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I HAVE THE POWER

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Gerze, someone has told me, used to be a very beautiful town. That was until it burned down a few decades ago. It was subsequently rebuilt, and now almost all of it looks newish and rather uninspired. After taking a little walk down to the harbor, I concur. Gerze has an awesome geographic location, and […]


winding up

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I wake up in the mosque, and because mosques usually don’t have any heating I burrow myself deeper in the sleeping bag and close my eyes again. When I finally leave, the sun is out and the road goes winding up the hills. It’s about five kilometers to the actual village of Yenikent, but since […]


the existence of Yenikent

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Nobody in Yakakent seemed to know Yenikent. Where are you going? they would ask me, and when they heard that I was planning to go to Yenikent, they would stare into space. Yenikent, right! There was a place by that name, somewhere. Actually, Yenikent isn’t that far from Yakakent. If you go by car it’s […]


obese street dogs

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Yakakent feels like Gonio. Okay, there is a mosque here and there are a few tea houses, and it’s generally a lot more tame than in Georgia, but the kind of touristy beach-town atmosphere Yakakent has is a bit similar to that of Gonio. This is Yakakent, the relaxed beach-town. I’m here during the off-season, […]


rain and spring invisible

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Finally, a small family-owned guesthouse! I found it last night with the help of the owners of the restaurant where I was having dinner. It was on the fourth floor of an apartment building, and the owners lived two floors down from it. It was simple and clean. I wake up feeling refreshed. I really […]


my leaves

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Back to the highway. Back to the noise, back to the sight of cars and trucks thundering in my direction. One thing is different from before Samsun, though: there is considerably less traffic here. The main artery connecting Istanbul and Ankara with the Black Sea region has left the coastline and taken much of the […]


destroyed

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I go outside looking for some mobile data for my phone and a bottle of lens cleaner for my cameras. I get 14 GB of data, and when I ask an optician for cleaning fluid he gives it to me for free. Then I stand around for a while. I like doing that, just standing […]


dark side of the planet

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The night was cold and wet. For some time, there was a dog somewhere in the distance that decided to have a barking match with a pack of jackals. The prayer calls in the morning sounded like ghosts, again. The inside of my sleeping bag was pretty cozy, though. The difficult part is always getting […]


empty homes

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I wake up in a large hotel bed, white linens and all. I brush my teeth and go down to have breakfast. While I’m stuffing myself with potatoes and omelette and casserole and bread and cake and mint tea, I feel very conscious of my scruffy looks and of my plan to walk home. Then […]


a different coast

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So this is what the whole Black Sea coast could have been like? Could have. Would have. Should have. Remember how the highway from the Georgian border almost all the way to Samsun was running basically always right next to the water? Well, not here. Here, in the north of Samsun, traffic is being confined […]


that ugly old fart

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People often ask me about walking and the difficulties that it entails. Physical challenges come up, loneliness, bad dudes, mean animals, illness, or just traffic accidents. But there is one major obstacle that looks a lot less exciting than any of above: it’s that ugly old fart called bureaucracy. For some of the countries on […]


the twelfth day

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Twelve years ago on this day I started my walk. It was the first day, it was also my birthday. I walked for a year, then I stopped. I started writing books. Walked some more. Wrote some more. Time passed. Then I started walking again. Last year, on the eleventh day, I was in Tbilisi. […]


i (heart) military zones

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Just after leaving the hotel, I take a photo of a flyover. Upon which I hear a whistle. Upon which a heavily armed guy in uniform tells me to prepare to be interrogated. So I sit down on my plastic chair and drink some water. It’s a hot day. After a while another uniformed man […]


I am the police

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It’s a little less than 30km to Tekkeköy. And then another twenty or so to Samsun. I feel tired, so I tell myself that I don’t want any adventures today. No dogs. No dancing. No getting lost on country roads. The first few hours I stay on the highway. It is loud. During lunch I […]


the twelve thousand and seven kilometer dance

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I wake up from the call of a rooster. After a long breakfast and some tea and a lot of hazelnuts and some more tea, I leave my hosts and get back on the road. It’s a quiet day. One time a dog barks at me furiously, then changes his mind and wants to be […]


1-2-0-0-0

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I have a call scheduled for 12:00, so when I finally leave the motel it’s 13:30. Late. There are 12,7km left until the next dance. When I look at the map, it says it takes about 20km to walk from Terme to Carsamba on the highway, but if I took the village roads then it […]


the gang

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People have been warning me. There will be dogs right after Ünye, they say. They live around there because there’s a trash dump, they say. But I’m still not prepared for what I see after a bend of the road. First it’s half a dozen dogs that appear out of nowhere. I say hi and […]


no one sings like you anymore

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Last night the skies opened, and they have been releasing torrential rains all day. I’m not surprised. The Black Sea coast is known to be rainy, especially during this time of the year. I’m just glad I’m not out there, walking. There are a bunch of hotels here near the beach, and I guess the […]


dog designs bike lane

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I wake up in the darkness. It’s night outside, the wind howls, and I can hear the call to prayer. But it’s not just one. There seem to be at least two or three mosques in the vicinity, and their prayer calls are overlapping. All of them are calling for god, and they all end […]


a Turkey in Turkey

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During breakfast my hosts ask me if I would like to have some Turkish Coffee. I say yes as if this was something I am used to having every day. The coffee does not disappoint. Then one of my friends reads my future from the coffee grounds. I will get married and probably have a […]