and your energy levels are returned.

    We have just had our N.Z. family across here for 3 weeks. Having a 3 and a 5 year old in the house certainly changes the dynamics. They are very energetic kids and will go non-stop from 5.30am until 7pm. Fortunately the weather has been very good, if perhaps a bit too hot, but it was perfect for swimming at pools and at the beach. Australia has just had it’s hottest day on record across the country and here it reached 42 degrees with a very high level of humidity as well so that was an uncomfortable day. Now the sub tropical thunderstorms have started which I love: a build up of heat during the day and a cracking thunderstorm with lots of lightning in the evening.

    Our Byron Bay family has been around and about as well: the two small girls (aged 8 and 10 years) have been up to stay a couple of times and tomorrow it’s the turn of the 15 y.o. boy. Finn is into golf at the moment (usually it’s cycling, fishing and surfing) so I’m going to have to wash the mould off my golf clubs and see if I can still connect with a golf ball!

    We are still undecided about where and what we’ll do this year. We’re keen to have a look around Taiwan, would like to return to India, have thought about the Great Divide Trail in the US and lots of other options but nothing has gelled as yet. We both have very, very itchy feet though so something will happen for sure!!! Friends have just returned from a holiday in Rishikesh and we’re planning to catch up with them soon for a chat, we have only spent time in the more mountainous areas in India as yet. Last year we did a couple of wonderful short touring trips from home, we do live in a beautiful area and it’s great to have the option to do such nice tours from your back door.

    We’re both thinking of you all, sending big sunny bundles of love and hugs and wishing you an extraordinary 2014, Margy & Lindsay Date: Wed, 11 Dec 2013 20:03:46 +0000 To:

  9. Felicidades a los tres!!! Otro bebé, hermanito o hermanita para Ben, es una fantástica noticia!!
    Nosotros seguimos en nuestra casa en Croacia, hemos pasado bien el invierno y ya estamos plantando frutales y comenzando el huerto.
    Seréis bienvenidos cuando queráis volver a visitarnos aquí, en Zagorska Sela.
    Os deseamos que seáis muy felices!
    Un fuerte abrazo de Inma, Aljosa y Biel.

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