Day 026 Turkey : Alexandroupoli - Kilyos

Day 026 Turkey

Trip Distance 335 km (208 m) Total Distance 4901 km (3046 m)
Diesel Costs €0.89 - €0.95 TL2.50 - TL3.00 At the border on Greek side €0.70
Fill up here if you can
       
Stopover
Kilyos
Mistik Camping N41.24428 E29.03206 TL38 - Very basic, not much hot water.  Great public transport links into Istanbul.  Nazif the manager is wonderful but watch out for the owner's father who is at the camp, he is much too willing to over charge

The border crossing from Greece to Turkey was our first "real" border but was completed in quick time.  You can get more info from the Border Crossings entry.  Just be careful about arriving around lunch time which is from 12:00noon - 1:00pm as you may be delayed here.

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And then it was into Turkey.  We took the scenic route through to Istanbul where we had to turn left before the Bosphorous and head up to the Black Sea coast to Kilyos for our next stop.  We had to run the gauntlet of the Istanbul outer ring road and I think everyone should do this before they can say they can drive! What an experience..... You can use indicators if you wish but these are entirely optional!  Lanes are optional too but hooting is compulsory.  It's strange but it's just like a little bit of magic and it all seems to work.  Cars, bus and trucks zoom along at break neck speeds, drivers career along in the fast lane and overtake you across 3 lanes to just take the off ramp in time using the painted island as extra driving space.  Cars undertake on the right and cut in front of you and this is all whilst texting, smoking a fag, talking to the passengers in the back and the mini-bus taxis and buses all taking money from passengers that they've picked up from the side of the motorway.  We now understand the term "weaving traffic" - it's just like that!  But there is no road rage, no anger and no bloated red faces screaming out at you as you change lanes.  If you decide to run the gauntlet, hold your nerve, stay calm, use indicators if you want but do what you need to do and move along as required.  More often than not you're bigger than them and with a bit of hooting and a swerve to the left they'll be on their way.

We arrived at Mistik Camping and set Sully up.  The sun was setting behind us over the Black Sea as we made supper and settled in for the night.  Just before going to bed, we sat outside in the dark with the candle flickering between us drinking a last cup of coffee when the most haunting, spining-chilling call to prayer echoed through the town and all around us.  It was the most beautiful and exotic sound we had heard and we knew then that our adventure had started.  We were in Istanbul and heading down to Africa.