Day 10

10. May 2000, Bolu to Samsun

After a cold night at the lake of Abant (-1°C) we continue our drive towards the Black Sea. The scenery is again beautiful: We are driving over the high plateaus of Anatolia were lots of farming is done. The day was dominated by waving schoolchildren, cars making light-signals and the Gendarmerie. On the route, local governours have placed police and Gendarmerie (in military uniform) to ensure traffic safety. On some parts of the route there is a "Jandarma" every kilometer, busy noting down our numbers to make sure that all the cars pass their way. The Turkish officials are very friendly, waving and greeting all cars going by. The police are also regulating the slow traffic, so that most of our day is pretty trouble-free. In some towns we are even waved through red traffic lights by police while at the same time they make movements with their hands, telling us to drive slow and carefully.
Not everyone is sticking to that advice though, Turks and rally-participants alike, and we see some pretty adventurous overtaking maneuvers. But anyone with a knowledge of Turkey is already used to this and has learned to adjust. Turkey unfortunately has one of the highest traffic fatality rates in the world and sensible driving is badly required here as a driver cannot expect others to be sensible.
We are again very happy with our results today, getting a three-minute penalty on an uphill tarmac test sections. The uphill sections are difficult for our car as we have a small engine but not many of the big engine cars achieve zero or one minute penalty on this test. We are currently number seven overall and number one in our class, so as absolute beginners we can be more than happy with the results so far, we will see how it goes on...

TC 41: Bolu OUT
TC 42: Tosya Base
24 235.30 km
TC 43: Tosya Summit
32 (3 minute penalty) 12.65 km
TC 44: Boyabat
00 145.50 km
TC 45: Gerze
02 71. 75 km
TC 46: Samsun IN
133.85 km

Overall 28 minutes penalty

The official results can be looked up on this website

Snow-covered mountains

Those who enjoy cleaning their car get a chance to do so almost every hour. Especially our windshield is a good indicator of how intact the Turkish insect fauna is.

Just like these Turkish school-children, Turks along the way show us their enthusiasm, support and hospitality.

The Gendarmerie waving us hello and good bye.

The Black Sea


A TV crew (German ARD and private) is following us until Peking

Time check at Tosya base

What's wrong with this picture?
Well, we are doing about 110 km/h but our speedometer tells us we are doing 0 km/h. After some heavy noise, rattling and spinning of the indicator, we decide to disconnect it. A spare speedometer has been orderd but for now we have to establish our speed by the sound of the engine.

Time check Boyabat is in front of the local headquarters of the traffic police.

The last mountain climb before the Black Sea

Main obstacle on Turkish roads: overloaded trucks, not too many today, though.