Check out Weeks ending: [7 and 14 Feb 04] [21 Feb 04] [28 Feb 04]
Weekly Excursion- The first week's excursion was for exercise, a stroll up a stream bed to flower-carpeted forest - well almost! A drive south to Kemer and a detour brought us to the beginning of a walk through a small village. When we reached the main bridge we found it washed out, along with the path. The intrepid among us decided to press on and crawled over a downed tree, balanced on branches, and tiptoed over rocks as the river rushed by under us. The forest did contain flowers, eagerly awaiting Spring, and we had lunch on a rocky outcrop with great views of the river. Rejoining the rest of the crew, a hot tea or cold beer topped off a great day.
Progress on Project - Windy and rainy days have delayed progress on the new electrical panel, but it is finally taking shape. The notion is to consolidate switching for shore-side electrical service (either 110 VAC or 220 VAC) as well as battery switching for engine and house batteries in one place. Plastic doors should make it relatively weather-resistant. With better lighting a future photo will show it in all of its splendor.
Spanish Dance - Culture has not been forgotten, and the 'culture-vultures' from the marina took a break on a Saturday evening to watch a performance of Spanish dancers doing the Tango. Reviews were mixed as it was really a modern-dance interpretation, and not an exciting performance. We have become accustomed to masterful music by the symphony orchestras for $2 to $3, so the Cultural Center can count on 10-15 of us for each of their performances.
Visa run - We thought we had left this behind in Thailand, but Turkey has similar rules - 3-month visas are the standard issue. So Bob found his visa is due to expire at the end of February, and the normal destination (Cyprus - over and back for $145) is all booked - not sure if it is by British tourists hoping to escape their winter or politicians negotiating re-unification. In the event, London looks attractive so he is off for a several day visit and rejuvenation of his visa.
Excursion to Alanya and Side - We are constantly reminded that this used to be part of then Roman Empire (as well as what we used to think of as 'Ancient Greece'). Our next excursion was cultural rather than physical as we drove east to sites of 2 ancient cities:
False Start - Well, the bureaucracy finally caught up to Bob. After getting a boarding pass on his way to London, the Immigration official said "not so fast"! It turns out that we had driven into the country with the motor-home (which was duly recorded in Bob's passport), and they expected him to drive out again - to defend against those who would buy cars in other countries and sell them in Turkey. No amount of humility or bluster worked, and so 3 hours after heading to the airport Bob was back in the marina, chagrined and with a need to figure out how to 'bond the vehicle' for the 4-day trip out of the country.
Bonding the Motor-home - No, that does not mean running ground wires around the place, it means turning it over to Customs. Turkey does not want people driving vehicles into the country and selling them here without paying big import duties on them. Thus, if a vehicle comes in temporarily, and the owner wishes to leave the country (like Bob did) they must turn it over to Customs. These guys in uniform lock it up, and give it back when you return to the country. The process went something like:
Fortunately, the marina office sent a guy with me to smooth the way, otherwise I have no idea how long it would have taken. Currently the plan is to fly next week - on the last day of the visa; perhaps more excitement awaits me then.
Judi completes her visit - After 5 weeks visiting her sister and a very pleasant weekend on the Oregon coast, Judi visited her brother Dave and his wife, Val. There she had the opportunity to spoil her delightful nieces and nephew. After a week of gifts, shopping trips, eating out, and enjoyable times at home, they were probably ready to keep Aunt Judi forever. But duty and peeling varnish called from afar, and after 6 enjoyable weeks in "the land of stuff", as cruisers call the US, Judi packed 80# of stuff into her bags, and headed East.
London - After turning the vehicle over to Turkish Customs, Bob set out on his visa run. Unfortunately the close destination, Cyprus, was fully booked all week (perhaps politicians trying to negotiate a settlement?). Most destinations in Europe are roughly the same cost, so London emerged as first choice and Bob returned to a hotel close to where we stayed before and roamed the city for 4 days:
Supporting the Airlines - Between us, we tried to help the travel industry this week:
And the bad new - Bob failed to eat his way through the boat - Despite great efforts, when Judi returned to Long Passages there remained several uneaten provisions, including such staples as a 5-year old Carrot and Yoghurt Cake and 4 cans of Refried Beans - perhaps he should be given another chance!