Sunday, 30 April 2017

Day 9

We were all outside packing our bikes up just before 6:30am ready to strap some tyres on top for our border crossing today. Apparently the customs people don’t like all the new tyres in the van so we put them on the bikes as they then don’t question this, then cross the border and then take them off just as we get just outside of the border compound. 

Kevin Saunders lead the short 5 mile group ride down to the border where we all then took our turn to check out of Greece before going to check in to Turkey. The whole process is fairly straight forward, just a little on the slow side, but everyone got through without any issues so that was a good start to the day. Once we had crossed the Turkish border we stopped to unload the tyres from our bikes and then stood in the road under the ‘Welcome to Turkey’ sign to have a group photo taken.
The ride from the border to the hotel in Istanbul was mostly motorway again and for once David and I were the first to arrive which made us a little wary that we might have gone to the wrong hotel car park. The car park attendant assured us we were in the correct place and this was confirmed 10 minutes later when Kevin and a small group of bikes following rode into the parking area.

Once we got checked in to our rooms, got showered and changed we were ready for a short walk into town. The local park was packed with people and I couldn’t work pout if there was something special going on or whether this was normal for a Sunday afternoon.

We now have a couple of days here in Istanbul so a rest from riding and a hopefully not so early start so I can have a lie in.

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