A break from the ‘norm’

Written by ralph on October 7th, 2015. Posted in Ralph's blog

Today we have split away from the main group with a plan to meet back together for tonight’s camp. 

The group is, once again, taking the high mountain trails.  As these are very likely to pass through dense woodland we felt that we would like to see more of the surrounding countryside so we have decided to take the road route.  To be totally honest; a break from the dizzying drops and jarring tracks was also part of the motivation. 

It’s also nice to feel we have done a little bit of independent travel, even if it is only a few hours. 

We have just stopped for a leisurely lunch at the roadside and a bit of minor maintenance. 

The views are stunning but may not show so well on the iPhone photos. 

Matilda is performing well apart from a bit of overheating of the gearbox.  This is not too surprising as we have gone up and down from 2000ft to 4500ft quite few time in this trip. I need to improve the airflow to the cooler when we get home. 

We have been travelling for two weeks, are currently 1641 miles from home (although we have driven 1.5 times that) and are currently further east than we have ever been (beating our Nordkapp record yesterday or the day before). 

We are now heading south towards Bodrum and have seven day left before we head back to Europe. 

Last nights camp

Written by ralph on October 7th, 2015. Posted in Ralph's blog

Intermitent signal so short post

First camp in Asia in the rain


Bye bye Europe

Written by ralph on October 6th, 2015. Posted in Ralph's blog



Written by ralph on October 6th, 2015. Posted in Ralph's blog


The ups and downs of Istanbul

Written by ralph on October 5th, 2015. Posted in Ralph's blog

Last night we walked into the city and had a group meal. 

  Some spectacular dishes were served and consumed. 

  And much fun was had.  Then it all went ‘Pete Tong’ as they say. 

So, as you know, we ‘camped’ in a car park.  I slept really well.  In fact between 04:32 and 04:40 I managed 45 seconds of really good quality sleep.  As for the rest of the time we were bombarded with the local Turkish youth taking part in the nightly ‘my subwoofer is louder than yours’ competition. 

I was wearing silicon earplugs and I could, not only, still hear the music but I could also feel it through the base of the tent.  

Twice I relocated the car (with Belinda hanging on for dear life in the rooftent) in the vain hope of finding a quieter spot.   The situation was further ‘enhanced’ by the local pimp and his ’employees’ plying their trade and entertaining themselves, between customers, by dragging around plastic patio furniture and playing a very loud card game.  On top of this the straggly looking stray dogs decided to attack and eat s plastic water bottle at the bottom of our ladder.!

All in all it wasn’t the most relaxing night I’ve spent😒

However the sun rose over Asia and Istanbul beckoned. 

The ‘campsite’ may have been bad but it was only a 20 minute walk to the Blue Mosque and the other main attractions. 

Firstly we visited the sisterns beneath the city. 

A stunning place.  Next we walked to the Grand Bazaar

We didn’t last very long. Too much jostling, too many people, too much of the same thing over and over.  If you like shopping and haggling then I’m sure you’ll love it. Unfortunately it wasn’t our cup of apple tea. 

Next we visited the the Blue Mosque (the queues were horrendous in the morning). 

A stunning place but it didn’t half smell of feet😀

Finally, after a bite of lunch, we visited the Topkapi Palace

Another stunning location. 

As I type this, one fingered on my iPhone, I am lying on a hotel bed just about have a nice warm shower.  We couldn’t face another subwoofer face-off tonight so we have left Matilda on the quay and we have bottled out and gone the luxury route (just in case you think we’re wimps, we’re not the only ones sleeping comfy tonight)

We are a regrouping at seven for a meal although I feel sure it will not be a late night for anyone. 

Tomorrow we shall be catching a ferry to Asia and Matilda’s 3rd continent. 

The sun rises over Asia

Written by ralph on October 5th, 2015. Posted in Ralph's blog