Friday, 5 October 2007

Day 18 – Kahta – Lake Van (hopefully)

After the eventful hike the day began properly with a mediocre breakfast of bread, jam, spam and yoghurt and a struggle with the concept of coffee? Tea? No COFFEE? Tea? C O F F E E? Oh Nescafe, ok! With many starting to flag after such an early start the call of the bus and sleep was strong. Loaded up an in the road by 8am we headed for a ferry crossing to cut the amount of driving time we would have to do reach our planned destination of Lake Van. With no real idea of what time the ferry will leave we pull out of camp with Take a Chance by ABBA blaring on the stereo. Tonight will be our first free camp of the trip so water, electricity and showers are out till Iran. The lake is apparently so alkali that you can wash in without soap and is reported to be frequented by blue eyed white cats with a penchant for taking a swim!

The ferry stop was not far and we hopped off the bus to wait for the next one to arrive, after a short wait, some stone skimming, lost jewellery in the lake and a very questionable ‘toilet’ the ferry arrived and the fun and games began.

As I have mentioned before our tour leader and main driver are women, our other driver is a man and was behind the wheel to drive our bus onto the small car ferry, I do not envy him this job, every man, whether passenger, ferryman, passing goat herd or random nutter offered advice on how to get on the ferry while simultaneously showing our other driver and leader out of the way. Our tour leader, always looking to defuse the situation whipped one Turkish guy with a stick then shouted at another and blew him a raspberry! Eventually the bus was lined up and rolled on to the ferry, unfortunately the exhaust did not make it! Apparently this is not essential though and apart from a noisier hotter bus we will be fine till we can get it repaired!

Off the other side of the lake and on the road again it was soon time for a lunch stop and the next drama of the day. After group of us found the one kebab shop serving lunch in town, not easy to do in Ramadan, we chowed down at high speed and legged it back to the bus, all aboard we pulled off only to be shouted at by the locals, eventually persuaded to stop it became evident that we had ripped a sign out of the ground, buggered the rear bumper and attracted a crowd of locals. While the usual repair crew grabbed a role of gaffer tape and jury rigged the bus the rest of us chatted to the local kids and before we know it we were on the move again, what dramas await us for the rest of today we will have to wait and see.


Jo Jo said...

Hi Andy and all fellow Oz Bussers!! It sounds like you're having the time of your life. My name is Jo I'm from Perth, Western Australia and am watching you every step of the way through Andy's Blog as I'm planning to take the Oz-Bus from Sydney to London departing in April. Last time I went overseas for a decent period of time was 1997 and the internet had yet to explode - noone had email addresses (apart from computer geeks) so the world was a different place. I have been basing my decision on when to book my trip solely on what Andy writes on his blog (oh, the pressure!). So, sitting in comfort in my home tonight while you are undoubtedly in some dodgy tent or hostel - I think its time to take the plunge and pay my deposit to make the dream a reality. Andy-don't worry about the detractors..your blog is open, honest and perfectly YOU. Thanks also for the gossip corner - I knew there would be a bit of tent hopping! Best wishes to all as you head towards Sydney. You are all legends and courageous adventurers, forging ahead and making the path for those of us to follow a little less scary. Have fun - Jo

Dave Eyre said...


Dave Eyre said...

I am also following the Smith's blog - here.....

which I think is a slightly different address to the one you had.

How are Pete and Annie? Has he sung the "Sperm Donor" yet? Ask him!!

Anonymous said...

Interesting report. Keep updating but surely you could take a litle risk and name some of the main players. For instance the multi-tool and whisky handler. The Irish wit.What is Scubby up to?

Kymbo said...

Hi Andy

A friend of mine from school is travelling with your good self. Foxy Roxy from SA. Please send her my best. sounds like you are all truly having the trip of a lifetime and I couldn't think of anyone who deserves it more than Foxy.


Kaci said...

Hello all OzBussers! Andy, it sounds like you're having an amazing time. I'm jealous and itching to get going already. It's good to hear such positive comments about Oz Bus after the negative press they've been receiving in the UK recently.

Jo jo, I'm getting the same Oz Bus as you (20th April Sydney to London)! If you want to get in touch my e-mail address is andshescreamed at gmail dot com. It would be nice to see a familiar face (so to speak) when it all kicks off in April.