Gallipoli

Trip Start Apr 29, 2006
1
82
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Trip End Nov 15, 2007


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Flag of Turkey  ,
Tuesday, August 8, 2006

8.8.06
Gallipoli
Turkey
The sun rose in a magnificent orange ball over the sea at about 6 o'clock in the morning with the mountains a blue shadow in the back ground. The water was as still as glass and I didn't have the heart to dive in and disturb it.

One or two things remained to be done in Greece before we crossed the border into Turkey. (Lou and Lynn went their own way when we stopped at Kavala). We found a permit only parking spot, abandoned the car there and went looking for a computer parts shop as my wiring is broken in the computer leads. I had been using 2 little copper wires on a very steady table in the camp site, but now needed to do something more permanent so I can use the computer while we are traveling again. The first place we asked for directions, we were helped by a lovely, young, Australian/Greek Pharmacist who spoke very good English as she had lived in Melbourne.

In the computer shop, the part was not available but we were instructed to follow another customer to another shop. This man set a cracking pace up hill towards the next shop (which we would never have found by ourselves). It was difficult for us to keep up with the man as we were both wearing inappropriate footwear. The thongs I was wearing had already been repaired with a piece of wire by Lou, after Lynn stepped on the back of them and broke them. Des's shoes were only just holding on to his feet as they were slip-ons, more inclined to slip-off as Des's feet were perspiring in the heat. We felt we'd had a work-out by the time we reached the shop. The man very kindly let us get served first, so when I caught my breath I asked for the parts which the man also translated for us. Des also wanted a soldering iron with wire, which he were also helped us with. (The shop owner spoke no English). We were very grateful to the man who took us to the shop and helped us with the language. Incidents like that just reinforce my ideals of human nature. As it happened the T/shirt the man was wearing read "When you have friends, you have treasure". I wonder if he realized how much of a friend he was to us at that time.

Des and I enjoyed a fish and salad lunch together in a restaurant on the beach in Kavala before driving on to Alexandropoli where we met up with Lou and Lynn again.

The border crossing was easier than we thought with out many hic-cups. We had to pay 30 Euros for 2 Turkish Visas and the customs officers were interested in our camper van but didn't want to get up from their chairs, so we brought out some photos to show. They were duly impressed and wished us a safe journey and waved us goodbye. A chap we spoke to at the border said he makes the crossing regularly and sometimes the wait on the border has been as long as 13 hours during holiday season.

We drove straight to Gelibolu (Gallipoli) with the intention of stopping at ANZAC Cove. We had trouble locating it so we tried to find a place to sleep and have another go the next day. Lou met up with a guy who said we were welcome to share his free camp on the Esplanade if we cold get the vehicles in. He apologized about his English (as they all do), and went to check with his uncle. All OK'd, we flopped our camper van out to share a wonderful evening with this Kurdish family. Hikmet spoke very good English and together with his uncle Irfan outlined a suitable route for us to take through Turkey. This was tremendously helpful for us as it showed us a good place to enter Iran. They said we would have no trouble in Iran and that it is safe and friendly.

The family shared their tea, melon and baked potatoes with us and was very interested in life in Australia. We were quizzed on every subject and one which drew particular attention was the fact that Lou and Lynn are not married. They were very direct with their questions about our views on Israel, America and Saddam Hussein. They also gave us a geography lesson about Kurdish Territory. We felt welcomed by these people in the most open way and I hope we were able to make a difference in their day as well.

Our first night in Turkey with the Kurdish family put us at our ease about getting around in Turkey and since then we have had many friendly waves from the Turkish people.
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