Our heads were full of the things we'd discussed with John as we boarded the ferry to take us to Canakkale on the other side of the Dardonelles.
Our path today would take us within 5km of the ruins of 'Troy' so we decided that it was a worthy detour, even if we'd heard the city was not as preserved as other ancient cities.
In Canakkale we stopped at a chemist to buy Sam some more antibiotics, tried to find a bike shop (which turned out to be just a department store that sold some cheap bikes) to buy some chain, and grabbed some cheap kebabs before heading towards Ayvalik - our destination to sail to Greece.
It was only 40km from Canakkale to Troy, but harder than we'd expected. After having such a long break to recuperate in China our bodies were feeling the strain of riding every day in strong winds and up steep hills. After one particularly long, steep section we stopped at a restaurant overlooking the mountains and ocean and enjoyed some cold drinks and pide before the final descent to Troy.
We arrived at Troy 50 minutes before closing time and were surprised to see we weren't the only ones arriving so late in the day. The place was still bustling with tour groups and the sun still shone bright (hence the overexposed photos) at 6.30pm!
As we'd heard, the ruins weren't great. And we couldn't make out the buildings the signs were telling us had once stood on those spots. But there was still something magical about walking in a city that dates back to 3000BC and is part of one of the world's greatest legends (although who knows if the city of Troy really existed, and if this spot was even the right one).
Satisfied with our visit, we were ready to leave as the site closed and we headed off to find somewhere to camp.
As we entered Troy we'd been approached by four people offering us various places to camp. They ranged from 5TL to 20TL. We checked out all options but ruled them out for various reasons - roosters that would wake us up, a restaurant with noisy patrons, camping sites right on the side of the road with not even a bush to protect us from the noise... the most expensive place had hot showers and internet but the man was very rude, and insisted on us staying even though we told him it was too expensive and too noisy. He got angry and he and Sam exchanged heated words before we rode off.
We'd decided to find a place to free-camp and were buying supplies when approached by yet another touter. He offered us a camping spot on his property for 5TL - with a toilet and shower - so we went to check it out. It wasn't great, but he was so friendly and seemed to really want/need us to stay. So we relented. Before we'd managed to set up though the guy mentioned he had a group of German archiologists from the ruins coming for dinner and we knew we had to leave - we would get no sleep! He fought against us, told us he would ban music and tell them to be quiet, but we were firm. We needed sleep! So we thanked him profusely and left.
Sam had noticed an area next to the official Troy site which he wanted to investigate so we headed back that way, and within 10 minutes found the perfect spot - hidden from the road, in an empty field outside of the fence of Troy. That night I was again plagued by the midnight monsters, this time they howled like a pack of wild dogs...
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Sam and Shanna Evans are from Melbourne, Australia