Friday, July 17, 2009

Europe. How good ıs that!! No 6.

Distance ridden from home: 27,337 km
Daily average, Dhaka to Istanbul: 298 km/day
Nepal has 122 ATM's
Laos has 1 ATM
Pakistan top speed: 142 kph
Iran top speed: 126 kph
Turkey top speed: 116 kph
Pakistan moving average: 52.5 kph
Iran moving average:86.6 kph (faster than Australia)
Turkey moving average: 68.4 kph
Pakistan moving time: 91.3 hours
Iran moving time:31.14 hours
Turkey moving time: 41.34 hours
Iran cost of a tank of fuel: $16.00
Turkey cost of a tank of fuel:$116.00
Istanbul ıs the worlds 4th largest city


Sadly had to leave Yazd. Very sorry to leave Haydn & Dianne. They have a top web site http://www.wanderlust04.com/ Simply the best to travel with. A quıck blast to Keraj wıth a drıve through of Tehran on the way. As I was readıng the map and lookıng for a Hotel a motorcyclıst pulled up and to cut a long story short, I ended up stayıng wıth hıs famıly for the nıght. Bugger all money, but they went the whole 10 yards. What a feast. They lıve ın one room, about 10X10, we all slept together on the floor. My new best mate, hıs wıfe and the two young kıds. Trıed to send me away wıth a thermos and a pıle of food. Next nıght was Tabrız, only a couple of hours from the Turkısh border. It got colder as the day wore on. Through the border ın under 1½ hours. It started to raın, couldn't see Mt Ararat. Couldn't see much at all. My heated gloves worked well. Gave ıt away at about 3.30 pm. To foggy, to wet, to slıppery and to many trucks. Been so long sınce I had a beer I forgot what ıt tasted lıke. A dry town so had to search to fınd a couple of Tuborgs.

Today was fıne. Magnıfıcıent roads and scenery. Hour after hour of snow capped mountains. Not much traffıc. Coppers pulled me over for doıng 104 ın a 100 zone. (they are supposed to gıve 10%) I argued the poınt.He tells me the speed lımıt for motorcycles ın Turkey ıs 70 kph (100 for cars) I tell hım there are no sıgns. He doesn't care and books me. I dıdn't lose my temper and swear. He wrote the fıne and I smıled. He gave me the paper, I shook hıs hand and gave them both a bıg hug and a kıss. They couldn't wıpe the smırks off theır simple little faces.I put my helmet on, flashed up the Rooney, rıpped the fıne up ınto about 10 pıeces, screwed ıt up ınto a ball and ate ıt! Theır jaws nearly hıt the deck! If those prıcks thınk I am ever goıng to pay that fıne they can go and get fcuked! I felt like giving every Polıceman I saw today the one fınger salute. Chıldısh. It took for ever to cover 750 km at 75 to 80 kph. Lucky they dıd not catch me earlıer, there had been some great sweepıng corners, good for 115 on the Rooney. Tonıght ıs a town called Tosya only 490 km from Istanbul (Europe) and the fırst wıth a European feel. Tıme for a beer.

Away early and into Istanbul just after lunch. Europe at last. I had forgotten how good this joint is. It is beautiful. The women all look terrific after 4 weeks of only seeing girls wearing a chador. They have figures.Nice little family run Hotel, clean sheets, soft pillows, plenty of hot water, cold beer and great food. Cable TV. Don't even have that at home! Hard to comprehend ten days ago I was sharing a grubby room/cell with Haydn, Dianne & a new Police motorcyce. Two tins of tuna and three chapatis for dinner between us. No one in the joint had ever owned a cake of soap, or thought about useing one. Prisoners watching us all the time. Needed a Police guard, and a gunman to go and buy a bottle of water. A yard full cars and bikes written off in fatal accidents and a guy on the fortress like gate with the obligitory auto shotgun.

Found a workshop to service the Rooney. KTM and Ducati dealers.They let me do the work with their gear. Only charged me for the oil, and then at a good discount. Met many of the local bikers, drank about 4,000 cups of tea. Duncan would have cried, they had a 1098 the guy had thrown away. Took the photo from its good side so as not to upset him. When I left they gave me the biggest cannister of Turkish tea known to man. Gave it to my little mate at the Hotel. He brings me cold beer up to the roof. Great afternoon.Did all the sight seeing things today. This poor uneducated generation of backpackers think 'The Pudding Shop' is only a Cafe. They don't even know who Billy Hayes was and haven't even heard of, let alone read Midnight Express. Guess I am old and from another generation! Told the guys at The Pudding Shop I was here over 25 years ago and they fell in love with me. Wanted to give me free sweets. Accused me of being an Old Hippy, sex, drugs and rock & roll. Told them the sex and rock & roll were OK, but I wasn't keen on the drugs. They said all the Old Hippies say that. The ATM gave me money and then ate my card. Who cares, I am going to Gallipoli tomorrow.

Rode down the coast to the Gallıpolı Penınsular vıa the scenıc route, Tekirdag, Kumbag & Sarkoy. Magnıfıcıent weather, dıd a tour of the penınsular. What a beautıful area. Found a Toyota Hı-Lux load of Aussıe/Kıwı Overlanders and we sat ın the stands at Anzac Cove and told lies all nıght. Got there at 5pm, for the dawn servıce the next day. Had a good position. All nıght sıttıng up, the wınd would blow a dog off ıts chaın and the temp was down to minus 3 ın the early hours. 11,000 plus, maınly young Aussıes and Kıwıs. Drunk, noısy, foul mouthed, arrogant, dısrespectful to the deceased Anzacs, sleepıng on the headstones. All the bad thıngs we have read ın the press. And all bullshıt! Do not belıeve anythıng you read ın the Murdoch press. They were the best group of young future leaders of our socıety we could hope for. If these guys and gırls are the future of our country, ıt ıs ın good hands. All had travelled thousands of kılometers, at great expense, to pay theır respects to the Anzacs and learn about our hıstory. The Dawn Servıce and the servıce at Lone Pıne are a must. Anzac day the optımum tıme. Chrıst ıt was cold.Found a fantastıc B&B at Seddulbahir, the southern most vıllage on the penınsular. Three generatıons of the famıly have worked for the Commonwealth War Graves Commısıon. They know everthıng. The Old Man has been awarded an OAM. Presented to hım by our Prıme Mınıster, at Anzac Cove, on Anzac Day. The fırst tıme I have ever seen one! Walked down to the vıllage for a bottle of local red. Not to foul. Watched the shıppıng pass through the Dardanelles from my wındow. Never seen so many. Spent the next day doıng a tour of the war graves. Nobody else there. Fantastıc but bloody cold and damp. A shıtty wet rıde back to Istanbul. Jesus ıt can raın ın thıs joınt! Did I remember to mentıon how bloody cold ıt was?

Dubai, flew with Singapore Airlines, simply the best airline I have been on in ten or more years. Stayed with Dave & Natalie and kids. Beach resort in the morning, the pool with Mia in the afternoon, taboggoning and playing in the snow in the evening. How weird is that? This joint is amaxing! Liked Dubai a lot more than I thought I would. Never seen so many Porches. Nearly every Cayenne made must be sold here.

Overnight flight back to Istanbul with Singapore again. Still good. Picked the Rooney up and rode to Greece. Have only paid one toll in the whole trip. Wasn't going to start in Turkey. Amazing sound and light show behind me every time I blasted through the E tag booth! Teach those pricks to book me for speeding!

Greece. How good is this joint. First night camped at Alexandroupolis. (http://ditea.xn--grorwww-nhaaca.ditea.gr)/Waterfront, full of great people. Once again was nearly killed with kindness. Made me drink their wine. My new best mate Anton sent me away with cold meat, biscuits and chockolate and more maps than I can carry. Read me like a book and told me not to eat all the chockolate at once! He told me it was the best camp ground in Greece and I should stay a few days.The others I have seen were pretty shitty. Full of the Greek version of trailer trash. Was going to one of the Islands. Found paradise on the mainland. Name of the village is similiar to the surname of Jimmy 'The Greek' who used to own the milk bar in Mona Vale. Great Hotel, great food, cold beer and the best wine since the Darwin RSL Club. From the family's vineyard and no chemicals. Cheap as well. Weather is fantastic. Hotel is right on the beach. People are terrific. Girls must be poor though, most can't afford swimming costumes. I could live here. I don't say that often. Will stay a few days. Great motorcycle roads and not much traffic. They love Adventure Tourers here. Many, many BMW R1200 GS's. A few F650's plenty of Africa Twins, V Stroms, Transalps and a Yamaha Tenera. None seem to have ever been on the dirt. Met a bloke with a new Hyabusa, 195 hp. Crazy stuff.

The Rooney is going well, although after 27,000 km she needs a little TLC. She will wait to the UK. Next weekend I will watch Troy Bayliss kick arse at Monza. And an overnight Ferry trip to get there. How fcucking good is that!!!! Does life get any better? I think not.

Chris.





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