Its all a blur- Eurpope that is - well it was never meant to be the adventure, that starts in Turkey.
We left early on Sat morning - 5 am - Chris as ever was not eating and İ was - İf ever İ am a condemned man I would not choose museli as a last meal! Pah!
We are both as tense as hell- tighter then a G String on a fat girl- 1st stop the petrol station cause someone forget to fill up last night. Not a word is spoken betwen us, we just slowly get ready, work around each other in the small space of Chris's place, start up and go. Left at the end, over the level crossing, I steal a glance in the shop window reflections, Chris is all tense, leans, predetotory, his image says 'world traveller' mine says wieght watchers failure....
Its chilly at the start, fleece and jacket weather, winter gloves too, 15 degrees is the max- In 2 days time in southern İtaly we top 40, today at 2pm in Bergama Turkey it is just under 46!! Thats a lot of bees (it' s warm) - Had my first Kepab in Turkey and a real Pizza in İtaly - Food is one of my top three favourite things, right up there with travel, oxygen, and the other one - Jan, Als jou lacht, wordt de wereld mooier -
Some where in middle France the Bike starts to rattle - a real death cough - thıs is my bike not Chris's, the master mechanic does not have breakdowns, he has technical adjustments stops! - nothing obvious is wrong so we press on, it will either fix itself or fall off, We have a deadline for the once a week ferry from Italy....Pressing on is to cruise the autoroute at 80 mph and pay the tolls - the next four days is a blur of fill the bike with food, fill the man with food, ride till it stops, repeats twice and then sleep.
Some while later it fell off - a bolt holding the front cover on no longer does - ıt's twin is now nice and tight and snug doing the job of two
We have two beautıful moments - Lunch ın Chamonix under the Glacıer and thıs amazıng Gastro Bar ın rural france.
The first night we say we are going to camp, start the trip as we mean to go on, stretch the budget and all that- do a tiffannyand sleep rough. we come off the Auoto route and bımble the country lanes for a whıle lookıng at gaps ın hedgerows, ın to the vıllage and I ask for a camplıng place , there is a beautıful one they say next to the football fıeld, 15 kms back that way...niether of us can be arsed so we followd the sıgn for 'chambres' - arouınd the corner ıs a small hotel/bar/gastro pub, cheap too - 15 mins flat we are showered and on the terrace wıth a beer..
Desirez vous a manger? she says wıth the most beautıful smile and that amazıng french way that says, İ wıll serve you but İ dont really care if you starve to death! we both drool at the Menu a fixe prix - 17 Euro for a 4 course gastromonıc feast - Wıth a heavy heart I tell her that 30 minutes ago we eat the slops at the Autoroute servıce station...Anglais N'est Pas? she enquires wıth a smırk - What else could we be.....Alors un autre bires pour vous....
Coming across the border into İtaly you see these signs for Lombardy, Piedmont and Chiantı...and it is all so familiar... İ wanted to see signs for the Montagues and Capulets, but was İ dısapointed a little, but only a little, the girl ın the service station was called Juliet so that made up for it some.......
The second rule of adventuring is too always order from the menu that which you would not cook yourself, or do not have the slightest idea what it is... it works wonderfully too.... Brindisi in southern İtaly, right down there on the foot, it exists as a place for ferries to go to the greek İslands and once a week to Turkey... So we are in this restaurant, table cloths, cutlery, no blood stains, a real nice place really, and we apply the 2nd rule... the most wonderful salad of freash squid appears along with a carafe of chilled Chianti... ıt ıs almost as good as the other one of my favourite things.. the key to applying the 2nd rule of adventuring is too keenly watch the expression of the waiter as you order, he wıll either grimace at your outstandıng ability to mangle a perfectly simple langauge, or give you a knowing smirk, for he now knows that you have just ordered the Whole Roast Pigs Head wıth Chocolate Sauce behınd the ears!!!
More photos soon... Wıshıng my twın all the best and Mijn lieverd groot knuffles en passıe
The news I got today by text is that my twin has cancer - again -I means its silly enough getting it once, but twice is plain foolish - What has this got to do with a blog on a motorcyle journey you may ask...Quite a lot I believe, the bike does not ride itself!!
Other then the 'other favourite thing of mine' (Jan Vannacht ben ik bij je in mijn gedachten) this issue has been on my mind since the start - thought I was going to have to go home early for a funeral, now its just looks like I will be going home to a skinny person with no hair intead!!
C - my Twin - had breast cancer about three years ago - its seems that its back, but got lost on the way and is either in the ovaries or the abdomen - tests are being done as we speak... So this is good news!!! Oh Yes. This is a very treatable form of the 'Cruell Bastard' - Surgery may not be needed just some Chemotherapy, its was thought to be the cancer of the Bones - now that would be Game Over. My best friend lost his mother to that , less then 14 days and she was gone!!
So no more crying my eyes out -let the fun begin.......
Two things - if you want to sent a get well card I would thank you greatly - TO
Note added retrospectively- On the 20 August 2004 My twin lost her battle with Cancer -
.....and next time you have a bad day consider if you would like to change places!!
In Ayvalik the other night there was a magnificent sunset over the bay, the four of us - full details soon- sat drinking a beer discussing how to fix the worlds problems and I was so glad to be alive...
Loads more to write Photos too but I hear the call of the duvet
So we are in Turkey now.. Came off the boat at Cesme, turned left and followed the coast, heading to Istanbul slowly - nothings a hurry now, deadlines and alarms clocks and working around world time zone changes are all gone... But as Francios (I will explain) joked the other day we dont have the English disease, we have learned to get out of bed nice and early, we are up with the Mullahs, its cooler then, no more then 25 celsius, by mid afternoon its somewhere around 40, or more, the tar on the road is sticky and the siesta has begun.
Roads around here look all half finished, road works and random holes appear all over the place, staying on your side of the road appears optional, the heat ruins the big swoopy curves that can be so much fun on a bike, soft sticky tarmac will bring you to a soft sticky end!!
If an entire country could get the Janet Thornton Award for Time keeping excellence then Turkey is a gold medalist with tripple diamond crowns - Manyana to the Nth degree
So we go to Bergama and see the acropolis - but we first we go to the camp site, hot showers and a swimming pool 80 pence a night or some such silly amount, and we are in!! What we did not Know at the time was its Fri night and a wedding party will be in the grounds doing thier Turkish Family thing till midnight - then the gaurd dogs will take up the racket where they left off - not much sleep, so plan B came into effect and we left to Avylik the next morning.....
.... but we went to the Acropolis, rather impessive stuff some images are here...Click on the word IMAGE and guess what happens! Am image appears...
Indiana never quite made the adjustment to being a tour guide at the temples - Even with the Rhuematism he would have prefered the old days of raiding - Who does this Lara think she is any way..... (Excuse me Mr Jones, are we going to get to see any of the new ones, all this stuff is just so old and ruined!!)
"At the camp site where a great laid back couple Francois and Marie, from Britany - is that Britanois ? (Which is a kind of French) She teaches and He is doing somthing with Political Sciences, great disuccions where to ensue...they end up on the back of the bikes with us to the acropolis and next day along the road for a hour or so to the pretty harbour town of Avylik - its Turkey, who needs to wear a helmet!!
The main street in old town Ayvalik
Shoe Shinner to the famous 'Eh General you would not believe who İ had on me stand the other day - İ have shined the famous İ have - look at the photos, could İ lie?)
The universal elixiar - Tea - less then 10 pence a go, avaiable everywhere that old men in cloth caps would wish to congragate, universally refreashing, comes complete with spoon and two sugar lumps, try some!!
Do you wonder what it is that the Mullahs wail so early in the morning? At the mo we are habitually getting up with the mullahs to avoid riding in the heat of the day - well I asked and was told what it is the wail - its astounding how appropriate it is - I quote.... Get up, get up it is better to ride then to sleep,get up get up, there is only one motorcycle and B M W is hıs name, get up and ride ... awesome eh!!!...... Yeh I know you believe me, but have you ever read some of the stuff that HOMER bloke wrote, he was from around here too.. İ mean a great bıg wooden horse, a face that lauınched a thousand ships.. PAH - we went there and it is nothing but a pile of rocks - go see the movie.. image image
OK İ am hungary another kepab beckons - the questions of course is Donna or Shish? The ice cream stand on the corners is a dam certainty for afters though - Niether will probably be as good as that Whole Roast Pigs head!
Sleep well - ik hou van jou mijn heerlijk lievard dat je bente
PS My bike is now leaking a tiny amount of oil from the forks, İ think it is in sympathy with all the stuff coming out of Chris's gearbox!!
.... and A Final word from chris - quoted out of the blue over a beer today - Travel is fatal to hatred bigotry and predujice, it is the lifeblood of tolerance and understanding - Ý will drink to that
Jelabalou, or Galipoli to you an me - Famous for....... Yep its a war memorial, very important to our antipodien cousins, actually rather important to us all really - I speak German (Badly) on a voluntury basis!
Its very moving stuff - by accident we went on 10th August a big day for the local turks as this was the day that Atturturk (the man with the eyebrows - he is getting his own chapter soon!) lead the battle that turned the tide against the commomwealth forces... Heard about the Charge Of The Light Brigade, well this is where it happened, on 7th August 1915 the Australian regiment of the Third Light Horse Brigade vaulted out of thier trenches into certain death - dooomed but utterly courageous
Photos speak louder then works, and more profound with my level of spelling - now that the technology is sorted for sensible sized photos.......
Almost certainly a Virgin Soldier..... and I thought the hardest part of this journey was being celebate, Jan ik Hou Van Jou mijn lievard
With this guy as a car park attendant we knew the bikes where safe!
Istanbul, were east meets west and the adventure begins
Istanbul finaly here a few days later than planed but a few nice places along the way just tooo good to leave. Avyvlik was stunning, yes its better than the pictures ,a pension too good to be true but you need a GS (off road bike) to get there - not quiet full on green lane stuff, steep uphill with a few rocks thrown in for good measure, but good fun. I could have stayed a little longer epecialy when there was a dive boat in the harbour. another time maybe.
Troy was disappointing lots of rocks, the legend did not seam to fit in - Burgama nice swimming pool but the dogs aagggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhh - The Acropolis was interesting but this old rock thing mmmmmmmmm.... but architecture of the topkapi palace is another thing, wonderful with views over the bosphorous and our first view of asia
An afternoon in the haman (turkish Bath) with turkish masseur who wants to pull your arms off and pushing my head into my shoulders, but after a beer I feel so good and sparking clean should have one of these next to every hotel, perfect after a hard day on the road
For me the adventure start here, Richard loved the euro bit, now no longer in front of a computer the amount of time now he has pull up in next to me with a bloody big grin on his face is untold, but for me it was very much like when I was a courier.
Turkey is better roads and the driving are getting fun or as richard puts it mad. Our thinking on this is all ways going to differ
till next time
...So we are up with the mullahs again leaving Galipolli and heading off around the Dardenelles, sea of Mamara in to Istanbul.. The local mullah was definately a radical dissident..." there is only one bike and HONDA is its name".... dangerous stuff - and If you have no idea what I am talking about go read the entries in chronological order!! (yes you Simon!)
Chris is looking forward to a bit of bike maintanance once we leave Istanbul - which we duely did - I kinda take a different view to it all, I give my bike a name, he is called Roderick because he has push rods in the engine and I sing to him happy birthday evertime he clocks another thousand miles, he was 91 a few days ago!! ... and I did give him the full two verses at the traffic lights....He definately is a boy, who else but a male would attempt something like this at his age and still never ask for directions!!!) You see when it is personal he will not let you down... I did help a bit and clean out the airfilter, check the plugs, oil and loose bits...
Watch out when you are haring along!!
So to Istanbul - there will be no pictures for a while, we are in a bit of a dessert at the mo writing this, a real one and a technological one - (Broad band, aint that what you tie your turban on with, eh mohamed")
Istanbul, not the capital of Turkey, that honour goes to Ankara - Istanbul has all the nice bits , Ankara is a concrete pile of PooH - and for our younger readers that is not Winnie either (Hello Danial).. we came, we where tourists, we left incredible impressed and a lot lighter on the wallet.
Turkish Food - aaaagh what can I say , my second favourite thing.. all this for about 2 pounds, meatballs in sauce with potatoe, bread, yoghurt and honey, rice with beans
The Streets Of Istanbul - no sign posts lots of mosques that dont make good landmarks, cause there are lots of them!! and we are lost.. we can see the Bosphuros over there but which bit of it that is, well take a guess... We stop, take off helmets and jackets and cool down, the bike engines are way hot too and need it as well - heavily laden air cooled bikes in slow traffic at 35 degrees is not good. Its mid day ish despite getting up with the mullahs and people are crowding the pavement. Turkish hospitality is something else, a bike courier comes over looks at Chris looking at the map, says not a word and goes away, a moment later come back with two packets of soft moist tissue wipes, hands them to us individually and leaves - I am stunned..they do come in handly though, even tough world travelling bikers have soft important little places.. We think we have our bearings and make another lunge in the traffic.. give it a minute and another bike courier frantically waves us down... he gives it large in Turkish, we smile and mutter in English, he gives it again in Germany, I try a reply and loose him completely, he goes again in French - now we get some where ( slowly some where with bad bad grammer) he cant tell us where we are on the map, he does not know the name of the road, he explains he is Pakistani, has worked in France and Germany and would we like to stay at his house!! Well to ruin international relations we would not actually! Fake friends waiting at a hotel we are trying to find are invented and we all part happy chappies - well almost we still dont know where we are.
Mary and Baby Jesus as depicted at the Aya Sofia - With a upset looking mothing law!
Chris gets inspired, spots a landmark and we are off - in Turkey one way streets, red lights all seem to be optional, Inshallah (God Willing) you can even go along the tram track TOWARDS the tram and survive! All credit to Chis he gets us to with in 200 metres of the Youth Hostel - no you dont need to be a youth - I spot the sign form the corner of my eye and we are home!!
Since the start we have been carrrying camping gear, and using it! Part of which is a large blue plastic tarpuline. Chris wants to ditch it, I think it is essantial - imagine needing shade in the dessert after a breakdown - we compromise, the bikes are chained up and chained to the railings, the plastic tarp is left with them, if it gets stolen great, if not we keep it - I cheat a little and put is behind the bike out of immeadiate sight - all night two cats sleep on it, when we leave I do not attempt to smell it - if it smells of cats p+ss then it smells of cats p+ss, besides which it goes on the back of Chris's bike not mine.
I had a haircut the other day in a turkish 'Berber' - communiction is generally mimed, I have the ability to count to 6 in turkish, ask how much and say hello and good bye - not yet Poet Laurate material... So I mime to this barber that I want it short, he gets a glint in his eye and sets too... Maybe I am the first foriegner he has tourtured for a while, or even ever - he sets to with a vengence, Turkish guys get there moneys worth here, forget Edward Siscor Hands here we have Mustafah Snip.
After 40mins there is not a hair that he has not done, and done perfectly and imaculately too - its a pity I will be putting a smelly bike helmet back on top afterwards - he has trimmed, sniped, singed with a naked flame, shaved, and plucked- nasal hair, ear growths, neck, tash, everything. Rubbed on powders, combed in lotions, massaged till my eyes fell out.
Then he stands there with a cut throat razor in his hand, looks me in the eye and askes " Do you want your scrotum shaved sir?" .... Well It could have been what he said, there is nothing else visable that have not been violated... one pound fifty on the table and I am out of there!! - but I do look cute! (hi Jan)
Turkish Hospitality again... we stop for cay (tea) in a small village - one street, one tea shop and locals standing and waiting for a tractor to go past to make there day! the tea shop owner refused to take payment for the tea, all he wanted was a photo of him and the tea shop - it was indeed done and will be posted back to him. There is also a huge national pride in being a Turk... Down town Avaylik, a small but pretty coastal harbour town, we are walking the main street when bang on 8 pm the National Anthem starts up from loud speakers - everyone, but everyone stand to attention, some of the old men struggle up taking longer to stand then the music played for - the traffic stops completely nothing moves.......... Backpacker Ghettos in Istanbul - a street full of bars, beer on tap, western rock music and cafes with Banana Fritters and cheap kepabs - but Notice NO stray Dogs on the streets, do you wonder why the kepabs are SO CHEAP!!! The moment the local Mullah starts his evening wail all the music stops till he finishes
Beer Philosophy - we have a beer once in while of an evening and talk boys talk... I suggest that life is about making memories, Chris says No it is about being happy in yourself..What do you thinkabout when you are riding? I asked Chris this the other day and Not much was the reply - he would not be drawn out any further.. me I am worse then an adolsence boy with the password to the porn site, and I sing a lot too.. Beethoven is popular at the moment, Genisis is making a come back and the other day the entire lyrics of Mark Knopfler Peaches came to mind.....Dang dang dang... ta dum dum , walking on the beaches looking at the peaches.. ta dum dum dum..........
The Hareem in the Topkapi Palace
Aziz Mustafa Kamel - That really was his name - no sniggering - A True Turkish Hero and now that I have been to see his museum and burial ground I am impressed at what he did.. But thats all for this episode, tune in the same time soon for more exciting variations on standard English spelling... and a bit of adventure too ........
Tonight there is one more star in heaven - Some days you remember all your life, your first this, your first that, definately the first OTHER.. there is also the last this and the last that; for me yesterday - 20 Aug - was a significant last. My Twin lost her battle with Cancer yesterday; It was a day to remember even before that..
Chris and I have been making progress - an entry on that in detail soon - lots of starring at rocks - you would not believe it , I tell ya.... So we ride off early - Oi Mr Mullah time to get up !! Go Wail - You know this is the earliest form of PR and Spin!!
We are heading for Diyarbikir in Turkeys Wild East - but not that wild any more, The Kurdish resistance is no more.. there was once a problem here, lots and lots of army check points but all empty and look like they have been for some time...
We arrive, we see, we leave... big mistake, we are off the tourist trail here, OK it is a bit scary on the first sight, we are hot and bothered and we break a rule.. we dont stop at 4 pm before the sun get low and the traffic gets even more crazy.. The hotels look shit, there is no obvious safe place for the bikes, we break another rule by not bothering to go in and ask.. we push on... on the map 50 miles away is a nice looking little town, must be better, they cant have crowded narrow streets confined between old fortress walls, must be a nice pension with a courtyard, boy can we taste the kepabs and cold beer...its so hot a pen in the top of my overstuffed tank bags melts and bends to a U shape
So we go there...and actually leave on the second time of trying, Chris's bike is reluctant to start, cuts out a few times too in traffic, next mistake is to play macho and say ' its working, move on'.. so we move on out in to the country side in the heat with a bike with a problem, very little water on board, no food of course, 6 words of Turkish between us and three of those we cant pronounce... sound sensible eh!
The countryside is barren parched rocky fields of harvested corn - click here 50 miles of this and low and behold there is our paradise - NOT.. Silvan a farming town, full of farmers, tractors on main street, no tourists come here for there is nothing for tourist to come here for - 'Come see our fields of corn and rocks, marvell at our herds of goats!!' well actally it could happen, people pay good money to go to Blackpool! I read in the local newspaper today that the new mayor of Troy, Mr E Presley has great hopes for his plan to twin cities with Atlantis...
The petrol staion has a 'Market', inside is nothing, some fertiliser in bags, lots of oils for tractors, no impulse purchase items here in cleverly designed racking, no incidental CD music only 4 dollars by the tills - farmers are practicle people, they dont buy this stuff
So no tourists mean no hotels - we cruise main street and p*ss off the cool dude on the new tractor - no signs for a Hotel, we resort to our feminine side and actualy stop and ask - shock horror - OK we point at the phrase in the book.. nice guys he was too, outside the petrol station, he did not laugh too much , he points back to Diyarbakir and says many hotels............................... So guess what we set off again down the same strech of highways with no food, little water, we are tired and the sun is setting in our eyes....My stomach gets the better of me, we turn back and go eat... Sense prevails and we go do a Tiffany, a nice unused unfinished grain store way out of town off to the side of the road , our thousand star hotel for the night, no money, no room service, nice sleeping bag on the ground sir, the bathroom, well of course sir any part of the field over there downwind!!
My Phone rings - news is given and a part of my life finishes..........Some people are profoundly moved by a teacher at school or a sports coach, I had a teacher in a different part of my life, I was taught the joy of giving, a passion for being alive, to be able to express feelings, to love, to tell someone you love them and to meant it, and not to care who the hell is listening - I was loved unconditionally faults, warts and all, she knew my history and did not care, She was the here and now and on to the future kind of special spirit..
I believe in re-incarnation, call me a Buddhist if you will, her spirit is here again on earth today - but we have to look a little harder to see it now - next time you see a smile in a child, that is her, the next time you see a face light up with joy, that is her, next time a stranger helps you, a random act of kindness, a birthday card sent, a special present bought and wrapped, then put away waiting till the day it can be given, and only then the surprise on the recievers face seen, that is her, a flower blooming in the spring rain brightening the day, that is her..... we have to look a little further to see this now, we must also look inside ourselves to see this now - and if you see it, Show It To The World.
The day after and no more tears - till the funeral at least - and I have my practicle head on.. The problem, six words of Turkish in the arse end of Turkey, - I have a customs entry in my passport that will not allow me to leave with out my bike - no nice easy fly home fly back - I need a customs office to let them impound the bike, for me to then return and collect ýt in a week or two - try asking for this with six words of Turkish, mime, you are having a laugh... Seems like being back at work -I dont even know when the funeral is yet, I am working with a big buket full of Ifs and Buts, solving problems that may not exist.... we think we are going to the university, there must be an English speaker there, its a bloody big buiding on the outside of town, even says Universitu on the side of it - It turns out to be a Hospital, well doctors speak English dont they! No not here they dont, Turkish seems to be a second language, .....English - well I can say David Beckham, Manchester United and look cool in my surgical greens, see the cute nurses are laughing, I will shake your hand and say goodbye......
I will return for the funeral and then come back and finish my journey - it is a journey from one part of my life to another - its needs to be done - there is a way, its natural for me... dam that Dharma!!!
In the words of the famous song from Robbie Williams - Get your rocks off honey... as chris says we have been lookings at a lot of piles of rocks lately - Isttanbul was an early start , arnt they all ? off to Ankara - as mentioned before its not the most inpiring city in the world.... One day in, overnight, look at Mustafa Kamals place and leave.... to Cappadocia, Nemrut and now here - Diyarbikir
The tag line on my registration plate says BMW Park Lane, on Chris'S it says BMW Export - the difference is obvious!
Ther ride was excellent, really it was, Big Sky Country, lots of horizon, lots of Marlborough Ad scenery, lots of space...
Starting with Mustafas place... Aziz Mustafa Kamel - the founder of modern Turkey..
- not many people get to make an entire country from scratch, some - Mr Bush are able to put a country back to scratch! in short he led the Turkish fight for freedom from the Ottoman Empire, the British and French interests, the Greeks, just about every one who fancied a Kepab... It may sound romantic to have a Caliph or a Sultan but try living under the Whims of one man! He developed a bit of a personality cult, still he is on all the bank notes - you got to see his photo - the eyebrows!! soon it will be here, and when you see it remember the Adams Family - the movie
Aziz Mustafah Kamel AKA Attaturk
One of his reforms was the names reform - until then as a Turk you could only use your fathers name or the place of your birth as a family name - confused? imagine how many Ali Istanbuls there must have been, or Mohamed Marmaris's - He became Atturturk - Father of Turkey - and the sniggering about his name (I really need a Camel a Marlborough just wont do!) came to an end
Goreme in Capadoccia - click here for an image Backpacker ghetto with lots of rock formations , great walking, Chris is really beginning to excercise that soft Office Wallah fat off of me - Hi Jan, lean and mean and......
Why Walk in when you can ride? Cappadoccia Canyons
Nemrut Dagi - a mountain with ancient carved heads atop it representing the Gods...It was here that Rodders really earnt his GS badge image
- A GS is an off road type bike that Chris rides, I use the road going version - same engine different frame and wheels - Its was a steep rough climb to the top, and what a pile of rock they were! Rodders had his 92 nd birthday too... image image
There was a delicious moment on the way, we are just about all packed on the bikes, the two of us stand there next to the bikes, its a boys moment of communication, ie. nothing is said... from some where I mention that this jacket of mine is getting very dirty,
'So What' he says
'I guess it is designed for this kind of use' I venture
He glares - Chris can glare like no other, its not malicious, it is more, 'dont be so stupid'
' The bikes filthy as well'. As soon as I have the words out I regret saying them
'OK and I bet it invalidates the warrenty too' - I can imagine the scene.. 'I am sorry' the man in the nice suit with a BMW tie says 'that bike is way too filthy to be underwarrenty, dont you know it is compulsory to clean it every time it is used?'
I look at the small whiff of smoke from the gearbox oil on Chris's exhaust ' Aaagh, smell that engineering' he laughs, we leave....
Where else in Turkey would three cops on motorcyles stop to talk and help just simply because you all ride the same B M W ? Its the day after the news of my twin and we are back in Diyarbakir, Chris's bike wont start again - no electics at all - as he fiddles with switches they pull up and set too - in the UK they would pull up and write a ticket for being parked in the wrong place! We go into a serious technical mine session with about 3 words of Turkish and two English.. the upshot is that a loose battery terminal is secured and we are invited for Tea, no charge of course - the Turkish People are truely wonderful
Diyarbikir - got a bloody big old Roman wall around the outside and two fustrated English men inside ( that kind as well Jan) - we are working out options to get back for My Twins Funeral , if only there was a customs office in town as the bikes are bonded to our passports, we cant fly out without exporting the bikes first - we are waiting a reply from Iran, it looks like our options are to make a long long ride to Istanbul, aurgue like hell with Turkish Customs and fly back temporarily, or make an even longer ride to Greece, which being in the EU will have no Customs probs, but getting a flight during the Olympics?? Or go to Tehran - this is favourite, it is closer, we can leave the bikes there under a Carnet and flights look cheap - All we would need is a new visa to go back and get them again. the last Iran Visa took 60 plus days to get!!!!!
Its the challenges in life that make you what you are - is your biggest challenge setting the video for your favourite soap opera?
I have a confession to make - Call the The Daily Scum !! we are actually a three some. Its a long story, but in his own words...........Edwin. That me. I been travelling with him for a while now, been to many many places, some of them they will even let me go back too again. Well put it this way, when you are a Bear of my size - six inches ear to toe -you have two choices, You either sit on the shelf looking cute, or you get out there and kick some ankles.... I am a shin kicking kinda cub!!
See my photo below, its a B M W... not an ordinary one mind you but a Chauffeur Driven B M W.. I ride on the top bit... its great, you want airconditioning ? .. undo the zip...Want Full Surround Entertainment system? Open the zip and put your head through the gap!!... All it needs is a bit of Red Velvet and its a real passion wagon !!
Life in the Tank Bag .... Well I have come up with some cunning clever annagrams
Italian drivers in cars - becomes - Caffine Addicted Physcopaths
Frenchmen in trucks - becomes - crazy tailgate garlicks
... and my own name Edwin Bear - becomes - Been there Done that
Its amazing what you can do with a paw full of letters!
............................Even Super Heroes need directions!!
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!
"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!
Next HU Events
- Thailand Mini: Jan 9-11
- NEW! USA Virginia: Apr 9-12
- NEW! HUMM Morocco: May 13-16
- Germany: May 14-17
- Canada Ontario: Jun 18-21
- Ireland: June 26-28
- Colorado: July 17-19 TBC
- Canada West: Aug 20-23
- USA California: Sep 24-27
- Aus Queensland: Sep 24-27
- USA North Carolina: Oct 8-11
- Aus Perth: Oct 9-11
- Germany: Oct 22-25
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
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!
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 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.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
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.
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 © 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!