One thing we didn’t mention in our post about Bodrum was the Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey. Demonstrating our usual talent for excellent timing, this important cycle race was in Bodrum on the day we planned to leave and taking pretty well the same route as we had planned for our return journey. As with all important cycle races internationally, the roads were closed so as not to interfere with the event…
Well, we decided to make the most of it. We left our gear in the hotel lock-up and headed to the café on the harbour front where we had taken tea after visiting the castle. It had an excellent view of the starting line. We arrived nearly two hours before the race was due to leave. They were perfectly happy for us to sit there over a total of four glasses of tea and two small bottles of water.
It was fascinating to watch the barriers being put up, the adverts (for the TV) being attached to them, the bicycles arriving on top of cars, the cyclists warming up. We were right next door to the hospitality facility and probably saw many famous people we failed to recognise. The café was filmed by one of the many TV crews in attendance.
Shortly after midday, the cyclists were off!
On our way back to the hotel we noticed that the roads were still very blocked – tailback following the closure. We found another place to drink tea and left Bodrum in a leisurely manner at around half past two. We stopped off just before Lake Bafa for tea and gözleme then again, near the lake itself, for a photo opportunity.
About thirty km out of Soke we ran into traffic again. Everyone was very good humoured and chatty and, once they knew the tail back was due to the cycle race, quite understanding. We waited at the side of the road and, really, encountered remarkably little traffic on the way home.