Day 23. Kemah to Erzincan. 50km. 550m climbing (6336km from home)

Having spent almost 11 hours horizontal (although woken my an exceptionally loud mullah) we hoped to feel revived but both of us still felt tired with dodgy stomachs. Today is the first day of Ramadan, which may be why the kitchen was locked, so we ventured out to try and find a simple breakfast. Whether because of Ramadan or Kemah just wakes up late, all but a few shops were closed. We found somewhere for a cup of tea (where they again refused to let us pay for it) and brought lemonade, dry crackers and dried apricots. Sounds an unusual breakfast but was what our stomachs felt could manage and was the best available.
This time the road along the Euphrates river did exist and the 50km along the river to Erzincan took us through spectacular scenery. Some of the inevitable ups and downs were pretty steep but there were flat sections, quite a novelty after the last few days. The sun was bright, blue sky and still snow tinged mountains so it was a lovely morning’s ride. 

   
 
   
 
 
   

 

As we got towards Erzincan though David began to feel worse and we resolved we would have a full rest day tomorrow to recover enough to carry on into the mountains. We had booked an apartment very reasonably priced and right in the centre of this a pleasant modern city. It is a modern city because the original city was destroyed by an earthquake in 1939 which was so devastating that the entire city of Erzincan, as it then was, was abandoned and a new site was chosen for the city a few miles away from the old site. 33,000 people lost their lives but the city has been reborn.

Our apartment turned out to be a large one bedroom apartment with kitchen sitting room and a washing machine!! Every item of clothing will be washed – a treat after handwashing in sinks. A good place to be able to spread out and have a break.
We spent the rest of the day resting apart from venturing out to get some food. Again a treat to be able to cook something other than a one pot meal so we had roast chicken and both of us had a reasonable appetite so we feel we are definitely on the mend. We ate it after sunset – just to be respectful to local observances on the first day of Ramadan (and because it worked out like that).  

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