422 miles (366.70 nautical miles for Popeye the Mariner)
#Edirne to #Safranbolu
Early wake up. There is a post office where to queue in order to get the ticket for the Turkish motorway, so that president Erdogan won’t chase us along the way (more likely androids-clones of him) to not have paid the toll. The experience is 100% Mongolrallian. Let’s skip the part in which Manu had a nice Turkish-Italian-English conversation with the employee at the Turk Telecom office.
Almost 300 kms to Istanbul, that greets us with its well-known traffic jam. We slowly crawl on the motorway, in a landscape dominated by concrete skyscrapers and yellow hills. We pass the Bosphorus bridge, leaving the old continent on our back, stepping into Asia. Bye bye Europe, here we come Asia (Minor). Chapter one of our Mongol rally ends here. Chapter 2 starts now. Everything has been easy, from now on thing will get interesting.
Funny facts about Turkish motorways: people not in cars like to do a lot of stuff on the motorways, like fishing, walking, crossing and hitchhiking.
Turkey hasn’t change since the last time, just a couple of picture more with Erdogan’s big face around, and much more flags than before. We pass Istanbul, launching Jelly Belly as a rocket towards north Anatolia. She makes us understand her limits straight away, struggling in reaching 80 km/h while climbing up the smooth Anatolian mountains. The Pamir highway will be fun. Looking forward for that.
Funny facts about Turkish lorries: they have spears on the wheels, so that they can destroy the opponent’s lorry wheels. Like the chariots in Ben-Hur, you know?
The way to Safranbolu is characterised mainly by the Starwars-sized factory (refinery?). Even the navigator got overwhelmed, to the point that it wanted us to take a one way bridge in the wrong direction.
For the first time, we arrive at destination in daylight. Let’s have a little bit of rest in Safranbolu, land of saffron.
Number of countries crossed: 8
Days without accidents: 6
Number of times the counter has been reset: 0