Wednesday 7th December 2011

Got everything packed first thing, then went to have a final look around the markets, such busy places there’s a good atmosphere in them. Managed to sort some anti malaria tablets out as well. Bit of a miserable day it started to rain about midday. Strange I arrived in Istanbul in the rain and leaving in the rain!
Got a taxi from the hotel to the airport, so much easier with the bike in a big box. Said goodbye to the hotel staff once again and said you never know I might be back. I most certainly would go back and I would recommend the hotel to anybody, the staff are so friendly and helpful and it’s in a great position.
Got to the airport in plenty of time in case of any problems with the bike. Just as well checked in as normal and was given a piece of paper and told to go and pay for the bike which I was expecting, went over to the excess baggage desk and got charged £380 nearly as much as my ticket! But thought if that’s what it is, that’s what it is! Went back to check in and gave the girl my receipt who looked at it, spoke to a colleague and wandered off to the excess baggage desk, turns out I got charged the wrong price, it wasn’t excess baggage it was sports equipment, because I’m an athlete!! It only cost me £55 in the end much better! Thanks to the staff on the check in desks particularly the girl who helped me, Elif, very good customer service. Seems a shame to leave Turkey the way I am and I’m a little peed off with it! But realistically it was the only safe and practical way, I’ll just have to return at some later date and ride Iran and Pakistan!

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