Day 220 | Thursday October 20
At 5 in the morning our alarm rang and it was time to head to the airport. One week I spent with my mother, I didn’t know how it would go as we never traveled together but I found out we have many similar ideas about things we like to see and like to do. It was really a pleasure to travel with her. The last seven months I have been traveling alone for most of the time. Everyday I stay at new people which is very interesting and exciting but it can be exhausting as well. This week everything was arranged, no stress about were I would spend the night and if I would make it. Less small-talk and more good conversations. It was hard to be alone again after we said goodbye but this week gave me more energy to continue the trip. And with the hardest part starting now I definitely need that.
Last week we started our adventure together. From Istanbul we drove all the way to Samsun. I had no idea how it would be…
Around noon I left to Unye. In Istanbul I met Turgut and he had family in this city were I could stay. I was welcomed by Ayse and Cevdet. To my surprise Ayse spoke Dutch. She lived in the Netherlands for 12 years and left 30 years ago and she didn’t spoke the language ever since but she still could understand everything I said.
They took me for a little tour. We visited a museum which showed how the Turkish people lived traditionally. They showed me how they used to entertain people with hand shadow puppets and how a house was shared by 4 different families. Interesting detail is that woman and man had their own door knocker. Each with their own distinctive sound so they could recognize who was knocking on the door. Later we visited the grave of Yunus Emre, he is one of the most important poets and lived from 1230 – 1321. He had a huge influence on the Turkish literature and was also a prominent philosopher.
Day 221 | Friday October 21
I woke up in the hotel Ayse and and Cevdet arranged for me. Ayse’s husband Eren picked me up and brought me to their house were I left the car to charge. After Turkish coffee I hit the road again.
Today I had to do 250km to Trabzon. I knew that there was one EV charger in Ordu, however my car doesn’t always communicate with chargers so it is always a surprise if it’s possible to charge or not. If it’s not possible I would have a really long day as I need to find another spot were I can charge on 220V slow speed, if it does work it would save me a lot of time. The charger was part of the Esarj network of which I received a card to make use of it. On the app I saw that the charger was also only available for Renault customers, which was another problem but I gave it a try. I arrived at the Renault dealer and while they didn’t spoke English they were eager to help me. And best of all the charger worked with my car! The people at Renault were very excited that a Dutch guy came to charge here and they invited me have lunch with them. One of the mechanics looked at car and he saw that the profile on the front tires was not so good anymore. He warned me about going through Iran with this.
After two hours of charging, the car was full again and few hours later I arrived in Trabzon. I was invited by the Karadeniz Technical University. They saw Plug Me In on Facebook and as they are building their own electric vehicle they were very enthusiastic to invite me.
Their EV is a sports car and they just competed in the Shell Eco Marathon with this. I was very surprised to learn that it has only a 3 kWh battery and a range of 300km! For comparison my car has a 37 kWh battery but 200km range. The reason is the very lightweight carbon fibre structure. It weights only 200kg while my car is 1.700kg unloaded. Tomorrow I’m going to make a movie and hear more about the technical details.