What can I say about our day in Samsun. It started off great and only got better. In the morning the weather was foggy and a bit dreary. We groggily put away our camping gear in full view of the floor to ceiling window at the back of the restaurant. After a couple of minutes a young kid came out with a phone in his hand and read a translated message from it, “would you like to come in and have breakfast with my parents?” Well of course we said yes. The kids parents were really nice, the wife from Istanbul and the husband from Samsun. We enjoyed a real slap-up breakfast with them which we very much appreciated having subsided of bread and coffee breakfasts so far.
We left the camp spot feeling refreshed and well fed and rode the last 30km into Samsun, downhill pretty much all the way. We arrived and we were back at the coast, this time the Black Sea. Samsun was quite busy but nice, a seaside city that hadn’t drifted too much towards industrial port or beachfront high-rises.
We had found a host in Samsun, a doctor by the name of Zafir. Naturally we expected to be crashing at his place. As it turned out he had read our request and wanted to help us out but been unable to host us in his home that night so he had booked (and paid for) a hotel room. It was unbelievably generous of him, we didn’t expect anything like this. and he was, as you might expected, incredibly friendly and really hospitable. We couldn’t thank him enough. Zafir road motorcycles when he wasn’t working as an infectious disease doctor. He had been on a number of trips on his bike and had great advice for us about the road ahead.
We then spent the afternoon and evening with his family, his wife and son, going on a day trip along the new and scenic coast road. He drove us out to the city of Sinop, another pretty seaside town and then brought us to his favourite fish restaurant on the outskirts of Samsun. The meal was delicious, fresh caught Black Sea fish, eaten by the sea. As I said the day into got better, Zafir was a fantastic host and he and his lovely family really made our short stay in Samsun special.