Woke up this morning at 445 am and feeling my bike staring at me asking me to set him up. Tossed and turned and few more times and woke up just in time when the morning prayers started. To me it signaled time to set up bike. Was happy that the bike was intact and all parts seems to be working. Next working on packing the panniers and rack bag. With that in the bag pun intended, went for my favorite soup shop for breakfast and came back just as Mustafa arrives. Mustafa my host does not stay at the apartment he is hosting me in and instead he stays with his mom a few blocks away.
Had a bit of a chit chat with Mustafa before saying our good byes and finally setting out.
I decided to try out a new route instead and headed north on the old Erdine road towards road D020. It was a good choice. Traffic was bearable and on faster roads there was wide shoulders.
However the day was over cast and rainy. It rain pretty much the whole day. It is as if Mr Cloud and Mrs Rain playing peekaboo just to irritate Mr Sunshine. the rain although mostly light came in waves making wearing the right clothing difficult as you’d feel sometimes too cold and sometimes too hot.
In anycase I am happy to be on the way and inch myself towards Basel. Yehaaaaa !
Fantastic outcome. They delivered my bike box and luggage finally at around 945 pm today. From a quick look it seems everything is in order. Will set up tomorrow and probably ride out later heading north.
Another day of waiting gives me the opportunity to acquaint myself with Istanbul again. Yes I been to Istanbul 3 or 4 times before around 20 years ago. After a great soupy breakfast I stuck around a little while before heading by bus to the edge of Bosphorous on the Europe side and took a ferry across to the Asia side for a quick lunch and then back via a senic Bhosporous tour. Headed back to wait for the luggage arrival but not a single sign. As it turns out it’s pasar tani Wednesday around the area I am staying and it was a massive one. Enjoyed the sight of the variety of local produce, spices and dried goods. Decided to head back again to wait. Still nada. Its almost 10 pm now nothing yet. To be continued. ………
Sometimes you do not need to arrive to have an adventure. It’s starts the moment you leave your house. The drama started when checking in for my flight. I was almost to be denied boarding because I had booked a one way ticket and needed a proof of onward ticket. I had earlier been warned that this could happen by fellow tourers. I also researched that it also depends on the location and the carrier. Most carrier do this to protect themselves in the event the traveller gets denied entry and sent back. The carrier not only needs to send you back , they will also get a fine. The Airlines are very strict about this. So they wanted me to buy a onward return ticket on the spot which I refused. Luckily I had a solution with a legitimate booked onward ticket with me as backup that I paid very little for ( less than 10USD ) and that got me off the hook and the finally allowed me to check in. If some of you want more details of this tai chi method just message me personally.
Finally I am on my way now but still concerned if I would have problems at Istanbul immigration. I left Malaysia with mixed emotions. In terms of my Emotionometer I was at 80% Anxious 10% Fearful and 10% Anticipation.
Upon leaving Abu Dhabi for Istanbul the drama continues to unfold. The KL flight leaving for Abu Dhabi was delayed more that 1 and half hours due to some engine technical issues. They didn’t say exactly what the problem was but engine and technical and issue doesn’t sound all that assuring. Anyway as I sat in the window side of plane bound for Istanbul I was elated when the Captain announce that we would be able to see baggage being loaded. Great let me whip out my phone and take an Instagram moment while they load my bike box. Not a chance. To my horror, I saw the trolley with my box and bag along with other bags form the KL flight pull up the plane side and immediately was instructed to pull away and drove off ! At the moment there really nothing much I could do and watch my stuff carted off and already knew my bike and bag would not arrive with me at Istanbul. I Complained immediately to the crew but they say that’s not possible and told me in any case they will inform the ground crew and they would take care of it and that was that. Emotionometer just got dialed up twice!
Feeling helpless I decided to relax and dial down Emotionometer and just accept what comes when it comes. The flight was marginally bearable as I still have the the issue of getting pass immigration in my head.
Turns out the process of clearing immigration at Istanbul was a joy and a breeze. I literally sail through the process. So happiness and joy and Emotionometer swung go a different direction of 70% Joy 20% Anxoius 10% Excited.
My flight landed 15 mins shy of 1pm local Istanbul time and after filling up the forms for the non arrival of my baggage and buying a prepaid data plan local SIM card , I got on a local a metro MRT was on my way to my warmshower host place at 330pm. The cost of the train ticket is 4 Turkish Lira. It was commical at the station as I was clueless how to get the tickets. Thankfully there are always nice local people to help.
The bonus if you can call it a bonus is I now don’t have to unpack my bike set up and ride off from the airport. I now expect my bike and bag to be sent to where I am staying.
I finally arrived at Mustafa’s home at Fatih around 430 pm and settled in for the day. What a journey it was today. Tired but happy. Hoping for another swing to the Emotionometer when my bike and bag arrives tomorrow or not ?
Monday evening I head for the airport to catch my flight to Istanbul. Trying to do it most affordably. Get someone to send to 1 Utama bus station- FOC. Take Skybus to KLIA2 – RM15. Take KLIA express to KLIA from KLIA2- RM2. If you have the time, this will work. It took me around 1 hour 45 mins to get from I Utama to KLIA. It was 8 pm so traffic was still a tad heavy. I guess you can make in faster rike during non peak hours.
Busy busy day of packing and meeting up with buddies for farewell fling. Packing is essentially done. Just need to tape up everything and we are good to go. Tomorrow will be a super busy day to get all necessary errands done.
Did more packing and sorting out what to bring. When time to pack the bike, I had some minor problems taking out the handle bar so I took the easy way out la and had a cup of coffee instead. Continue reading “Balkans 2016 – Day -2”