Despite adding about 2kg to his overall kit weight, Mark carried a laptop, GPS tracker, three cameras and a voice recorder to help him document his journey.
He sent us text messages and phoned from the road and whenever he passed through civilisation, he popped into internet cafés to email pictures and videos.
EzurumMark Beaumont, Thursday, 06 September 2007.
Hi from Erzerum in eastern Turkey.
It is eight days since I started Leg Two of my world race in Istanbul and almost 800 hot and hilly miles later I am still In Turkey! It's a big place! After seven nights in the tent and living very wild I decided it was time for a shower and to send back some news before venturing into Iran in a few days.
Sweat from dawn till dusk, cycle 100 miles in lorry fumes and blowing sand, clean with wet wipes, sleep at the side of the road and repeat for a week is basically what I have been up to! Turkey is an amazingly friendly place, almost too friendly, I would never get any miles done if I accepted half the tea that was offered!
Cycling from west to east has shown an amazing contrast from the industry and hustle bustle leaving Istanbul on the road to Ankara to the relative quiet and rural east. The roads have changed accordingly and gone from 3 lane highways to, in many places dirt tracks or very bumpy old asphalt where you might as well be mountain biking. One thing can be said for all of Turkey, it ain't flat!
I have acclimatised well and with the average temperature being about 35 degrees Celsius I have been able to happily cycle through the day, however, I don't think I will ever get used to the relentless hills. A few days have been following rivers both upstream and downstream which makes for great cycling but the rest has been a roller coaster. These hills, the poor roads in the east and the fact that's sunset is just after 6.30pm has made my daily target of 8 hours riding time a challenge. However, after 8 days I think I am just 25km behind target which I am more than happy with – I was always expecting to have to go slower in Leg Two.
Feeling much refreshed after a shower and a huge dinner of 'no idea what' I am repacking for an early start, hoping to make the Iranian border on Saturday afternoon. Leg Two is proving as challenging and exciting as I ever imagined and I am feeling fit and well. After the initial challenges the bike is also running very smoothly, which is saying something as these roads are a real test for any bike. The good news is that Iranian roads are meant to be amazing. Let the adventure continue!
Thanks for all the support from base camp.
Good to hear of your steady progress. Kenn to hear how things go in Iran. Best wishes.posted by Leonard Esakowitz from Glasgow
welcom to iran.have a nice cycling.posted by firoozeh from iran
Hey monty!just checked my computer now that i'm back in teh uk and it seems like you're doing amazing so far!Will be watching you're progress the whole way!good luck em xxposted by Emma Pearson from Newcastle
Hey Mark, Well done mate. I would like to cycle through out the world and I have found your experiences really helpful. If you can ride in india, you can ride on Mars too! Best wishes, Vikramposted by Vikram from Reading, UK
Inspiring and inspired well done and good luckposted by Ollie Swatton from mannings heath