That 5.45am isn’t the optimum time to explore a new island was a fairly quick realisation. No petrol meant no morning road trip until the garages opened…by which time I was half snoozing sat on my bike by the sea front. A shop opened next to me so I asked for directions to a cheap hostel. Right round the back. The old lady owner said I looked tired, pushed me into my room and turned the lights off. I don’t think it was in a sex way because she left right after. I lay on the bed garbed in smelly motorbike kit and fell asleep for 3 hours before picking up the tired old bones for an exploratory mission round town.
Kos is also popular with Germans on Holiday but the British were also happily homing in for an attempted colonisation. I saw a bunch of Kilted Scots having a wedding reception but missed the free whiskey, too busy aimlessly wandering around, never up to much but taking too many photos nonetheless.
A day later, with nothing achieved in the meanwhile, I could be found checking into Kos port for my ferry to Bodrum, Turkey. The check-in woman was irate at the travel agency for not arranging insurance for my bike the day before. Having made a few hasty phonecalls I was told to board and get my insurance in Bodrum from the contact scribbled on a bit of tat paper. I boarded, with all of about 5 other people.. It was hard to comprehend how this ferry had cost me and my bike so much. Supply was very much outweighing demand.
Getting through customs was chaos without prearranged insurance – something that the elderly ‘I-don’t-take-no-shit‘ police officer could have done without, from the look on his face. The paperwork was rubber-dinghied to the port by a cool looking guy in shades and a cap and I was free to explore Turkey for 30 days without having to smash any more paperwork down the governments open, willing mouths.
Bodrum was a breath of fresh air. Feeling adventurous I picked up a genuine fake lacoste polo shirt (only the skin tight base layer was clean-ish and I was getting plenty of peculiar looks while walking round town) and genuine fake beats pill – totalling about €50. Loaw copyright laws, they’re only there to be broken by Turkish people.
Getting back to the hostel with a few beers in my belly I was on a high. Until I checked my bank balance and I contained myself to having to cook the flavourless rice I picked up in France and the tomato soup sachet I’d bought from England on the Hotel balcony.
I was -£150 after spending my final £1500 batch; the call to prayer, a mix between melodic chanting and melodic slow cat death, was the soundtrack to my new misery. The online statement showed a 4% non-sterling fee on top of the 2% foreign transaction fee. Withdrawing money being cheaper is apparently a scam…
I had £500 in another account but couldn’t access it without my stupid HSBC card reader thing and doubted it would take me through turkey and back.. Mom and Dad were on the hotline withing an hour, transferring me the money (from their own account) and another £200 advance on birthday money. I felt slightly brighter without impending strandedness, but vowed to tighten the finances, camp where possible and moan about my situation to every ear I could find… after I’d spend €40 tomorrow to go on an ATV safari…obviously.
Money already filtering through my fingers like sand, I got back on the road to Pamukkale, a suggestion of the ATV tourist office, not quite knowing what I’d find there. The adventure continues.