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December 1st, 2010 | Cyprus

Ferry to Turkey…

The Life Hotel is centrally located and close to the Ferry Terminal...

After a hearty breakfast at the Life Hotel, I went in search of a supermarket to buy some food for the ferry trip… All the vitals needed for the six hour crossing… Snickers Bars, Coldrinks and Cigarettes…!!

I had managed to get to the Ticket office just before they closed on the previous afternoon, and had my passage to Turkey all booked and paid for… It was supposed to have saved me time, but in the end, time was what I had a lot of on the morning before we sailed…!!

I was told to report to the terminal at 10.00am sharp…!! Which I did…!! Like a blade, I was…!!

When I got to the gate I was sent back to the harbour office where I paid 37.00 Turkish Lira for something or other, and then a further amount of 6.00 Lira as a gate fee, before I was finally let through the gates an hour later…

I was surprised to discover how quiet the huge concrete aprons in front of the three ferries were, and discovered the reason for this after just a few minutes…

According to Tom Petty, "The waiting is the hardest part...!!" And he was right...!! Parked at the harbour gates...

"Is this what is meant by "bringing the roof down"...??" asked the Big Fella...

We were hoisted up onto the upper deck.... A weird experience, when you realise that if you got off your bike, it would be a few seconds before you came to a sudden stop on the lower deck...!!

The harbour’s admin staff had just gone on strike, and were not allowing any vehicles into the harbour area…!!

All activity ground to a halt…!! If you can call what the guys working there do, an “activity”…!!

Most of them stroll around as if the next ferry was departing in January, anyway…!!

Getting out of Cyprus was proving to be more difficult than I thought…!! If it wasn’t the great weather, brilliant riding and loads to see and do, then it was a bloody strike…!!

By 1.00pm, everything went back to normal, and an hour later, only two of the ferries left Girne, neither of them fully loaded…

While waiting to be loaded, I met Tekin Mursel, a retired Turkish Cypriot, who was going over to the mainland to do some maintenance on a house he had built there… He later shared his lunch with me while we sat in the comfort of his VW Taureg, which along with the Big Fella and a lone truck, were the only vehicles on the upper deck…

The first ferry left as we were casting off.... We chased it all the way to Tasucu, but never caught up...!!

Our ferry, the Ro Ro Mersin, was not equipped to carry passengers, but catered for trucks and their drivers only… As a result, there was no lounge and comfortable chairs to sit on, only a few hard wooden benches on the upper deck…

On this boat, 1st Class isn't all it's cracked up to be...!!

Tekin and I whiled away the hours chatting about every subject imaginable, and had it not been for him, the 6 hours it took to get to Tasucu, would have seemed much longer…

Tekin, on the left, watched as we finally left the shores of Cyprus... The old geezer on the right spent at least ten minutes chatting to me before he realised I couldn't speak Turkish...!!

This tea tastes terrible, Dudes.... But it's free...!!

We stood watching one of the most amazing sunsets I have ever seen, and after Tekin went to chat to a small group of truckers, I continued to stand with my back against the ship’s port funnel, and watched as the sun sank down below the horizon, into the sea…

I watched the sky change colour, and was amazed that where the sun was setting, the sky was dark and filled with cloud, and yet directly above me, it was still a bright and shining blue…

I took almost 80 photographs of the sunset and have had a hard time deciding which ones to publish, so…. I have decided to upload a batch of them on a separate posting…!!

Many of the truckers, seeing the effect that the sunset was having on me, came over to watch the sun fall behind the horizon… When it was finally gone, they gave me the thumbs up signal, and went back to their tea and their chatter…

"And let me tell you, from one GS to another..." The Big Fella was not amused...!!

Through the porthole...!! A lifeboat swings in it's davits...

A cold wind began blowing across the deck, sending everybody down into the hold where they could shelter in their vehicles…

We arrived in Turkey at around 8.00pm, and with so few vehicles on board the vessel, within half an hour, we were cleared through customs…!! I looked around to say goodbye to Tekin, but he had disappeared… If you are reading this my friend, thanks for company and the food you shared with me… Sorry we did not get a chance to say goodbye…!!

First the truck was taken below...

Then it was our turn... And we were back in Turkey...!! Just like that...!!

I was greeted with a high five when I arrived at the Olba Otel a few minutes later…!!

I was waving my room key, which I had mistakenly made off with when I left three weeks ago…!!

I think the manager was happier to see his key than he was me…!!

Before falling asleep, I reminded myself that I was back in Asia, and needed to get a move on to Syria and beyond…

The desert sands were calling, willing me on into their warm and dusty embrace…

©GBWT 2010

2 comments to Ferry to Turkey…

  • Mark Behr

    Nice, easy trip. Glad it went well.
    Now we need to work on your menu. The Snickers and Coldrinks are fine, #$@%&*^xyz…(((((……)))))

  • Sorry Mark….the last part of your message was garbled…..!!! Can’t understand what it must have said…. My “nag alert sensor” must have kicked in….!!! Ha-ha…!!

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