TURKEY PART 5 – THE BLACK SEA

SUMELA

We are slowly reaching a point where we start being the attraction for the locals instead of us searching for tourist attractions. There are no more campers, no more vans and no more 4×4’s with roof top tents. The only contact we have with other people is with locals or Turkish people who moved to Holland or Germany. Totally enthusiastic they come to our car when they see the Dutch license plate. They’re interested in where we are going and they always ask what we think of beautiful Turkey. They like our enthusiasm to explore another side of Turkey, that part that remains unknown for a lot of people. This is a different kind of Turkey, no tourists or too many people on a small part of the beach, no bars and clubs. This is different and without a doubt a beautiful and special experience.

Borabay

From Borabay we drove up to KhumbetEnjoying a few days at the Black Sea, visit a few cities and sleeping at the beach. This is what we had in mind. But first we had to make a plan of what we wanted to visit. This is not so easy as it sounds, Turkey is immense. On the internet we tried to find out what would be the nice spots to visit, but easier said than done. There is not a lot written on the internet about a road trip through the northern part of Turkey, fortunately Tom’s sister has a friend with roots in Turkey. After a few WhatsApp messages and a self-drawn map by Dani, our route plan was finished, ready to go. Excited we drove to the Black Sea. There it started to rain and unfortunately it didn’t stop raining.

KHUMBET

Stunning views along the way to Khumbet

We planned our route from Amasya via lake Boraboy to Khumbet. Khumbet is a small remote village on a plateau. From what we’ve read on the internet the views should be amazing. On our way to Khumbet we decided to stop somewhere and buy lunch. We pulled over at a bakery in a small town and immediately we were reminded about the fact that we were probably one of the few tourists visiting this part of Turkey. Dani tried to buy a bread, but this was not possible before she first had a photo shoot with all staff members in front of the oven, posing with bread in her hands, without bread, pretending she’s taking out a freshly baked bread etc. After this intermezzo Dani bought two sandwiches and two Turkish specialties for the astonishing amount of 0,75 euro cent. Fun shopping in this part of Turkey.

KHUMBET

The never quite Turkish villages, Khumbet

At noon we arrived in Khumbet. Like in other towns, large or small there is enough life on the streets. We walked a small round in the center and drove up to the viewpoint. What we had suspected, when we drove up, turned out to be true, no view at all except for clouds. We decided to leave Khumbet behind us and drove to Giresun, a small city situated at the Black Sea coastline. Dani read on the internet that there would be a lot of possibilities for camping in this area. When we got closer to the beach the sky did not clear, it only got hotter which resulted in very high humidity. However, following the internet you could pitch your tent easily at these beautiful beaches. They only forgot to mention that you can’t reach these beaches by car. Just a minor problem for us. So we decided to look for a campsite. After driving a bit around we found one. Maybe the word campsite is a bit to romantic, but it was a place to sleep, we had electricity and we were just a few meters from the sea.

KHUMBET

Khumbet

It stayed very warm with an incredible high humidity. We did nothing, read a book, stayed at the beach and looked up some information about the rest of our road trip through Turkey. At night it started to rain and it got less warm. Unfortunately it was still raining in the morning, we packed our stuff, in a short window with no rain and we left for Tirebolu. When we got here it was still raining, we didn’t see much of this city, only the main road where we drove through. We went further to Trabzon, a city with about 328.000 inhabitants. For football lovers, this is the city of Trabzon Spor. It had stopped raining and we saw our chance to see something of this city. We walked around and were surprised of how modern the city and her people are. We ate something and did our grocery shopping, after that we drove further to Sumela.

Sumela

Sumela monastery

Sumela is famous because of her monastery, due to this monastery this place is crowded with tourists every day. The complex is nestled in a steep cliff at an altitude of about 1200 meters facing the Altindere valley. We easily found a spot to sleep for the night and it was only 5 PM so we decided to head a bit further to explore more of the area. We drove up into a small road and the adventure started. After half an hour we had the feeling that we already had reached Kazakhstan, so much wide open areas. It was an extremely beautiful and unexpected landscape. A totally different side of Turkey that we hadn’t seen until now. The roads were not existing in our gps and we passed villages of which we never thought they would still exist. It was like time had never passed here. It was also very cold like we had changed seasons, in seconds it had become winter. The difference in temperature compared with a few hours ago in Trabzon was enormous, it was minimum 20 degrees colder here. So we didn’t walk, we drove around, we saw a lot of cows and other animals and we only saw a few people.

SUMELA

Villages in the middle of nowhere

SUMELA

Kazakhstan feeling in Turkey

That night it was raining again, luckily we found a spot to sleep with these picnic houses with a roof, so this night we could sit outside and not get wet. The next morning we drove back to Trabzon to find a spot with internet. We had a quick stop at a car garage, our heat shield was loose and they took it off, nothing to worry. We were planning to drive to Uzongöl but first we needed to know if it was not raining over there. When we found internet we also found out that it would be raining in Uzongöl for the next two weeks, not really worth the four hour drive. So our next destination would be the Kaçkar mountains, the wettest mountain area of Turkey. Maybe not a perfect solution, but we were both looking forward to the Kaçkar mountains for a very long time. We couldn’t miss this. We drove out of rainy Trabzon into the more rainy Kaçkar mountains.

For more pictures click here.