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Joel Stewart’s Travel Diary

Sunday, 26 Apr 2009

Location: Turkey

Map4/26/09 - Made it!!! 4000km around half of Turkey and back to Istanbul

Amazing to not have to get onto the motorcycle today and head another 300KM down the road. Coming into Istanbul yesterday traffic was jammed up for 20 miles and I crept along in 1st gear weaving in and out of traffic dodging cars trying to get another 4 meter further along. We come to a ferry terminal and road right onto the boat and were across to within a km of our hotel. Then 45 minutes negotiating bumper to bumper traffic to pull up and get off of the motorcycle for the last time. At this point I can say I know how to shift a motorcycle and negotiate some of the more horrendous roads that I have every seen, including mud 6 inches deep going down hill on a curve with a cliff on the right and a large truck coming the other way.

So now it is Istanbul for a few days - hotel hopping since it is the anniversary of Gallipoli and there are thousands of new Zealanders and Aussies, plus the town is just crammed with the normal crush of tourists.

It is hard for me to believe that I have done it. Thank god for the foam seat pad that I brought and the throttle rocker - a way to not have to clutch the gas all the time. I am not sure that I saw Turkey but having paid so much attention to the roads all I saw was the gravel on the curves and searching ahead for upcoming trucks on the curves.

Having gone with a group of Aussies I now have about 6 homes open to me in Australia, a motorcycle I can use, and invite to tour India and China, and a good bunch of friends.

More later off for the final day of the tour for a ride on the Bosporus.


Chris Sayer is the guy on the motorcycle tour that took a header into a truck on a blind corner - here is a link to his blog site with some pictures of the trip.

Third down on

After traveling in the bus for a few days he went in to get his dressing changed and the doctor in that town said he was stupid to not go into a real hospital right away - the same day he was flown to Istanbul and has been here 4 days and has had 2 surgeries and expecting one more. He is suppose to be here a week prior to flying back to Australia - his daughter came from Toronto and is here helping Chris and Anne get through this stressful time.

The local tour guide said that he was going to make a hotel reservation for me at the same hotel that a couple of the other tour members are going to be staying at for a few day - he dropped the ball so I had to rush to get a hotel reservation today for 5 days - I guess something big is going on in town in 3 days because it was hard to find a hotel with a room open. I may put more later on my view on industrial tourism and guides. I guess, as with everything, there are good ones and bad ones. But I am not sure I like the required process. It has been nice to get close to a small group of people but mostly that bonding came about by the shared travails of being on similar 2 wheel vehicles.

Off to the final parting dinner - at the hotel that the guide didn't make a reservation for me at Im irritated I guess.

Check out his Chris's blog.