Rize: Surrounded by tea fields

Not the most beautiful spot - but we were happy to have a dry and safe shelter for the night

Not the most beautiful spot – but we were happy to have a dry and safe shelter for the night

The road to Rize was flat and we cycled through tea fields. It was harvest season and we saw many people working in the fields. After one rainy night in the tent behind a gas station we made our way to Rize. We stopped for a breakfast break and ran into Isa, an English teacher who invited us for lunch and to his office, where he introduced us to his students and his partner Mehmet “the media man”.

It is raining ... and raining ... and raining.

It is raining … and raining … and raining.

We talked for a couple of hours and we realized how our ideas were very similar. Mehmet is a bird watch photographer and knows a lot about photography software, he gave Roberto a couple of software programs and a new USB stick. We cannot express our gratitude after that. Both of them were very nice people and with only a couple of hours of spending time together with them we grew found of them.

And so we left to Pazar were our friend Ömer was waiting for us just outside of town. We arrived with him and put all our stuff behind his truck. We rode 10 km to the center of the city and left our things in his uncle’s apartment. He let us know with hands and feet that where we are going we do not need anything but our pyjamas.

Ömers mountain refuge, having dinner with friends

Ömers mountain refuge, having dinner with friends

We took them and we rode (by car) up to a chalet in the mountains, just 13 km away from the sea. Here Ömer and his friends prepared chicken and rice and we laughed a lot. There were only men and I did feel a little nervous for the fact that we were drinking some beers, but the truth was that Ömer and his friends proved to be great gentleman. For a long time we could not enjoy complete silence at night and that night we slept like babies. When we woke up breakfast was ready. We stepped out of the cabin and enjoyed the wonderful view. We could see the sea, the tea fields on the hills around and even a nearly 4000 meters high mountain with snow. There were a few other houses. We took a walk around and visited his neighbors.

The calmest night so far

The calmest night so far

They were all helping each other to construct new houses, cutting tea and preparing food. We spend the day with Ömer, his family and friends. In the afternoon Ömer took us with Tahsin and his family. Tahsin studied ship engineering and had visited Mexico in one of his ship trips. In Pazar it is common to meet sailors who have visited far places by sea. Tahsin offered us to stay in his home for the night. We even had dinner with his parents. The next day we met with Ömer and Tahsin for breakfast.

By 8 am we were already coming closer and closer to the border. I think if we got up that early every day we could get really far in a single day. We decided to camp one last time in Turkey, eat my favorite food, Çiğ Köfte (raw minced meat with Bulgur and spices eaten in Tortilla with lemon juice and lettuce) and say goodbye to a land that had given us so much.

Short break

Short break

About 18 km from the border we ran into 3 young men that were struggling to fix their bicycle, they had a chain problem. We helped them fix their problem with our tools and amateur expertise and then we followed them to what would be our last great night in Turkey. The sky was clear and blue, the weather beautiful and the place secure. We camped in a picnic area with a beach of its own. We swam in the sea and ate Cig Köfte and BBQ chicken with a group of Turkish people that gave us so much to eat that we could have exploded. In the afternoon we experienced one of the most beautiful sunsets we have ever seen together.

It was very romantic and it made us remember why we were doing this: to discover how beautiful the world is, and how many wonderful people live in it. We slept nice and comfortable.

Surrounded by tea fields

Surrounded by tea fields

The next day we woke up early and the guard of the place invited us for breakfast, then a group of high school students hang out with us for a while. After exchanging e-mails we were ready to go.

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  1. I am due to go to Trabzon on Friday and from there to Rize – Really looking forward to it and hope to get lots of photographs like your first one.

    • Tasting Travels Team Tasting Travels Team says:

      You are going to have so much fun Natalie. Thanks for following us up. If we can help you in any way let us know.

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