7th of may 2008
Towards evening I turn into a small dirt road about fifteen kilometres before Dinar and find enough space to set up my tent not far from a beautiful, lonely tree. Cows graze near me and dogs bark in the distance.
While pitching my tent the sun goes down and it gets very cold immediately. So cold that I can't go on anymore because of my cold fingers.
Time to try something out that I think I have read in a mountain climbing book and that homeless people also take advantage of.
"You have to put your arms against your body. Keep your kidneys warm. You have to lie on your back. Put your hands on your stomach, put them on top of each other."
So I put my hands on my "ex-belly" and feel the warmth flowing into my cold upper extremities after a short time. Unbelievable!
Our body functions like a thermos flask: When it is cold, the body core is kept warm. I still use it today when I am on tour and want to warm up my fingers before falling asleep.
Early the next morning I wake up, take down my tent and pedal towards the road. Then something happens that I will never forget either: a melody awakens inside me. I am so happy and full of energy that I start to sing loudly...
Some time later I feel a great human need and am happy to discover a restaurant.
I don't have time to lose and therefore only pay attention to the restaurant owner and his son for a short time before I disappear into the toilet.
Now I have to face one of my biggest doubts. A standing toilet. I don't like these uncomfortable places of emergency. But I have no choice. The pressure that has built up in me is too great.
After a successful premiere I get on my bike relieved and cycle on. Already after a few hundred meters I notice that I am not wearing my Oakley sunglasses on my nose. Immediately I stop my bike.
Stop and think. Yes of course!
When I got off the bike I had put the glasses on my big yellow pannier before I stormed towards the toilets!
So nothing like back. Arrived at the restaurant again, the owner and his son welcome me with questioning look. With hands and feet I try to convey the loss of my sunglasses to them. But they just shake their heads. The glasses are gone and I'm sure the son stole them. Alone, I cannot prove it or express it in Turkish.
I have no choice but to leave angrily.
But it is not the only loss that day. I also miss my steel rope to secure my travel bike at the end of the day.
Although I have decided to take a room in the next big city, Sandikli, I routinely start searching the landscape on the right and left for a cheap campground. My eyes follow a steeply ascending
dirt road to my right that turns into a grass slope.
But what are these strangely large, light brown spots on the meadow up there?
Almost at the same moment as I ask myself this question, movement comes into the slope.
Those are not stains! These are Kangals!
One after the other stands up and sets himself in motion. They have discovered me and are approaching me. I start to count and break off at seven.
I must not lose any time now, because I am on a two-lane motorway on the side strip and the first Kangal will immediately reach the adjacent ditch, which hopefully prevents him from approaching me further.
A glimpse over my left shoulder, a swing to the left. The distance between me and my four-legged friends has increased again. But then the shock!
The first Kangal has easily crossed the ditch and is now standing directly on the shoulder. How paralyzed I stare at him. I will reach him immediately. Be at the same height.
But he doesn't move. Just stares at me. The other Kangals also pause. I pass the big Anatolian shepherd dog and to my amazement and relief he just stares at me further.
What luck. That was really scary.
I still have no idea that this will only be the beginning of weeks of fear of Kangal attacks.