Distance- 28 slow kilometers.
After seeing the great wall we boxed our bikes and managed to get them to the airport; more challenging than it sounds.
Relieved to finally be heading off we realised that we were a little early, our plane wouldnt be leaving for another 8 hours.
The time went faster than we thought and soon enough we were lining up in a Chinese queue... An hour or so later and we were asked to pay four thousand US dollars to check in our bikes... Luckily Shanna had printed out an email she had received from the Etihad hierachy that said bicycles were to be included as normal luggage.
Another hour later and at 2am we were heading off to Turkey. Still too excited to sleep we looked through the in-house movies- an amazıng selectıon...
After a stop off in the United Arab Emirates we landed in Istanbul around 16 hrs later. We made a huge mess in the airport, taking our bikes and assorted gear almost completely dissasembled and putting everything back together again. Two hours later and we were cycling towards Istanbul!!!
Initially cycling into the Turkish capital was a scary affair, traffic flying past us at light speed, and sometimes seeming to only swerve right at the last moment.
But then we found a walking/cycling path that closely followed the bay into Istanbuls old town, the water sparkling with a beautiful turquoise hue, and we stopped many times to admire the crumbling centuries old architecture in the cool evening air.
Whilst looking for somewhere to stay in the narrow picutesque cobblestoned lanes of Istanbuls stunning archaıc former CBD, partly surrounded by a 1500 year old wall, we found a man making kebabs on the side of a little laneway- we stopped to sit on a little pine wicker chair, and ate one of our best meals since...
Sam and Shanna Evans are from Melbourne, Australia