Day Six – The Big Hustle

1st November 2010 – 394 miles

It’s a bit surreal waking up in a car at dawn with two other guys, in a place that you don’t know!

With very limited sleep we drove on to the nearest service station to freshen up, where we met up with some Brits – the first since we arrived on the Continent.  They run a courier company, carrying goods on behalf of clients from UK to Turkey.

Onwards to Turkey Border Control, we had to obtain our visas and insurance documents, which was easier than we thought it would be.

SCAM ALERT – for Brits, a Turkish visa can be obtained in various currencies and is priced at 15€ or £10.  We insisted on paying them in pounds to benefit from the favourable exchange rate and yet they would only accept Euros.  Save any further delay we paid them in Euros.

Once we passed in to Turkey, we experienced our first halal Burger King.  We vowed that this would be our last visit to a chain restaurant and that we’d sample more local authentic cuisine.

We then jumped on to the motorway heading on to Istanbul.

SCAM ALERT – we were flagged down  at the toll gate by a guy who spoke no English and presented a piece of paper stating that if we did not purchase a pre-paid card (for 50€ or $50) then we would get fined.  We took the bait, paid the money and are still uncertain as to what we have paid for!

Having felt somewhat jaded, we nursed our way on to the hotel (a place that Shihab has stayed before) in the old town of Sultanahmet.

Since we’d been on the road for practically two days non-stop, we had a shave, haircut, Turkish bath (hamam), meal and sheesha and then off to bed.

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