Sunday, 20 May 2012

We've done heaps today.......

....including sorting out the bikes properly this morning before we left. Mine wouldn't start though,and Nadine had to push me round the hotel car park so that I could bump it. Still wouldn't start though, by which time we were both dripping with sweat. Then I remembered that I'd leant over the bars to check a strap .....and knocked the kill switch. (Note to self - don't do that again as it makes Nadine swear - alot - and call me rude names) But the exercise can only have done her good.

 So after that, we got back on the motorway and headed for Turkey, a 140kms away. Like yesterday, the roads were virtually empty, and we ate the miles.

Waved at a cyclist pedalling along the hard shoulder and later met him at a rest stop. Turned out to be German, also on way to Turkey, and using up the overtime he'd accrued of late; all 800 hours of it. Said he hadn't flown because that would only use up 4 hours each way, and even with the holiday bit, he'd still have time left which he didn't want to give to his employer. So a bit of hardcore cycling won the day.

Reached the border early afternoon after a lunch stop. Took us two hours to negotiate the five gates and I had to buy a visa to get in but Nadine didn't. The man told me it was 50 Euros which annoyed me somewhat, but then he said. " oh no, I mean 15. Sorry. I get English numbers muddled sometimes". I bet he does. Especially around birthdays and Christmas time I suspect.

The next Turkish Customs man wanted to know how I knew " the other human who has just passed through?" .  " What do you mean - human being?" " That woman on the bike like yours......oh no, not Human, I mean German". ( she's got a German passport)

That really made me laugh, especially after the visa episode and the crap she gave me, but the man was deadly serious. It must have been muddle day for Turkish Customs today.

Then we met Ronnie and his mate in no man's land. Turns out they're on their way back to the UK after working on the new Bond movie in Turkey, and in their truck, they had all the Bond bikes neatly stashed, which they showed us. Well cool, and we'll definitely be seeing that when it comes out (the bikes are in the opening sequence apparently)

The Bond bike......
The 'other'Bond bikes........

We eventually got into Turkey, and very nice it is too.

Wide open spaces, long, straight potholey roads, and no traffic. Great stuff. Oh and shepherds grazing their cows and sheep on central reservations and verges.

We managed all of 10 kms before getting pulled by the Old Bill in a road block. It was a proper block the road, point and wave us to the side job, but it turned out to be  just a document check, which we passed with flying colours, having just been made to buy some insurance at the border. Phew. Didn't take any photos there though, just in case. I think that the two big GS's who got waved in at the same time got a bit more of a thorough going over though.

Carried on towards Canakkale. had another really good run despite a rain storm,rode down to the Galipoli peninsular,  passed through Gallipoli ( known here as ' Gelibolou') and stopped for two nights at  Eceabat, just across the Dardenelles from Asia. Got a good hotel ( cheap) right across from the ferry and tomorrow we're off to Troy and Gallipoli.It will be good to ride the bikes with no luggage for a change.