Forget the French and the Italians the most dangerous so far (we have yet to get to China) are definitely the Istanbul drivers. Simon was riding David’s bike so I had David as an essential co-pilot in a white knuckle drive following the bikes on a two hour drive through the suburbs,.
Forget Gallipoli as we a small band of brothers ( and sister) battled, dodged and fought our way into the city through the throngs of whirling Turks; no lane markings, white and silver cars weaving in and out of the bikes and van, funneling into ever more narrow streets. The noise of battle was terrific , the smells assailed us The unnervingly calm voice of Sat Nav Sally continued to interject crazy directions- turn right then right again- what across 8 lanes of crazy drivers straight into the arms of the police guarding the Syrian peace talks. Peace talks! we were still several near death experiences short of the hotel. Suddenly a taxi clipped our leaders pannier a heroic struggle ensued, Brave Richard regained his balance and we all breathed again.
We struggled on, Nick and Christian using the van as protection, nipping in and out for brief skirmishes; Simon was running shotgun for John, tooting manically. The hot afternoon wore on, Sally sat nav died, we were now in the smaller streets engaged in close combat. One by one the bikes started to overheat, we regrouped and mounted the final assault on the hotel from different directions, re- armed with a tourist street map.
As we parked the van in a magnificent last flourish and fell out, we were clapped by the local residents and one, immediately sensing a business opportunity, offered David a hair cut!
We are now investigating ferry routes out of the city.