Day 30 – 6th May 2014 Iznik

My intension was to leave Iznik early, ride to Bodrum stopping off at Ephesus and the Church of Virgin Mary on route however, I decided to pop into an IT shop for a few minutes at 9.30am and it’s now 2pm and I haven’t left yet.

I have been frustrated at not being able to upload my GoPro videos to Dropbox as the file size is too big and the internet connection means it takes hours, then I give up and feeling frustrated. The guys in the shop found out the total video files are 65GB!!! So, we agreed to download them from my iPad to their PC and then I deleted a couple to get them below 64GB and uploaded them onto a 64GB micro SD card. I can then post the SD card home. The process is taking hours but the hospitality is great. I have been given tea all morning and now they have asked me to eat with them and won’t accept my money. I told them I may sleep in the shop!

A friend of theirs came into the shop and suggested I stop tonight and we’ll go out for food and beer so my plans for today have been deferred to tomorrow.

I have taken the opportunity to camp out in their office and arrange my ‘Carnet de Passage’ to be delivered to Van in Eastern Turkey where I can collect it in a few weeks, I also progressed the guide / visa for Iran which I will also collect in Eastern Turkey. Garth a Canadian guy will share the cost and as he has a Pakistan visa like me we’ll travel across the two countries together. This is good as Pakistan has many problems (I understand most overland travellers are avoiding the country this year) and a friend to share my trepidation with is good.

On holiday deadlines are the norm but when travelling I like the uncertainty, situations crop up which means I can adapt and ‘go with the flow’.

I was taken to the post office to ensure the job was successfully concluded and at 3.30pm having spent 6 hours there I left. What great people. Imagine going into Curry’s (a UK electrical store) at 9.30 with the same problem, by 9.31 I would be walking out no further forward. The guy I met earlier had an office only a few meters away, I was taken there and he gave me more tea and walked me around to find a cheap hotel with parking for my bike. Is there no end to the kindness the Turkish people have shown me. A few people are taking me out tonight to see the City by night, more beer no doubt:)

It’s all about the people.

Today confirmed more than any why I decided to travel on my own, not because I don’t have any friends but because when you travel on your own people engage with you 100 times more than when your with someone. Yes, there are times I wish a friend was with me to enjoy a beer or a laugh but this is rare. Every day people approach me, are kind, ask questions and are a delight to engage with.

On the subject of friends, I have many and they keep me ‘grounded’. Good friends don’t let you get away with anything, they mock, laugh and ridicule given half a chance and that’s what good friends do, they let you know when you’re veering off course. My friends are my world and even though I won’t see the majority of them for quite some time one thing is certain, as soon as I get home before I have had the first sip of my first pint someone will say something to ground me, then I know I’ll be home. Good friends are everything to me.

Iznik by night is great.