Tuesday 25th September
Refreshed by early nights, comfy beds, and luxurious surroundings we were in for a long day on the road. Today we will be entering Turkey! After driving the morning away we hit the border, our first one that required us to get visas en route. After a few stops at different control points we made it through in good time and stopped off for a quick Turkish kebab before heading onto Istanbul.
After a long drive, made longer by the awful traffic in Istanbul we finally made it to our hostel for the evening. Despite a rooming list being handed round the actual room list bore no resemblance to this but worked out ok for most, but not all. We have several snorers on this trip, me included after a few beers but young Irish girl holds the undisputed crown in this area. For a light sleeper, as my girlfriend is, this can ruin a night’ sleep, but we will come back to this later.
After taking advantage of the laundrette across the road and dropping in our gear for a service wash it was off to the bar! Now this bar appeared to have magical qualities, for some reason everyone suddenly gained the ability to drink a beer in 2 minutes. This amazing fete was later found to be the result of very quick barmen relieving us of half full beers every time we took our eyes off them. This discovery did not sit well with the group. One of our Irish contingent took it particularly badly. I was not present for any of this but hopefully the imminent appearance of gossip corner will fill in the gaps (if she ever finishes writing it!)
I had ducked out early and gone for dinner and a chat with my girlfriend and I suppose this is where my blog returns briefly to the world of social commentary. Up until now I have been focussing on the actual physical trip I have not really focussed on the enormity of the personal journey involved as well. One of the main reasons I signed up for this trip was to find out more about myself and as I sat at dinner talking about dreams and plans for after the trip it finally became crystal clear that getting everything you want would be amazing but will never be possible for me. When one thing drops into place it can threaten to take away something you have come to truly rely on in your life, the question becomes what is more important, chasing your dreams or keeping hold of something amazing that you already have and wondering what might have been? I still have a long time on the road to ponder this and have good friends to help me along the way. This is truly going to be as much a journey of discovery as the road trip to end all road trips! My philosophical input probably had a lot to do with an hour and a half on my own lost in the streets of Istanbul and a good chat with my little sister.
Now back to the fun! As I mentioned earlier the rooming list had put a few of the girls in with our Irish snorer. Now I have not heard this particular girls talents first hand but have been told it is something to behold. This did result in my light sleeping girlfriend being kept up all night and texting me at 5am to say she was still awake and would not be joining us for the walking tour of Istanbul in the morning.