|So how are we all. Things here are going absolutely good. The final days in Bulgaria were cool and we stayed in really cool monestary (i got to sleep in the truck). We then had slight paperwork delay getting in to Turkey but arrived in Istanbul a few days ago for a three night stay. Driver Steve was taking over for the rest of the trip and had arrived a few days before us to sort out visas. It's just as well cos it turns out that both camp sites have closed down so we got our first hotel of the trip. If I mention that you could book a room by the hour then I hope you understand it's primary purpose. It was however clean and away from the party part of town (which we ended up in anyway). So what did we get up to I hear you ask. First laundry (yawn, yawn) then it was time for some food and a small beerette. For once there were actually a lot of us heading in to Sultanahmet for dinner. During the evening this was whittled down to just four usual suspects (see three of them in pic above) who decided it was time to call it a night around 5.30 am. On getting back toward the hotel it was decided to do breakfast. A local cafe was open so it was chicken soup (it was actually chicken soup by the way) all round with some Turkish coffee for that extra little buzz (as if we needed it). We finally called it a day around 8am and headed back to the hotel for a well deserved snooze. The next day was relatively civilized with a hamam (Turkish bath) followed by some culture (Blue mosque and underground citadel) and closed off by a ferry trip over to the Asian side for a kebab. Our last night was driver Ian's final (I won't go in to his belated truck 'friendship' with a fellow Scottish female passenger) night so we were forced in to a farewell dinner followed by another small beerette.
The following days have followed the last Istanbul to Cairo trip that I did but the Gallipoli stay included meeting up with around 10,000 Anzacs for their commerative services. I actually went to the Australian service (there is a dawn service followed by individual services for the Australians, Kiwis, Turks and Brit***) with Kirsty. All a bit commercial but quite moving none the less. The whole thing however was highlighted on the first night when a strange voice shouted at me from through the darkness. Twas Andi and Grant, the crew from my Africa jaunt. Word had got around that we were in town so they came in search of the beast, with beer in hand. So cool to catch up over a small beer and I'm sure Grant enjoyed his chat with the overlanding legend, driver Steve.
The following days have taken in Troy (didn't go in), Ephesus (as good as last time) and Pammukale (still not my cup of tea). We are currently in Olu Deniz, by the beach but heading down the coast to Kas later today.
Still no real exploratory aspect to the trip but we will have to change route and head to Ankara as our Pakistani visas have not yet been approved.
That's about it for now but forgot to mention our brush with the law at Czech Republic border last time. The truck cracked an overhead sign and they wouldn't let us leave until the police had carried out an investigation. Several hours later it was proven that the sign indicating the max height was wrong and after apologizing to us, we were actually escorted in to Czech over a previously closed road. That is the hell that is overlanding.... Tee Hee.
Oh and forgot to mention that Iran visas now in passport and we head in on the 10th of May.