Tonight, I'm sleeping in a truck. A big orange truck, parked in a petrol station in central Turkey. This isn't an all too peculiar situation for me to get into, during this Full Power bike ride. It doesn't phase me and I certainly don't feel odd to accept the offer. In fact, it comes with great pleasure to know that my poor broken back will rest on some form of bed for 9 hours, rather than having to endure broken sleep in my tent.
Sleep is so important, as everyone knows - cos when you have a bad night sleep you generally act like a sour faced sulky brat. It's especially important when cycling 100km a day, as you need every ounce of energy to keep pushing pedals. However, I set myself a challenge before I even started- which was to not pay for a single night of sleep throughout Europe, and I have managed to compete this challenge!
And I've actually managed to keep it going into Turkey! And thus far, for five and a half months, I have not paid one penny for sleep. I've camped an awful lot, slept in the homes of many friends and mostly friends of friends twice removed lol. And the rest of the time I've laid my head in some very unexpexted random places. The most memorable being in a police station in Turkey, where he offered to arrest me for the night, but I declined the offer and just slept on the bench in the police yard.
I've slept in restaurants after closing hours, in many parks, on people's cropfields and on the odd bench here and there (like a proper homeless person) lol. This is the worst case scenario. But the best case scenarios have been staying at hostels and hotels some nights free of charge because I know a worker or owner. So I'm experiencing all forms of sleeping spots, just aslong as it's free.
But I'm also aware that at some point this challenge will finish, when the law of sleep comes crashing down on my poor shoulders. In China for example, where it's strictly illegal to wild camp, and you physically have to list your hotels for your visa application. But fine, no problem, this is the law, and one that I definitely don't wanna get on the wrong side of. But half a year without paying for sleep is pretty good going if you ask me. Some nights bad, some good.
All in all, I'm grateful for sleeping in a myriad of different places and positions, rather than my one bed, in England over and over, for I wouldn't have learnt almost a fraction of what I have by sleeping in a multitude of weird and wonderful locations.
For tonight, I think I will sleep like a baby in my orange truck! Wish me luck.