Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Heading for Espiye again today

Third time lucky we hope. It is still about 700 kms to the Georgia border but we reckon to crack it with two days riding. Little bikes are slow., particularly when they keep breaking down. But the challenge of riding unreliable Chinese bikes is the point of this whole trip, so that's ok although it is annoying when the same problem keeps arising.

This apartment is on the 6th floor of a block which is on a hill overlooking the Black Sea. Great views of the whole peninsula and coastline again.

Had breakfast with the family then had a quick photo tour on the back of the mechanics' bikes before saying goodbye and starting out for Samsun.

But then it started to rain. Really poured so we had to wait a while but eventually it gave up and off we went, with the mechanics leading us out of town.

Had a good ride along the coast with me being very respectful of my bike and riding it gently, and that seemed to work. Well; for about 30 miles. Then she started rattling and smoking again, and on inspection, the same old oil problem was happening yet again, so back to Sinop we went. It also began raining again and the roads were soon awash with orange mud, cascading off the banks and down the streets.

Looked like big water mains had burst but nobody seemed bothered so it is obviously what happens here regularly.

We were soaked by the time we got back to the shop and very fed up. It looks like the head is the problem not the head gasket. The oil seals were in tatters yet again so there is clearly a pressure problem somewhere. It looks like the rattling exhaust has something to do with it too. That seal has never been tight and rattles constantly although the nuts are tight. When they took it apart and looked further, they said that this was the source of the problem.I was ready for a new engine but they didn't have one, so they reckoned the best bet was to replace the whole head, which is what we're doing. Parts and supply is a bit of a problem in Turkey and you forget that, coming from London where you can get anything almost instantly, albeit at a price.

So the cylinder head was sent off to Istanbul on the bus to be machined but if that can't be done, a new one will be sent back. Atilla reckons that it is a simple job to refit so if that all works, we should be on the road again by Friday morning. No Espiye today then.

So we dried out at the shop, played PlayStation, and generally chilled out. It was quite nice actually but we decided on a hotel for tonight despite the family's offer to host us again as we have stuff to do, routes to replan and clothes to wash.

Had dinner with Atilla and Kadir though then tea with their mates which was fun. All with a bit of a Google translate, dictionary, English/ German babble but it worked. Tomorrow they are taking us on a tour around Sinop so that will be fun.