Day after day we are losing the space-time concept. I often wake up in the morning thinking, “Where am I?”. The view becomes clear as I go slowly blinking and find myself in an unfamiliar room.
We’ve already slept in so many that it becomes difficult to respond quickly. In no less than 4 seconds you realize that the answer is “in a hotel”, and remember that you are still traveling. Then comes the second question: “In which country are we?”. And when I remember, you can go to the third, “What day is it?”. A feeling of peace and freedom starts to bite in our brains thanks to Mr. Stevens (read chapter nº2), who never stops working efficiently 24 hours a day. As a 7-eleven, which is open 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
But slowly, with effort, I recover my memories and start remembering everything, some of those memories are becoming to feel further and further away. We have already experienced so many things from the time we where in Venice that I remember it a little fuzzy. Between the city of canals and Istanbul, where we are now, we have many images stored in our brains.
The contrast between the roads in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia was quite abrupt. You are driving along a semi desert road, you cross that fabulous invention created by man named “border”, and then suddenly you find cars popping up everywhere. It seems as to be driving back to Europe, as if Bosnia had been a break in our journey.
As a result of the accident in Croatia, arriving in Cacak we had a clear objective: to change the rear tire. And I wanted to make it quick, because we know that as we get near to Asia, it will be a more complicated task.
The next morning we went to the workshop and told the mechanic about the necessity to change the rear tire. After watching the youtube tutorials and make some calls, he does not speak English, he told us to comeback at 3pm.
The mechanic told us that the tire comes from Belgrade by bus, and finally it arrives at 18h. Just when one of his friends, Zoran decides to jump into his car and takes us to a terrace for a drink. And so we spent the hours until we go back to the shop and the mechanic leaves his shop with the rear wheel and disappears for another hour. As we waited in his shop sitting on stools with wooden comes Petar, a good friend of Zoran, who also says to us a lot of things about Serbia as well as Australia, where it seems to have some friends. And when it was almost dark, we see again the mechanic. He parked his car, the tailgate opens very suspenseful, and we see the wheel upward with the new tire. Cool! Another problem solved at least for few thousand miles.
Bulgaria was a rush. We only spent one night. We hurry to leave Europe and see all the prices decrease. In two days we crossed the country, and around 15 kilometers left to enter Turkey, we improvise and we got in Greece to spend a night in Oresteia. We wanted to get more time for visiting this country. However, we do not know if it’s because it was a Sunday, but this city of 21,000 turned out to be a bit depressing, at least in the outskirts. It seemed that we had entered in the episode of “Twilight Zone”, the one where there’s a man in a city where it seems no one and ends up being a giant child toy. It must be said that the center was a little bit busy, but it did not hide what is sadness or place or across the country. But what we found most interesting is that in the middle of August, the Main Street still hung what looked like Christmas lights. We do not know whether this is related to the crisis.
The next morning we crossed the border into Turkey. On the rear of the bike we saw how Europe is already beginning to move away. We are in a new path in the journey that we will intuit more stones, difficulties and adventures. Throughout Turkey we approach Asia, a continent that we wanted to visit for its appealing contrasts and price differences.
We stop in Istanbul, an attractive city full of stress and warm environment. However, everything is perfect until the first problem appears. We could not cross Pakistan by motorcycle. It is a country with so many conflicts and the visa is not easy to get, and if you get it, you will be followed all the way escorted by soldiers with machine guns. For all these reasons, much to our regret, we decided not to risk and send Richard to Bombay. We would have loved to cross Pakistan. Sure it is beautiful. But we take comfort in thinking that India and Nepal will also show us spectacular things.
We spent the first few days figuring out how we can ship the bike to Bombay. We started visiting the airport. We visited one by one, and it is difficult to communicate, because almost no one speaks English, until we met Osama (which stresses that he is not Bin Laden). Osama tells us to send the bike is very complicated and expensive. For only the case we will pay around 300 euros. When it comes to the night, Osama gave us a call. The joke would cost about 2,500 euros. We don’t think so.
So we considered the other way: go to the port to see if we can ship Richard by sea. After many interviews in various offices where half its workers are released to assist us making thousands of calls and offering pastries while we were waiting, we all just commenting that it is almost impossible. You can do it only if you are a company. If you are an individual, things change. However, through one of the contacts that arrived to the offices of a company for the WTC,we could finally send Richard to Bombay for about 700 euros. Perfect. The problem is that it takes about a month to get to Bombay. But we had no choice. We are not rich.
But one day, I do not know exactly how, you finally find yourself in front of a giant container in the pier, and beside is Richard, waiting for you to give the order to enter in it and get tie. And all thanks to Hakan, a guy who works in an office in the same harbour that helped us with all the bureaucracy, which is not simple: crossing the border, seal the passages card (passport of the bike), dealing with the police to check luggage, dealing with port workers, and sign hundreds of papers. Only this process took about 10 hours. And if that were not enough, at the end of the day, with their colleagues, they got into their car and were escorted to the center of Istanbul.
We finally had the problem of sending the bike sorted. From that moment we could relax and spend time loving this city to visit. We take our time visiting every last corner, especially the Grand Bazaar, which for years I wanted to see with my own eyes. However, although it was very interesting, I was a little disappointed. I expected it bigger, more noisy, more screams, and more crazy. I find it neat, polite, clean. It’s great and binding, but not what we expected. Instead, mosques Aya Sophia and Sultan Ahmetdo impress us. Not only the buildings make you astonished, also the rituals performed inside impressed us.
And that is how the days passed until we had to catch the flight straight to Bombay. One stage of the journey was over. From that moment everything would be different. Another continent, other experiences. The worse thing it could happen now is to suffer an attack of appendicitis in the plane in order to be operated in an hospital in Bombay.
* Dreaming is free. Make them reality, perhaps not. This piece of dream has come true thanks to APIC – Asia Pacific International College, Go Study Australia, foto24and Dynamic Line, thanks to our partners, and most of all thanks to you. And do not forget: If you can dream it, you can do it.
The 90% is forgotten. How many times have we wokenup in the middle of the night with the dream we just had completely clear in memory and after back to sleep and get up, do not remember anything? If they are nightmares, we do not mind removing those unpleasant memories of dreams. For well or worse, only 10 percent recall of dreams.
DEDICATION OF THIS CHAPTER.
As the past is always present in our trip, this report is dedicated to my friends from Barcelona, Sergi Coulibaly, Jordi Bransuela, Reif Berdegué, Marta Nonell and Assumpta Planas, and I came across in Tiempo BBDO, especially Javi, Dani, Manu, Ferran Alberto, Ariadna, Miguel and Ramon. To each of them a special hug that take your breath away, but only for a few seconds. More time could drown us all.
Mechanical that change our tyre:
Moto servis Bogicevic.
S. Prvovencanog 55.