August 10, 2009 GMT
Turkey / Not Istanbul

When I was planning this trip I always had in mind that I would decide on my route through Europe once I got to Istanbul. Well I aren't going to Istanbul. I made this decision yesterday after considering a number of factors. I'm happy with the decision, however there is one problem. I was going to buy all my maps and guide book for Europe once in Istanbul.... I have managed to print off some pretty scratchy one half page maps from the internet but lack any real detail. I take back what I said about GPS!
I stayed 1 night in Foca and headed for Cannakkale. It was a tough ride only around 400km but I had very strong head winds, sometimes side on which was worse as it buffered me on to the wrong side of the road at times and I was riding at a constant angle leaning into the wind direction. Then the wind would get under the peak of my helmet and snap my head back. I arrived very tired and with sore arm and neck muscles.
Stayed one night then got the ferry to the Galipolli Peninsula the next morning.
I visited Anzac Cove and other memorials, where thousands of NZ and Aus died in a futile attempt to climb up the huge cliffs and defeat the Turks. It was very emotional being there also when Turks saw from my bike that I was a Kiwi and came up and shook my hand. I must say the turks have done a great job of preserving the whole area and they treat it with a lot of respect.
Anyway... I rode on and have now crossed the border into Greece. Easy crossing except I was releaved of 100 Euro for third party insurance (1 month) bloody hell!!!
At the moment it's just a matter off heading west (and stop when I hit the sea, (Greece- Italy) and hopefully I can source some good road maps. Route may depend on them. Proposed route at this stage is Greece, Albania,Montenegro, Croatia, Slovenia ..... haven't thought past there.
Also not having a guide book makes life that much harder (people like to slag off LP but they are bloody useful after a long hard ride and you just open the book and choose a hotel and check it's location) If I do find one in a shop here it will probably be in Greek, my best bet is to find a traveller who is heading to Turkey and swap for mine.
Tomorrows another day and I will have too push on, hotels expensive, petrol cheaper than Turkey, thank god.
Anyone know anything about Albania?!!!

Posted by Ross MacDonald at August 10, 2009 08:26 PM GMT
 
 

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