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Turkish Delights

We hope you enjoy reading about our adventures. I'm sure there will be many ups and downs and wonderful stories to tell. Travel is certainly exciting...you never know what's around the corner!! So...here goes!!

Diary Entries

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Location: Cannakale-Gallipoli, Turkey

Today we went on an organised tour to Gallipol. At 12 o'clock we met up with a small group of about 15 people and began our tour by crossing the Dardenelles in a small private boat. After a bite to eat in a restaurant on the other side we travelled to Gallipoli by mini bus, about 10 kms away.

Our tour of Gallipoli was all that I'd hoped. We were taken around to all the various sites. The cemeteries were really moving, especially seeing the soldier's young ages; the youngest being only 14yrs, who had lied about his age. It was also moving seeing Simpson's grave (Simpson and his donkey). Our soldiers fought the Turks over such a small area. At one point they were fighting each other with only 8 metres in between our trenches and theirs. This is where they traded food and cigarettes. At one stage they had singing concerts, especially by one Turkish soldier. But one night there was silence because the Turkish singer had been shot and our men were saddened at the thought that one of their bullets could have killed the enemy with the magnificent voice. How sad. As our Turkish Guide said, this campagn just shouldn't have happened and was such an enormous waste of life. The experts agree that as a result of this campagn over half a million people died on the battlefield or later from both sides. Our guide was brilliant. He explained everything to us in detail and told us many wonderful stories.

Going to Gallipoli was a wonderful experience and one I shall never forget. I have always wanted to see this special place. It was made even more significant for me knowing that my grandfather fought here (luckily he was wounded and taken away for medical treatment) and also due to the death 2 months ago of our dear Uncle Jim, a Japanese prisoner of war in WWII.

I had a short walk on the beach at ANZAC Cove where I was able to feel the warm water of the Agean Sea and collect a few small smooth rocks to bring home. The sea was the same beautiful turquoise as it is all over Turkey. I hope other members of my family will also be able to visit Gallipoli sometime in the future. It is a very moving place and I feel honoured to have been able to see and feel it for myself.

Friday, 12 September 2008

Location: Istanbul, Turkey

About 10am after arriving in Istanbul, we walked about 2 minutes to the tram station. We were all about to jump on a tram when there was a bit of drama. Maree was in front so she got on the tram first. Suddenly without any warning the tram doors shut before the rest
of us could get on. Woops! Luckily we had time to mime to a concerned Maree to go to the last station, about 4 stops away. Then the tram raced off! Fortunately another tram came only a couple of minutes later and we found Maree waiting for us on a seat. She looked quite relieved! Bradley's flat is at the beginning/end of the tram line.

When we arrived at Brad's flat we had a welcomed cup of tea, showered, packed a small day pack each and headed off again at 2.45pm for Cannakale (Gallipoli). We caught a tram (20mins) and then a train (another 20mins) before arriving at probably the biggest bus station in the world. It was huge with hundreds of buses!

At 4.30pm we left on a big coach for the last leg of our trip. After 5 1/2 hours we crossed the Dardenelles on a big car ferry and finally arrived at our hotel about 11pm. Since leaving Meteora we had been travelling for about 33 hours, including the 4 hour break at Brad's flat.

To be continued...

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Location: Overnight train to Turkey, Greece

After our usual packing up routine, we walked to the local railway station and caught the 12 o'clock train for an hour then literally ran with all our bags to catch another train on a different platform for a further 2 hours. We found ourselves in the city of Thessalonika where we had a 4 hour wait until our next train. After buying our tickets which took a while because the next leg of our journey
would take us from Greece back into Turkey, we put all our bags into lockers then set out to explore. We visited a 7th century Bizantine church then walked into the main part of the city. Thessalonika is the second biggest city in Greece and is a port city on the Agean Sea. We ate a quick dinner washed down with a beer down near the water then caught a taxi back to the railway station.

Our overnight sleeper train which cost about $85 (Aust) left at 7.30pm. Each berth slept 2 people so Maree and I were in one cabin and the fellas in the other. Luckily we had dinner because, to our surprise, there was no buffet car! The four of us squashed into one cabin and played cards ("Contract") until about 1am, while we drank very small quantities of Kitron, a liquor from the Greek island of Naxos (tastes similar to Contreau).

Our train journey was very interesting! Firstly, we were all woken about 4am to hand over our passports to the Greek immigration officials who wanted to check our faces against our passport photographs. About 30 minutes later we were woken again when our passports were returned. When the train crossed the Turkish border about an hour later we were again woken but this time it was to hand over our passports to the Turkish immigration officials.
And about 30 minutes later our passports were returned! The train stopped at a small town on the Turkish border where the officials got onto the train and at the same time Bradley had to get off with about 20 others to get a new visa as his had run out. What an ordeal!! Lucky Maree is deaf because she slept through the whole thing and woke up quite refreshed in the morning! Actually we told Maree when we first went to bed that the train would arrive back in
Istanbul after 7.30am as this was the information we had. She must have set an alarm because at 7.15am she woke me up. Maree was all ready to alight! I looked out the window and there were fields and no sign of any buildings. I told her to go back to bed as I was exhausted from lack of sleep and I knew that the train staff would wake everyone up before we got to the station. Poor Maree...we forgot to tell her we would be woken!
Finally, we were woken about 8.30am and our train finally arrived at Istanbul just after 9.30am. We had been on the train for 14 hours!!

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Location: Meteora (Kalambaka), Greece


Today we explored Meteora (meaning "raised up"),an amazing geographical area consisting of several massive rocky outcrops of unknown origin. Tourists from all over the world flock to this area, not so much to see the natural geographic features, but rather the many 14th century Greek Orthodox Monasteries and Nunneries perched on top of them! There would be nothing like this anywhere in the world! It's incredible to think how these 700 year old religious sanctuaries were constructed! How did the "architects" acquire
the knowledge so many years ago...without a 4 year university degree?! This applies to all the ancient buildings and structures
in Turkey, Syria and Greece we have been so privileged to see. And all over the world for that matter! We have certainly gained respect for the people of ancient civilizations for their imagination, skills and abilities, especially those from BC. We believe our modern society, especially the last 2 hundred years, is way more advanced than any other in history when in fact, considering the lack of
technology, many of these ancient civilizations were considerably advanced for their time.

We visited 2 Monasteries and 1 Nunnery and walked a few kilometres (about 5) in the process. (We always try to walk everywhere we go to save money on taxies. Maree, Ron and I have become quite fit and have hopefully lost some weight!)

Tuesday, 09 September 2008

Location: Meteora, Greece

The next day we headed off again at 3.30pm after more sight seeing of the ancient ruins at Delphi, including temples, a theatre and the most intact sports stadium of its kind anywhere in the world (over 2500 years old).

We travelled for 30 minutes then had to change buses, then a 3 hour journey up and down and around huge, steep, rugged mountains and another change of buses, then a final 30 minutes, arriving at our destination, Meteora, around 8pm. Then we walked with all our bags (including a very heavy bronze souviner from Delphi!) uphill to our hotel, about 20 minutes away. Luckily there was a Taverna (tavern) next door to our hotel, so after a beer, a quick dinner and showers, we headed to bed.

Monday, 08 September 2008

Location: Delphi, Greece

We arrived in Delphi about 6.30pm just in time to walk around the town in the cool of the late afternoon.

Delphi was an ancient civilization 500-600 BC where the God Apollo was worshipped and it was regarded as the centre of the world in ancient times. At this time in Delphi, the Oracle, a female prophecy, sat on a tripod (stool) above a crack in the earth where some kind of fumes were emitted and told people's fortunes. Apparently, her prophesies were very weird and no-one really understood them...probably because she was "high" on whatever it was she was breathing!! However, she was taken very seriously. In fact, a famous married Emperor who had as his lover an extremely handsome 17year old boy, was told by the Oracle that either he or his lover boy would have to die. The young lad so loved the older man, plus was very aware of his status as Emperor, that he jumped into the river Nile and drowned himself. The Emperor was devastated so he erected statues of the handsome teenager all over Greece and Rome. (We saw a couple of these statues and the young boy was really beautiful.) It's quite a sad story.

Saturday, 06 September 2008

Location: Athens, Greece

6th and 7th Sept
Saturday and Sunday

The following two days we had an amazing time. The four of us walked all over the city visiting the Acropolis and Parthenon (500-600BC),
National Museum of Archeology and both the Greek (500-600 BC) and Roman (100 AD) Angora (shopping area). Our sight seeing also included
a steep cable car ride through a tunnel up to the top of a hill, the highest point in the city, to see the sunset over the predominately
white buildings of the city.

After 2 exhausting days and 3 nights we packed up again and after missing the 1pm coach by 10 minutes, mainly because we couldn't find a taxi then the traffic was heavy and to top it off, our taxi got stuck behind a public bus that kept stopping, we left on the 3.30pm coach
for the small village of Delphi, high up in the mountains.

Friday, 05 September 2008

Location: Athens, Greece


Friday

So...We found ourselves at the dock at Athens at around 12.30am without a hotel booking.(This was only the second time this had happened!)
After walking a short distance we found the railway station and caught a train right into the middle of the city.
Brad and I left Ron and Maree minding all the bags at a park bench in a big open park next to Parliament House
where there was plenty of light and lots of people still out and about. Bradley had a map and a list of cheap hotels,
so after running around the middle of the city for over an hour, we finally found a clean, cheap hotel. Cheap, that is, by Athen's
standards! It cost us 130 Euros (about $200 Aust) per night for 2 adjoining rooms. It was about 2 1/2 stars but included
air conditioning and breakfast. We finally got settled about 3.30am!!

Friday, 05 September 2008

Location: Santorini to Athens, Greece

THERE ARE UPDATED ENTRIES AT THE END OF AUGUST!!!!


We left Santorini after 3 nights on a large "Blue Star" ferry. As this was our last ferry trip we decided to upgrage to first class for an extra $20 Euro per person (about $30 Aust). it was a great trip as we had comfortable chairs,a couple of small round tables, a large TV screen (with a British movie showing!) and our own first class bar!

As we made our way from the port I took many photos looking back at the island. Santorini is certainly an amazing place! I doubt there would be any other place in the world like it. The soaring cliffs, volcanic rock and small white houses balancing on the
cliff edges make the whole place spectacular.

Anyway, after farewelling Santorini, we settled in for the night.
We bought some takeaway spaghetti for dinner, had a beer and played cards ("Contract"!).

After a very smooth 8 hour trip our ferry finally docked at Athens at midnight. All the passengers on foot (like us) queue up to get to the bottom of the ferry to grab bags, backpacks and suitcases stored on racks right next to all the vehicles. It's quite chaotic as the cars, motorbikes and trucks of all sizes are also driving off the ferry right next to all the pedestrians who are wrestling with their bags etc...and each other! At the same time the ferry staff are yelling and directing the whole show and in spite of the commotion,
nobody is injured and everyone disembarks, I was going to say,'safely'...but rather in one piece!! There was even a black hearse on our ferry complete with black-suited driver and coffin!

To be continued...

Friday, 05 September 2008

Location: Santorini, Greece

3rd and 4th September

After 3 nights in Naxos we caught another huge ferry to the island of Santorini. This island is amazing! It is built on the rim of an ancient volcano that erupted over 2000 thousand years ago. The eruption was the biggest ever recorded and it blew out the middle of the island causing a massive tsunami. The crater then filled up with the Agean Sea.

As we came into the port we could see the massive cliffs at the water's edge. There are about 5 small villages with white painted houses dotting the tops of the cliffs. We got a lift to our hotel in a minibus. It took about 15minutes for the bus to wind its way up the almost sheer cliff to the top.

The island is so picturesque. Another photographer's dream! The houses are almost all white washed with blue trim. The numerous churches are typical of the photos we all see in magazines with white walls and blue domes.

We walked around a couple of the villages and on the first day we had a swim at a beach with black sand from the volcano. Maree and I wore our bikinis! You wouldn't be seen dead in a one piece with boardshorts in a fit in Greece! We would be so conspicuous! Everyone...I mean everyone, of all shapes and sizes...and age, wear bikinis. Not the blokes of courses! The water was magnificent.

At dusk we sat on the edge of the cliff and watched the famous Santorini sunset with hundreds of other tourists. It was beautiful.

On the second day we caught a cable car from the top of the cliff to join a large sailing boat for a sunset cruise including dinner. It was great! We were sailing in the middle of an active volcano! The sun is so orange just before it sets. When we docked we got back up to the top of the cliff on mules. Maree loved it as it was the first time she'd been on a horse/donkey since a child. It was fun! There hasn't been a dull moment since we left on this amazing adventure!

Monday, 01 September 2008

Location: Naxos, Greece




Hi!

Wow! It's the first day of Spring in the southern hemisphere...so "a pinch and a punch..."!

But here it is the first day of Autumn and being the 1st eptember it is the beginning of the month of Ramadan for all Muslims in the world.

So, before entering our next adventure in Greece I will tell you briefly what this means.

During the month of Ramadan (September this year but can be at other times as it is based on the phases of the moon) practising Muslims do not allow any food or drink to pass their lips between dawn (at the first 'call to prayer') and dusk (the second last 'call to prayer').

By the way' there are 5 'calls to prayer' per day when Muzzien, highly skilled/trained prayer singers, sing out over loud speakers, reminding practising Muslims to pray. It is quite a beautiful wailing sound.

Anyway, Ramadan is practised so that Muslims can understand the plight of the poor. They are not even allowed to drink water. Children, the elderly and the sick are exempt.

When the sun sets there is great merriment and feasting! In some places men beat great drums about an hour before dawn so they wake people incase they want to eat breakfast or drink before the first 'call to prayer'! Luckily 'foreiners' are exempt too and in Turkey, food is readily available!! Apparently though, in Arabic countries, Ramadan is taken way more seriously and it is difficult to find food during daylight hours!!

One final aspect I have learnt about being Muslim is following the 5 pillars of Islam. These are (in order):

1. Believing that there is only one God
2. Praying 5 times a day
3. Practising Ramadan
4. Giving 2.5% profit from your income or business to the poor
5. Going to Mecca, in Saudi Arabia, the place where Mahammed, (who Muslims revere like Jesus, to Christians) began to preach.


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Recent Messages

From Peter & Robyn
G'day Maree,
Just been catching up on your travels and looking at your great photos.some of those roads - wow! It certainly is a very ancient part of the world, eh, and you must be having a fantastic experience Maree. Things are going well at WBC and we miss your "dial with it's big smile!" We're sure you will enjoy your time in Singapore,having been there.
We will be away when you get back, so we'll look forward to seeing you after we get home.
Safe travel, God bless, Peter & Robyn
Response: Hi Peter & Robyn
Glad you are enjoying our travels. I've been having lots of history lessons of the ancient world. I didn't have history at school so I'm learning a good bit about it now! We are leaving Turkey tomorrow for Singapore. I'm looking forward to going back there and seeing a bit more of the place. I'll see you when you return from your time away. Lots of love Maree
From Gem
hey guys!
Love all the pictures! Someone turned on the summer switch here and it has been 27! YES! Last day of uni today! YES again! nearly finished all my assignments!!!

Planning our trip to Africa everynight! I can't wait to catch up and hear all you stories!
xoxoxox
Response: Hi Gemma!
Glad to hear all your uni work is nearly finished. You will be so relieved! Can't wait to see you and Alex and hear your plans for Africa. Hopefully I'll put some more photos on the site today (maybe even the "bikini pics"!). It sounds like Summer is just around the corner. It has been so hot for most of our travels. Until we got to Greece it was high 30s to low 40s every day. In Greece it was low to mid 30s. Since being back in Istanbul we can feel a slight touch of Autumn. It is high 20s during the day but cooler after dark. Only 2 more days with Brad before we fly home. We're nearly ready for a rest and it will be great to sleep in our own bed again and not to live out of a backpack! But everything is good and we're looking forward to seeing everyone at home. We'll miss Bradley when we leave. We have all been such close companions and pretty good travel buddies! Take care. Love mum xxooxx
From Marlene Walshe
Hi Cathy and Ron,

It was so great to get your email and the planetranger site, I have forwarded it on to Michelle ,Karen and Trudi. I know they will enjoy reading it, and also seeing the photos.

I have read all, and looked at all the photos too, they are great. Bradley looks so mature these days. Will he be coming back for good at Xmas?
Will definitely catch up when you get back.
Please give me a call after you have recovered from your jetlag, and I will come over. All is well here with work and everyone else.
Michelle and Leon have finally set a wedding date on 29th November
Just a small affair.They had planned so many times before. A small family service on the beach . Then she will officially be Mrs Kirkbeck. Halina id very excited too.
Look forwarded too seeing you very soon.
Take care and enjoy the rest of your holiday. Love Marlene xx
Response: Hi Marlene!
That"s fantastic news!! Wow!! Everyone must be so excited! Will Halina be the bridesmaid?
Bradley is coming home for Xmas which will be at our place. Hopefully he'll be home for about 2 months.
Glad you're enjoying the site! Lots of love to everyone. xxx
From Scruffy
Hello Mummy!! It's great to hear you're all having such a fabulous time but I feel that your absence for 8 weeks is reealllly pushing the friendship! To keep myself stimulated, I decided to do some housework for you and reduce the contents of your magazine rack. I hope you remember to come home, it's getting a little boring living in this big house all by myself. Love & Cuddles, Scruffy :)
Response: Hi Scruffy!
We will be home in a few days. Try not to get too bored. If you're hungry ask Jenny to give you extra dinner as I don't think there's much nutritional value in magazine paper. We miss you too and can't wait to come home to play with you and take you for lots of walks. Until then please behave. Play with your toys if you get bored. Love mummy xxx
From Phil Skinner
Hi maree,

Hope things are still going well - sounds like it.
My trip to Chicago went well - short though.
Things here at Church are all going well - started a new servcie at the end of August at night and it went great.
Weather still up and down - had lots of rain last week - at least 6 inches.
When are you due home ??
Keep well - God bless - Phil
Response: We will be back at the end of the month. We're leaving Turkey on the 19th and having a couple of days in Singapore.
From Jessica
Hi! You finally made it to my two favorite Greek Islands. I am totally jealous! It sounds amazing and like your enjoying yourself. Brad I hope this clears your itchy feet and homesickness just a little bit.

Cathy thanks for your well wishes. Andrew is enjoying some time with his Dad at home at the moment.

Brad he has also been talking to your lovely lady!

Have a sunset drink and a swim for me

Jess.
Response: Hi Jess!
The Greek islands were amazing! We were surprised how dry and barren they were though. It's the white buildings and the beautiful turquoise coloured sea that make them so special.
Brad says hello! and he'll talk to you soon.
Give our love to Andrew.
Take care. Hope to see you in Brisbane soon...maybe at Xmas when Brad comes home. We have been having lots of sunset drinks and swims (in our bikinis!) too
Love from all of us. xxx
Brad says hi and
From Jenny
Computer so slow opening these photos. Waiting anxiously to see these bikinis. Sorry so long no speak. Lots going on here. Won't bother you with it all. Enough to say haven't had much time to watch your travels. The 15 min bus trip up the mtn ... well let's just say I might have tried to walk instead. And well I did want to go over there one day but if I have to wear a bikini. Hmm will give that one a miss!!!The weather is starting to warm up a fraction here. Should be a bit warmer by the time you get home. Well guys and gal. Keep enjoying it all. sounds the absolute best trip. See you quite soon!!!!
Response: We're having a fantastic time! We're all starting to get a bit tired...as seen in some recent photos! Looking forward to sleeping in our own beds.
Will add our bikini photos soon!! Keep watching this space!!
From Jane R.
Yes me again, Maree! Brain freeze! ha! Just a quick note here whether you are interested or not...probably not, (like me ;-} ) Roger Federer won his fifth straight US Open (against Scot Andy Murray) and he is a very relieved man and still is a force to be reckoned among men's tennis circuit. Cheers, J x
Response: Thanks Jane! Will pass the message on to Maree.
From Jane R.
Hey Maree, I have been following your travel blogs and all the pictures looking great! You looked so relaxed and getting adventurous by each passing day.... Wish I was there with you all guys... sounds so interesting and totally different from touristy package. Not sure which is more fun in this regard!? :-))Gee.....and really?? Am so surprised to learn that Greeks are not as friendly as the Turks or good old aussies like us. Guess that the more you travel and experience all sort of things exotic, ordinary, unusual, etc..the more you become more appreciative of things and life. God Bless .... take care. Don't get too homesick yet!! ha! Love Jane.
Response: Maree says hi!
This way of travel is definitely way better than tourist packages. We have complete independence to do what we want and it's soooo much cheaper!!
Greek people are probably just as friendly as the Turks but it is just not as obvious by their body language and speech patterns (tone of voice). Apologies to any Greeks or relatives (Sorry Alex!).

From Dave
Hi Cate... thanks fr your message. All is good here in NZ, although Hudson is a real handful... constant whinging, up half the night, etc.
I'm back home tomorrow. Your photos and updates are great.
Response: Hi Dave!
Glad you're enjoying the photos! Thanks for your message. Sorry to hear Hudson is going through a difficult stage. Poor Michelle and Leon. Stay in touch. xx
From Gemma
Hey guys! Loving the pics! Great to see everyone smiling! The water looks so amazing for swimming! What's Greece like?
Response: Greece is very picturesque, but Greeks are definitely not as friendly as Turks...or Aussies!!!
From Jenny
Photos? I haven't seen any photos!!! A bikini young Maree??? Will you wear it at Merewether? Sounds like an extremely thought provoking and spiritually challenging experience in that area of the world. I'm told here people give up all sorts of things for Ramadan including smoking. Imagine giving up food and smoking!! Even if only the daylight hours must be quite the challenge.
I haven't had a good chance to sit and think but have been pondering Cathy's entry of the 21st and will try to put some thoughts together tomorrow when off work! Your whole trip seems to be a journey into history and faith. So different to just "doing the tourist thing".
Have to go "heal the sick now" but talk to you all soon. Love Jenny
Response: Yes, Jenny we have had an amazing journey. There is so much to learn about the world...way too much for one life time!!
From Peter & Robyn
Hi Maree,
Hope you get this message - we've sent a couple but for some reason they haven't reached you. Sounds like you are all having a very wonderful experience. Glad you are feeling well again. Reading what you have been "up to" it
sounds truly amazing all the things you have been doing and seeing. We are so pleased the trip is going so well for you. We are thinking of you lots and praying for you often. Hope you're taking lots of photos to share with us when you get back.
Missing you very much. Love Peter & Robyn.
Response: Hi Peter & Robyn,
Got your messages & was able to reply today. Ron found a way to stop me from losing my messages! Glad you are enjoying our adventures. I've seen and done lots of amazing things! Even met a lovely christain lady in Greece. Love Maree
From Jane R.
Hey Maree, Very happy to see your responses and photos. You seem to enjoy travel and sightseeing again. You sound more yourself now... very glad. Have been reading your travel blogs especially the trek to a deserted Greek village... wow!! I am already envious! ha! It is still cold down under here.... so enjoy the weather over there. Will send you another one again soon. Take care and have fun. Lot sof luv, Jane. x
Response: Hi Jane
It's so hot everyday here. I love having a swim in the late afternoon after walking around the villages. It's really hard work backpacking and being on the go everyday but I love every minute as there's so much to see and do. It will be hard to settle down again when we come back to Australia! Love Maree
From Gem
Great to read your stories! I'm checking everyday! I am so jealous! You have no idea! Happy to see Maree wearing her cool travel pants in the photo - does she wear her black merino? Wow! What a backpacking classic (you with you pack in the Souk) Wish i was with you! Me and Alex have had colds for the last week. He even had 2 days of work. Uni is still a waste of time..three weeks of class left!
xoxoxox
Response: Hi Gemma!
We are both wearing our Mountain Design clothes almost every day! Maree looks great in her travel clothes and often wears her black Marino! Our sandals have been a great success! They're so comfortable! I like my new ones because they're leather...and I love my 'Solomons' (shoes)from your shop! Thank you so much for all your help in clothing us all for our big trip! Backpacking is great fun!
Our holiday is going quickly now so we are trying especially hard to enjoy every day. We are off to Greece tomorrow on the ferry. Yay!! We can't wait!
Today we visited Ephasus and met Sonjay, the man at the jewellery shop who thought you were Brad's sister. He is really nice! Needless to say Maree and I both bought some really nice jewellery from his shop! Also without realizing it, we sat in exactly the same seat that you sat in for lunch at the restaurant next to the cave of the 'Seven Brothers'. Do you remember? What a coincidence! Sonjay met us there and supplied a driver for us to go to the house of the Virgin Mary.
Hope your cold gets better and that uni goes quickly. We're all very proud of you. Only one year to go!!
We'll try and update the site again soon. Take care. Love mum xxx

TO RYAN
Sorry ryan İ accidentally pressed 'Reply' before I wrote anything!
That's great you've been getting lots of castings. I'm sure you'll get something soon. Congratulations on your goal and first win of the season! That's great. Also terrific you're thinking of going in a big race!
Goodluck with your two band gigs. sounds like you have been kept very busy lately!!
Look after yourself and say hi to Bronwyn.
Love mum xxoxx
PS Seda is really nice. You will really like her! Hopefully she'll be coming home with Bradley at Xmas.
From Peter & Robyn
Hi Maree,
Hope things are going well for you all - it's good to have your website to keep up to date with your adventure, which sounds great. Glad Jenny's Coca Cola advise seemed to have worked for you all. It's been quite cold here, but today is sunny and warm. Wish the water was warm here for swimming just like the Meditteranean you are enjoying! We miss your smiling face, Maree.
Hope you are taking plenty of photos for us to see when you get back. Keep on enjoying your travel experience. Lots of love and hugs, Peter & Robyn
Response: Hi Peter & Robyn
I had a problem with the computer the other night so I couldn't reply to your message. Things are going great guns now. I'm enjoying everyday. There's so much to see and do. We are now just relaxing in Naxos and enjoying the beautiful Greek islands. The villages are very pretty. We just walk around the villages and have a swim everyday. I've took about 800 photos now! Love Maree
From Ryan
HI!!!!


Wow! it sounds like you guys are having an amazing time :) its a shame you went when the olympics were i on, its been the talk of the town.... for example we only got one medal in cycling including track cycling while britain got 10 golds! crazy :) Anyhoooot I am glad to hear your having fun. Everything is great here going to lots of castings. We won hockey for the first time in the season on saturday and i scored. I have two band Gigs this week one at uni and one for a college ball. I have also decided that i want a road bike for my 21st, so i can race in the Noosa triathalon in November :)

Well I hope you keep having an awesome time stay safe and party hard :)
From Louise
Hi Maree,
Just thought I'd send you a cheerio from our beautiful Blue Mountains. I was thinking about you last night, wondering where you were now. Then this morning, Jenny sent me this address to reach you. It has been interesting reading about your journey. Sorry you were ill. But, hopefully you will enjoy good health from now on. Have fun..... Louise
Response: Hi again Louise
Wrote to you two nights ago and again just a while ago and lost the lot! We are now in Naxos. Caught a speedy ferry here from Mykonos. Greece is a beautiful place. We go for a swim and walk around the villages everyday. We are just relaxing in Greece after a hectic time in Turkey. Lots of love Maree
From Jane R.
Hey again Maree, one more thing I forgot to ask. What's coffee like out there or are you missing our good old coffee back here?? The best one in the world I am sure!!! :-) Take care. Not sure when you will be back home. Pls contact me on mobile as I have accidently deleted your number from my new mobile!!!Keep gritting and smiling. :-)
Response: Hey Jane
The coffee is quite strong in Turkey! I've been drinking mostly turkish tea which is quite nice. I'll be home about the 24th Sept so I'll contact you on mobile then. Love Maree
From Jane R.
Hey Maree, Glad to know what's been happening with you. It was certainly a big ask to step out of your own comfort zone to experience it all, good or bad.... God has been always with you all the way I am sure. Did you actually go to the place called Damascus? Wow! That was where Saul became Paul in the New Testament. I do appreciate all sorts of unfamiliar and exotic things you have experienced through your travel. I am sure you'll come home with wealth of wisdom and knowledge. Always praying and thinking of you. Lots of love from Jane & Geoff. BTW. Rafael Nadal won the singles while Roger Federer ironically won the doubles in the Olympics.!!?!? :-)
Response: Hi Jane
Great to hear from you. Yes I dıd actually go to Damascus! Got a culture shock there but it was still amazing to be in the same place as Paul! Went to Ephesus today where Paul was imprisoned. Off to Greece tomorrow.
Lots of love
Maree
From Phil Skinner
Hi maree,
Sorry have not sent a message earlier - I was in Chicgao for a week etc and then catching up here.
Seen you have not been well - hope all OK now and that you are enjoying your trip. We miss you back here at WBC - but enjoy yourself - God Bless - Phil Skinner
Response: Hi Phil
Thanks for your message. Hope you had a good meeting in Chicgao. I'm really well now and enjoying everyday. Time is going quickly. We went to Ephesus today where Paul was ımprisioned. Very interesting place with lots of history. We are crossing over to Greece tomorrow. Backpacking is lots of fun as we get to see so many places.
Love Maree
From Jenny J
Phew. Am so pleased there is a turn around in health. That's wonderful about the coca cola. Only good in gastric situations. Rots the gut otherwise as we all well know but I reckon travelling in "different" places it is probably one of the safest drinks!!!! The rest will be so nice after all you have done. The time is going so fast. The images you paint in your diary are very vivid. Loving every line. And that swim in the mediterranean. How was that. Glorious!!! Bless you all. Hug to my girl. Love Jen
Response: So glad you are enjoying reading our adventures. This is a great way of recording the holiday as well as letting everyone at home know what we are doing and that we are safe, having a wonderful time...and well! Great advice about the Coke! Thanks Jen!
From Gemma
Hey everyone!

Still having fun? where are you? what's happening? I'm off to work for the next four days and we are on sale! Yah! i'm tired at just the thought! I road 40kms on my bike on tuesday! All by myself - i'm so proud!
xoxoxo
Response: Wow Gemma! That' s fantastic! Where did you ride? Don't work too hard during the sales!
We are at Kaş on the west coast of Turkey. I have written a big post on this site telling of all our recent adventures. Everything's been great! We all get a bit tired and cranky at times...and overheat. But basically we're all getting on well and having a blast! Look after yourself and take care on your bike! Love mum xox
From Jen (Scruffy's Nanny
Hi Guys, Scruffy certainly is a "kid magnet"! We're surrounded by neighbourhood children everywhere we go. Who'd have thought I'd be sitting around in the middle of the road chatting with these most charming young ones!! Of course, Scruffy gets impatient after a while and "speaks" to let me know we need to continue our walk. Bossy little monkey! Give me a Rottweiler any day!:)
Response: Hi Jenny!
Glad to hear youve met the lovely kids in our street! İ think Scruffy appeals to children because he looks a bit like a stuffed toy! We think he is very cute (of course!!) and he has helped many kids who are afraid of dogs get over their fear. Thanks Jenny for everything!İ hope Scruff will still remember us when we get back!!
From Val and Bill
Tuesday- home. Good dinner Sunday withTrev.Roz.Gemma .Alex.Bea ch Walk on Mon. Hotel quzznight-read planetranger.Vand B
Response: Hi Bill and Val!
Glad to hear you enjoyed your time in Newcastle! Thats great that you are readıng our website! Take care. Love from us xx