September 10, 2011 GMT
The Road to Marmaris

I hate it when something unexpected comes up. Sometimes I can take it in my stride, almost like I was expecting it. Other times unexpected events, particularly those that don't go my way, can take me to a dark place. Once there it can take hours to days to re-emerge from that downward spiral of negative thoughts. All totally irrational. But some things just get to me. Make me want to pick up my bat and ball or Family Truckster and go home.

I'm sure most of us have physical features or personality traits we don't like. Or perhaps some we wouldn't choose if given a choice. I have many. But also many that are good. Most days the good outwieghs the bad.

It was over 300 miles today. I was aiming for Datca. MapSource said this would be a 12.5 hr run from Antalya. Not possible absent roads I wouldn't want to take the Family Truckster on. Even at 30 mph it would only be 10 hours in the saddle. I backed in the roads and the average speeds to be much better than MapSource was predicting.

They were.

My usual plan on the road is a 2 hour stint straight up and then stop each hour of riding thereafter. Finding places to stop can be a problem or maybe this is just an excuse not to stop. Either way, my only proper stop other than for fuel and one other unplanned stop (more on this later) was at Patara.

Although hot, my break at Patara was all I needed for another long stint. I kept on past Fethiye (I was thinking of making a short detour to Oludeiz but the road was closed) and then to the turn off to Marmaris.

Here I found Turkey's motorcycle heaven. Although only about 10-15 miles of the road was finished (another section about the same length was still under construction) this was the equal of any road I've ridden on in western Europe. Finally I could get into a rhythm and the Truckster responded accordingly, taking me around flowing bends on the smoothest ribbon of dual carriageway I seen in a few thousand miles. And the views were worthy of such a pure road. The traffic was light so I used both the lanes at my disposal as I glided around left and right bends. Pure joy.

Marmaris seemed like a nice place and a gateway to Rhodes (Greece) but my destination was a little further west, only about 40 miles to go now.

About 30 miles out a motorist travelling the other direction flashed their lights. Radar ahead. I slow accordinlgy (I thought I was doing about 80 kph) although there are no speed limit signs to be found. Within a minute I am being flagged over by the Polis. I cannot believe this.

I've had enough. Now I feel like I'm being targeted. Let's not worry about all the other infringements (eg no helmets, not keeping right, not indicating etc etc etc), lets go for the guy on the big moto and foreign plates.

This may surprise some of you but I can be a little argumentative at times. This time I did not hold back. Part of my frustration comes from my language deficiencies and my total inability to comprehend the speed limits absent any signage of same.

Initially they tell me the speed limit is 70 kph. I ask for proof so one guy pulls out a book and then tells me its 80 kph. Apparently I was going 93 kph. If they can show me the sign the showing me the speed limit I will happily accept the fine.

They won't, so I don't accept the ticket. So they call the Gendarmerie. They rock up and I still don't speak Turkish and none of them speak Engish. I think they don't really understand why they have been called, none of them look older than 20. Perhaps they were expecting a homicidal axe weilding maniac but I hadn't quite made it to that stage, yet.

So they start flagging down passing motorists, tour buses etc to find someone who can speak English. Evetually a guy on a scooter rocks up and I exlain to him the situation and that I would also like them to take me to the police station so I can pay the fine and get on my way.

Seems I cannot pay the fine at a bank. I tried. But they would not accept it because I didn't have a Turkish identity number which is needed to process the payment. Maybe I can pay at the post office or a Police Station or at the border. The thing is there is a generous discount for paying early, about 25% I think so I want to do this, not wait until I get to the border.

They will not accompany to the Police Station and I have no idea where it is so eventually I shake all their hands, give them my impression of an intellectual mouthful, in English so they are none the wiser, and off I go. Fuming. Still not knowing what the speed limits are.

So tentative on the roads now. So disappointed that my magic minutes on the hyper road to Marmiris have been destroyed by super officious jobworths targeting easy money, not real risks. But not their fault. They are just following orders I guess.

All this took about an hour I guess. I hate the way I seem to want to push people to their limits. To their breaking point. Seems like its the only thing I have a natural flair for. But terribly counterproductive. I hate it but seem I cannot help myself in the right circumstances.

I dug myself into a dark hole for the rest of the day, probably more over my petulant behavour than anything else but it is frustrating. Hope I emerge from it soon. Turkey is a wonderful country. No need to let someting as trivial as a road tax levied unexpectantly spoil my experiences.

Posted by Brett from Oz at September 10, 2011 06:52 PM GMT
 
 

NEW! HU 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar is now available! Get your copy now for some terrific travel inspiration!

HUGE, 11.5 x 16.5 inches, beautifully printed in Germany on top quality stock! Photos are the winning images from over 600 entries in the 9th Annual HU Photo Contest!

Horizons Unlimited 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar.

"The calendar is magnificent!"

"I just wanted to say how much I'm loving the new, larger calendar!"

We share the profit with the winning photographers. YOU could be in the HU Calendar too - enter here!


HU DVD Autumn Special!

Take 40% off Road Heroes Part 1 until October 31 only!

Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers Peter and Kay Forwood (193 countries two-up on a Harley); Dr. Greg Frazier (5 times RTW); Tiffany Coates (RTW solo female); and Rene Cormier (University of Gravel Roads).

The first in an exciting new series, Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers."Inspiring and hilarious!"

"I loved watching this DVD!"

"Lots of amazing stories and even more amazing photographs, it's great fun and very inspirational."

"Wonderful entertainment!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'HEROES' on your order when you checkout.



Scottoiler automatic chain oilers. The most important accessory for your next motorcycle adventure!


Renedian Adventures


Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!


What turns you on to motorcycle travel?


Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!


New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.


Books & DVDs

amazon

All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.


Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!

Story and photos copyright ©

Sorry, you need a Javascript enabled browser to get the email address and dates. You can contact Horizons Unlimited at the link below. Please be sure to tell us WHICH blog writer you wish to contact.

All Rights Reserved.

Contact the author:

Editors note: We accept no responsibility for any of the above information in any way whatsoever. You are reminded to do your own research. Any commentary is strictly a personal opinion of the person supplying the information and is not to be construed as an endorsement of any kind.

Hosted by: Horizons Unlimited, the motorcycle travellers' website!
You can have your story here too - click for details!