October 27, 2011 GMT
Alanya to Erdine, Turkey

Hiya folks, yet again ---- well it’s all been changed – but you will have to wait and see why!!
Last blog was from Alanya where we stayed for 5 days in the end. – Weather forecast was for thunder and lightning ---- and we got them from the safety of the hotel! We did manage a few touristy things including a boat trip where 2 young lads leapt into the sea and climbed up rocks (with a rope to help them), they then sped through the tunnels in the mountain to be collected the other side ---- and jumped from this cave into the sea and swam to the boat----

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And went up to the castle to see the 10 kms of walled city

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We left on Wed 12 Oct more refreshed than when we arrived but virtually straight into torrential rain in the mountains and we had to shelter in a garage for 1 ½ hours! Whilst we were there a disabled guy on a Mondial 150 with sidecar pulled in with his underarm crutches over the tarpaulin of the sidecar. He had done all the mods himself and made a hand operated rear brake which he pulled on. Makes you realise that you don’t have any problems at all really.

Typically the temperature in the afternoon was 22 degrees and for a change, was a good roads surface. A lovely coast road with inlets and sandy beaches. Bananas are growing in plenty and the hands are covered in polythene.

In Turkey the petrol tank is always filled for you and 20 feet away from the pumps people are openly smoking – often walking over to the pump with a lighted cigarette in one hand a cup of tea in the other! Invariably I get off the bike and some bloke will point to the loo!!

Tea is served in a small glass cups and in the towns young lads will go up and down the street with a metal holder which has about 6 insertions for the glasses. There’s a chain from the tray which he hooks over his finger and the tea is delivered unsplit!
Got into Kas which is a pretty seaside town and we actually saw English papers for sale but we didn’t see any English people. This is a fertile area of tomatoes which are planted under plastic on the edge of the beach.

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How to suport your country = on the back of many lorries

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Thursday 13 and we were off to Selcuk (Ephesus) – 260 miles – total miles: 5492. A bright clear day and kittens were playing around the bike as Colin packed up.

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Still lovely road which meandered along a stunning and unspoilt coast line dotted with islands. We were pushing to get on and have delayed the ‘bum break’ stops as much as possible! At one stop there was a bride and groom having a meal in the restaurant—I went in and asked if she would give a twirl!

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Garden ornaments for sale.

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Omo for sale !

Found a hotel called ‘Jimmy’s Place’ at Selcuk and this is an absolute gem for travellers of all types. They are so helpful with any queries and definitely a place to be recommended. We had intended to visit Ephesus – but we are so tired we are going to give it a miss and get on. We really feel that we need to get home and plan to island hop. Cesme, Turkey to Chios which is 1 ½ hour trip. Then catch a Greek ferry to Athens, drive across Greece to Patros and get a ferry to Ankona in Italy. This will keep us in the sun, hopefully! It’s a tight schedule as there is only 2 hours between the arrival and departure.

At that point we asked the travel guy in the hotel to check on the ferries for us – we weren’t going to book it over the internet as we have had one card stopped already. We had booked a hotel on the card over the internet and it was that night that the fraud squad phoned and asked if we had made an airline booking for £1100!! - No, was the reply! ---- Nice to know that these things are picked up – but it makes you very wary.

Anyway – there we were trying to get the ferries and the guy said ‘no, Greece is closed’. So we looked closer into it and the upshot was that Customs and the border crossings were closed for 10 days (only open for perishable goods and entry / exit for humanitarian reasons only; Banks were closed and as ATM’s ran out of money they wouldn’t be restocked; ferries weren’t working --- and so it goes on. ------ We were dumbstruck, as you can imagine. -----Back to the drawing board for a different route back home ---- after pouring over the maps plan Z was formed------ up through Turkey, Bulgaria, Serbia, Slovenia, Austria, Germany and France. Not the way we would have elected to go at this time of year but we are strapped.

Initially I was very ‘ down’ – well, I think we both were really – we had got into the frame of mind for 2 days relaxing on the boats and Colin not having to drive those miles --- but, there’s nothing we can do about , so had better get on with it !

Friday 14 Oct and on to Eceabat- 261 miles. Total miles: 5753. Yesterday and today at breakfast we had our first conversations at length with other people --- Australians who were touring—it as great to talk in your own language freely.

Up into the mountains and it started to rain and get cold--- we made good time but it was a miserable drive. At one petrol stop we had a first ---- the windscreen and headlight were washed by the bloke. ----- I was so gobsmacked that I even failed to get the camera out!

Next coffee stop there were loads of flies about – I was sitting at a table with a red cloth and 2 flies were busy copulating! I was determined to take a photo of this and happily sat there clicking away. Colin came up and said’ what on earth are you doing? ----- My God, I definitely think it’s time for me to get you home’. This is boredom at its height! We went in to peals of laughter with tears streaming down my face --- what the physiologists would think of that episode, I dread to think!

We followed a mile long military convoy at one stage ----? Off to the Greek border.

We got to Cannukale and the ferry across the Dardanelles to Europe. We were cold, wet and miserable as can be seen in the photos – but slightly better than the last ferry crossing we did! - No odd cows about at all. That evening it was blowing an absolute hooligan (could hardly stand up against it) ---- hope that it’s better tomorrow!
It’s been 2 hard days of travel but we have done a lot of miles and are that much nearer home.

Sat 15 Oct and on to Erdine ----- still blowing hard but thought we must get on and perhaps the wind was coastal and would improve when we got into the mountains .If we keep stopping for the weather we’ll never get anywhere .It did get better in the mountains but it also got cold – 9 degrees. We managed to get Colin an extra sweater in Erdine.

He looked up the weather for Bulgaria tomorrow and snow is forecast --- great! – We are really fed up with everything, really – the emails keep us going and the thought that there are 2 pussycats waiting for us at home!--- I really don’t know how lone travellers get on – If I’m having a ‘down’ day Colin will perk me up and t’other way round. It must be very difficult by yourself. The conversation goes from route home, weather, how long it’ll take and the cost! – It’s been far more expensive than we had thought.

So--- all for this time ---tune in again for the next thrilling instalment of an absolutely horrendous drive home ----- more to come.

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Colin reckons I look like a StarTrek Trooper !

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In the hillside on the Europe side

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What else do you expect to see on a zebra crossing---- well a pony and cart of course.

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Did'nt quite them 'at it'! -- More to come

Posted by Dee Masters at October 27, 2011 11:01 AM GMT

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