Wed 30.03.11 - The Holy Grail? We were driven to Liman by bus at 10.00 am on schedule. At 6.00 pm - yes 8 hours later - we had our bikes!
Problem solved? NO!! We had a dead and I mean dead battery. Lucky Bodrum Dave had a contact for a bike shop called MotoStop. We were able to call and speak with Yusef who spoke very good English. Yusef is a young guy who "loves" Casey STONER so we had an in. He rode his bike down to the harbour, confirmed our battery was indeed dead, installed a new one that had enough charge so we could follow him to his bike shop and put our bike on charge for the night. Phil (Fabulous Phil of course), who was also staying at out motel with his mate Darren GUTHRIE(Dangerous Darren) - both riding Blackbirds; also had a flat battery. So Greg & Phil left their bikes with Yusef at MotoStop and walked to our old motel (only 500 metres away luckily) with an assurance our bikes would be ready by 10.00 am tomorrow. In celebration Kerrie, Greg, Phil & Darren went out to dinner and ate Turkish style - it was yummy too.
Thu 31.01.11 - Disaster. On returning to MotoStop Yusef pointed out that our bike, the "Pommie Ducati" had a crack in the frame! We figured out the cannisters that we made up to carry our wet weather gear and mounted beside the top box had stopped the top box from moving which it is designed to do. This lack of movement had caused metal fatigue on the frame and it had cracked. Luckily Yusef's boss and owner of MotoStop knew a welder near by. Bike fixed by 11.30 am. The damage dollar wise - 270 Turkish lire for the battery (about $165 AUD) and the welding 100 lire (about $60 AUD). Not too bad.
Before we left our hotel our kindly and friendly concierge for the previous three days Mustafa ISIK, came out and helped us pack our bike on the footpath at the front of the hotel.
We exchanged email addresses; Mustafa wants to visit Australia one day and we hope to repay some hospitality to him.
Finally at 1.00 pm we were on the road heading north. It was drizzling rain all the way. Because of its soil type, when dry, Turkish roads are very dusty. When it rains it turns to mud. Our bike was filthy by the time we pulled up stumps and found a nice hotel in the resort town of Ayvalik.
We ate at a restaurant right out side the front door. Mehmet, the restaurant's owner spoke nine (9) languages (Turkish, English, Greek, German, French, Yiddish, Kurdish - can't remember the rest) and both of his great grandfathers fought at Gallipoli and both are buried there. He was very proud of his families history and allowed us to take a photograph of him standing by a photo of one of his great grandfathers.
We stopped for lunch at what we thought was a cafe but it turned out to be a cheese factory with sales and tasting at the front. Nothing else to eat so lunch was Turkish tea, cashew nuts & chocolate.
When riding towards Troy the repartee between Kerrie and Greg went something like this.
Greg: "Have you heard the one about the wooden horse?"
Kerrie: "Yes I know - Wooden horse - wouldn't shit."
Greg : "Yes, wooden shit, be careful not to step in it."
Kerrie: "Yes I know - wooden splinters in my foot."
We arrived at the Troy archeological site at about 2.00 pm, parted with 30 lire and entered the scene for one of histories great enigmas.
You will remember the story from your readings of Homer's the Iliad from your school ancient history lessons? No - well the short version, Paris, son of Prium (king of Troy) stole Helen, a Greek princess, and carried her away to Troy as his bride. From all reports Helen was a piece of hot stuff and a willing participant in the affair. Anyway, the Greeks set sail with the legendary 10,000 ships to retrieve the wronged Helen and teach the pesky Troyans a thing or two. The war dragged on for 10 years and looked like ending in stalemate as the walls of Troy were impregnable. The Greeks even had the legendary Achilles as their champion but even he couldn't crack the case. Then the Greeks hit on the idea of the wooden horse, leaving it behind as they pretended to flee in their ships. You know the rest. By the way, the saying "Beware of Greeks bearing gifts" is thought to derive form this masterly piece of trickery.
The site of Troy was somewhat disappointing; just a litter of stones that once did have shape.
If not for its mythical past it would not be worth the visit. We both climbed inside the wooden horse (built in 1975 for the tourists).
After leaving Troy we rode to Canakkale which is on the coast of the Dardenelles which is directly opposite the Gallipoli Peninsula. We caught a ferry across to the peninsula to a small village called Eceabat. We had pre-booked accommodation at the Hotel Crowded House. On arrival we discovered that 11 other bikes from the Get Routed Gang had arrived the day before and were downstairs in the bar enjoying a beer after a day sightseeing the Gallipoli battlefields.
Tomorrow it's on to Gallipoli to pay our respects.
Tuesday 29.03.11 - No luck with the bikes. We were all called dutifully to Dave MILLIGAN's (owner of Get Routed) hotel at 10.00 am where we were to be told the next step.No news yet - come back at 1.00 pm for the next update - no news yet, Come back at 3.00 pm for the next update - no news yet come back at 5.00 pm. Is there a pattern emerging here? Waiting, waiting, waiting! Dave has two contacts in Turkey, another Dave who is an Aussie who is married to a Turkish speaking American named Dina. They run a tourist sailing boat (a gillet) out of Bodrum a town about 200 km south of Izmir. Lucky for our group Dina could overcome the language barrier otherwise nothing would happen. At 5.00 pm Dina and Dave Milligan returned by taxi form Liman (the port/harbour) and told us tomorrow at 10.00 am for sure. Good!