Istanbul

Istanbul

Made it to Istanbul! Feeling like real adventure bikers now! The bikes are chained up round a tree outside the hostel, and we’re enjoying beer and free wi-fi on the roof terrace. Just bumped into Nathan who is also heading round to Vlad and who was on the phone with Dave Lambeth from a campsite in Belgium,while I was there getting my new rear spring. Nathan’s bike is properly hardcore and makes ours look like girlie bikes. There was nothing girly about getting into Istanbul. Crazy traffic, and once again TomTom saved the day, also thanks to this morning’s unexpected internet session. It’s great to be sitting here with a working laptop and internet access. And a beer, and a view of the mosque to my right, the sea to my left. Had a great kebab earlier too, and there’ll be more. Hostel dorm is 8 beds in space not really big enough for one, but so far no-one else in the room. Grand Prix is on here starting tomorrow so it might get busy. Feels good knowing we have a day off tomorrow. And on Saturday we cross into Asia, serious overlander territory now. Hope the bikes continue as well as they have done, and hope my laptop continues as well as it is right now. Istanbul is amazing, it’s just vast and densely packed. There’s a real hum, people drinking Turkish tea, playing backgammon and smoking the water pipe doo-dad whatever it’s called. Hearing the calls to prayer blasting out from the mosques really makes you realise you’re in a very different part of the world, and it feels amazing to have ridden a bike here, more than 3250 miles in 11 days. Or 10, or 12, I can’t remember anymore. It feels like we’ve been gone for weeks, and yet if I came home tomorrow people would say “what’s the big deal, you’ve only been gone a few days”. It really feels like a week every day.