RTW on a H.A.T. In the slow lane.

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by gperkins, Sep 7, 2016.

  1. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    I tell you what, given slightly different circumstances I reckon we two would also consider a little real estate in Italy. But having spent a lot of time in Italy I just know the beauracracy would defeat me.

    It seems quite logical to me though that with MrsDunkingbird being fluent in the local lingo and residing just north of the boarder, it's a no brainer that you guys, aka DunkingBird & MrsDunkingBird should take up the challenge. Then us free loaders, umm allow me to rephrase that. Us fellow purveyors of fine motorcycles, travel, good food and average to middling wine will swing by from time to time to assist you in enjoying all your/our hard work. Of course I for one would not come empty handed, I'd bring at least one bottle of recently pressed Chianti. :imaposer Whats say DunkingBird? :jkam :dunno
  2. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    We continue to make our way south towards either Bari or Brindisi, both busy ports that offer ferry services across to Greece. We've got an appointment of sorts in Thesalonika, Greece this coming Monday so have to keep moving. But this is early Spring so the weather is still decidedly dodgey. We've found a good AirB&B here in Spinoso a little out of our way, but who cares. Rumour has it that there are some Roman ruins just up the road and of course we all know what that means.

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    Grumento Nova has a modest little theartre, new on the right of course.

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    Roman road, they did know how to build them to last thats for sure.

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    Covered areas protect mosaics still in place.

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    Stage to the theartre has a modern addition, I guess it's still in use from time to time.

    We wanted to explore some more, especially the amphitheartre but the heavens opened up, thunder, lightning and all. So we thought better of it, jumped on the bike and made our way slowly back to our digs on the wet and slippery roads.
  3. DunkingBird

    DunkingBird Been here awhile Supporter

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    :lol2:rofl
    It would be an extraordinary pleasure for me to create a kind of Africa Twin community consisting of selfless and grateful members.
    I must admit @gperkins you have put a bug in my ear that I will not get rid of so quickly.
    Besides, one of my uncles is Italian (my mother's sister couldn't resist the infamous Italian charm).

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  4. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    Last major ferry crossing for a while thank goodness, Brindissi Italy to Ignoumenitsa Greece, they are a pain. The schedule never seems to quite work and you wait for hours somethimes to board. What am I saying we've got no reason to moan thats for sure.

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    That would be Albania, we'll see you in a few months.

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    No prizes where for guessing where we are, Greece. Back in the land of sunshine and long, lazy lunches.

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  5. DavidM1

    DavidM1 Unicorn hunting

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    I've just looked at the Grimaldi Lines ferry times and prices - not good timings from Brindisi, the arrival times are not nice. The Ancona departures and arrivals are better, but a longer trip.
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  6. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    It's always a juggling act DavidM1, trading off where I am now, where do I want to be, cost, day or night sailing, can I ride it cheaper or quicker. Last night was oh so typical. We were scheduled to arrive into Ignoumenitsa at 9:30pm, but with the inevitable delays we did not get ashore untill 11:00pm. Then it was a quick 8 klms up the road to our bed for the night.

    Will you make it to Turkey this year DavidM1? Once we catch up with friends for the first 3 to 4 weeks we will venture further into the border regions with Syria. Jose & Pilar from Spain are coming across mid summer and we'd love to catch up with them in Turkey, but as much as we try to figure it out, I just can't see it happening, but hey who knows?
  7. DavidM1

    DavidM1 Unicorn hunting

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    My trip planning for this year is a bit complicated. I want to be in Chile for the total eclipse at the beginning of July (with or without rental bike) but I also want to take a spring (May probably) European trip, either to Puglia on the Ducati or a Turkey fly/ride again - lots of ancient sites in SE Turkey on my to-do list, so that might be the preferred option. A Turkey fly/ride can be done last minute - no real planning needed and I already have a visa from last year.

    I'll keep an eye on where you are.

    Edit: I've just been checking flights from Gatwick to Antalya - Turkish Airlines fly direct nowadays at very reasonable prices and times of day. Maybe another Ramadan trip in Turkey is in the pipeline.
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  8. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    We are currently back in Sarti, Greece. The internet is truly appalling, so it's impossible to up load photos. What I can do is pass on the specs or more accurately valve clearances at 100250 klms. I must say I was pleasantly surprised and it bodes well for the longevity of the engine, well at least the seats & valves. It's worth mentioning that we still don't use any oil, or at least so little that it can't really be measured.

    At 50,000 klms we also checked valve clearances and two exh valves were very slightly tight. They were of course correctly adjusted, so 6 valves still in spec after 100,000 klms and 2 exh valves slightly out at 50,000 klms. Yep happy with that.

    Exh 0.25 0.25 0.24 0.24

    In 0.17 0.17 0.16 0.16
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  9. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    Damn there is some great riding here in Greece, we need to find some more time at some stage and come back for a better look around. Good roads in surprisingly rugged mountains, throw in a good mix of history, food, grappa, weather and friendly people and you've got a nearly perfect combination. The sun was out and there were few vehicles on the road, from Ignouminitsa we went up into the Ethnico Parko Pindou, national park to you and I. We were making our way up to Pades to see long term overlander Elias, he was home for the winter saving and planning for his next trip to the America's in a couple of years time.

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    The famous Korkoris bridge built back in the 1800's from memory, when the Ottomans ruled this part of the world.

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    Typical of northern Greece, riding nirvana.

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    On arrival in Pades we were invited up to the local tavern for lunch. Thats the owner come bar tender with his arms in the air, one hell of a character!

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    A liberal dose of Tsipouro or Grappa is layed out on the floor, lit and the dancing begins. Seems a shame not to drink it I would have thought. :hmmmmm

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    Lots of eating of course.

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    More dancing, both Katrina and I had a go, but you know what they say about a frog in a blender.

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    Next day we thanked both Elias and Angelica and made a commitment to try and catch up in the America's some where.

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    Soon after this happened, our first 100,000 klms, may there be many more.

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    We passed over a ski resort at about 1800 metres, I've got to say the snow was getting a bit patchy.

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    Found a statue of Aristotle in Halkadiki.

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    Katrina doing her best tourist pose looking out over the Marmaris sea.
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  10. yokesman

    yokesman Long timer

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    Enjoying your report while resting the back,getting schooled on bike shipment and an changes 3 and 4.
    Thanks for the pics of history today.
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  11. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    Finally some decent wifi, well half decent at least. A lot has happened in the last week, all of it good of course. Moving further east we entered Turkey for the third time. Katrina and I both love Turkey, the food, culture, history, landscapes and the people, especially the people. Because of the shared history between Australia and Turkey during WW1 there is a mutural respect and admiration for each others people. Many times here in Turkey when the locals discover that we are from Australia, you'll be welcomed with a comment like, "you are welcome here in Turkey, you are my brother". For those that are unaware, Australia and Turkey were on opposing sides during that conflict. But in the trenches and on the hillsides of the battlefield of Gallipoli, one faced the other for 7 months, neither gaining any great advantage, hundreds of thousand died across all nations involved, Turks, Germans, English, French, Indian, Australian, New Zeelanders and others. The Turks were witnessing the death of the Ottoman empire and forging a new nation and Australia was a freshly minted independant nation of just 14 years. Both saw this period as the dawn of a new era and for the Turkish people a new leader would emerge from the bloody battlefields of Galipoli, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. The man that would rise through the ranks to eventually become the first President of modern Turkey. He modernised the society and set Turkey's future as a secular state. Today Turks still idolise Ataturk and if it wasn't for the battlefields of Galipoli he may never have risen to the heights that he did and Turkey today could have been a completely different nation.

    Ok, enough history, we had many people to catch up with after our last little sojourn to this part of the world. First stop would be just across the Dardenelle straights to a town near Biga to catch up with Hasan, another long distance motorcyclist.

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    Leaving the port of Galipoli (Gelibolu) for the short hop across the Dardenelles. We've now done this crossing maybe 10 times.

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    Hasan with his sister and mother. Hasan has traversed Central Asia, Russia, Mongolia and surounding countries. He's currently planning an assault on Africa starting this October. He hopes to do a full circumnavigation, but time restraints may see him modify that. Lets hope he can achieve his dream.

    Then it was onto Edremit to catch up with Nuri and the rest of the crew at the Edremit motorcycle club.

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    I was chauffered around in this 70's era Soviet piece of.............................engineering. :D I want one, I mean I REALLY do want one. First ride in a side hack and it was a blast.

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    Just some of the crew from Edremit. Thats Nuri on the left.

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    A quick hop down to Cunda to catch up with Levent. He has also done a circumnavigation. His next trip will pretty much retrace what Katrina and I did in 2016/17. We'll see you in Australia maybe Levent.

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    Enjoying good food and company with Levent in Cunda, Turkey. Get this a great meal for 3 here in a seaside restaurant costs about $20 US total. Yeah this world travel melachy costs a bomb...........not!

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    Found a girl under a street light. :-) I made an offer. :-):-) She accepted. :-):-):-) This girl isn't cheap. :(.........:scratch..........:-)

    Nearly better still, we found ruins. This time Pergamon, now Pergamon in the world of ruins is a biggy. First built by the Greeks, then added to by the Romans, well, you all know the rest. The Romans did make it the capital of the Asian part, of their empire. So yep it's up there.

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    The obligatory theartre, we've seen a theartre of three and boy this one was steep. Talking about being seated in the "gods".

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    Like most ruins in this part of the world there are always reconstructed sections.

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    But of course much is left as found.

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    The hole in top of that lump of granite is for the key stone.

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    The Roman arches were equal archetectual and art.

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    Maybe this conveys the steepness of the theartre a little better. The building just above is the remains of the Bibliteck (library). Mark Anthony came by back in the day and nicked the 200,000 scrolls. He thought it would be a good idea to give them to his favourite squeeze, Cleopatra.

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    All the collumns here have been re errected.

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    When the stone masons of Europe built a castle or cathedral at the end of a days work they would chisel their mark into the last stone of the day. That way the foreman could go around and count up the stones they had layed that day and pay them accordingly. Could it be that this mark is the same, maybe?

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    This is how Pergamon looked back in the day.
  12. LOZ

    LOZ Long timer

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    nice haircut
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  13. ScotsFire

    ScotsFire And then a drifter rode into town...

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    That sounds way classier than "nose bleed section."
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  14. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    You'd get a nose bleed and more if you tripped and fell from the top ScotsFire. But your right, sitting with the gods does sound better. They had a few gods to choose from too, I reckon Aphrodite would be a good one start with.
  15. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    I nearly didn't recognise Katrina when she returned. She was getting more than a little tired of "helmet" hair LOZ.
  16. LOZ

    LOZ Long timer

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    i had to look about three times and ask the misses
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  17. OZKAT

    OZKAT Adventurer

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    Thanks. Not sure about it myself. Just figured short hair easier to look after whilst on the road.
  18. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    Back in Izmir and enjoying good times with friends. It's a city of 5,000,000, but honestly you'd think it was a city a quarter of that size. Really efficient subway, no high rise to speak of. Mostly housing 4 to 6 story's high with shops at street level.

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    Waterfront is pretty damn attractive.

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    Guys fishing everywhere, didn't see a decent fish caught anywhere though.

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    Local mosque.

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    It took a while to get the gist of what was going on here. But essentially donuts are given away for free by the family to friends and strangers alike of someone deceased to honour their memory. Seems like a fine way to remember someone to me.

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    Chai or tea is a Turkish institution, it's available everywhere and cheap as chips. We didn't even pay for this glass, seeing as we were honoured guests in Turkey. Got to love a place that knows how to make a decent cup of tea and then gives it away.
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  19. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    Our last full day in Izmir and the sun is shining, so we took our final chance to take a good look around. The streets are alive with people going about their daily lives.

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    Very typical of Izmir, although out of focus, the banner in the distance illistrates both the Turkish flag embossed with an image of Ataturk. Often you'll see people with tatoos of Ataturk's name.

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    You can rent the top floor if you like.

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    I sure as hell know what would happen if I atempted this. This type of bread although eaten at any time, is most often consumed with breakfast.

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    The civil war in Syria just next door has generated millions upon millions of refugees. Many made it to Europe, but 5 million now call Turkey home. This young boy is banging out a beat on his bucket. Many more can be seen sitting on the street simply begging. What their rights and actual status is here in Turkey I really don't know. Most Turks are not at all happy with the current situation. It doesn't matter how you look at it, it's a sad and ugly situation.

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    This man is nearly certainly Turkish, how many decades he's been sat here shining shoes is anyones guess.

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    On the beat in Izmir.

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    Our wonderful hosts Sidi & Ayśhe the parents of Ozhan a fellow overlander. His photo will come along shortly.
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  20. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    Geez internet is prooving a little difficult here in Turkey. I mean we have internet everywhere we go, but the upload speeds are slooooooow! On top of that the SIM card we purchased a couple of weeks back will become redundant after 30 days and we have to buy another one. We think it's to curb illegal activity, but honestly we don't really know. It could be just a ploy to earn more money, who knows?

    Having left Izmir last Wednesday we made our way down to Bodrum where we caught up with Levent & Hatice whom we first met back in Sept 17. Get this, Bodrum's permanent population is 150,000, during the summer months it increases to 3,000,000, can you imagine? No i can't either and are glad we won't be here during the months of July and August. It's great to catch up with the many friends we have made here in Turkey just relaxing and taking in the local sights. Being by the coast has the added advantage of sitting out the current unseasonally cold weather. Over the last month or so there has been a lot of flooding in this part of the world and up until yesterday there is still snow falling in many places. Some of the passes we want to do in a month or so, will most likely be closed. I hope not, but I'm afraid it will be a reality.

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    Typical of the hills in SW Turkey.

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    Ancient terracing everywhere.

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    We had a maintenance day here at Levent & Hatice's place. Namik came over, We bled Namiks brake's and changed Levents rear wheel bearings. Interestingly he has achieved 40,000 klms on his Africa Twin and his bearings seemed in good condition. Also the type of bearing fitted to Turkish AT's is slightly different to those fitted to Australian model AT's. Mine are 6204UU (Ultra seal) and his are NSK 6204DU. DU is the equivelent of RS on most other bearings to my knowledge. It's the engineer in me that keeps trying to figure out what is going on with this wheel bearing. In any case Levent is glad to have these bearings changed because he plans to ride to Iran in a month or so. Although that is now in doubt, because Iran is now implementing the the "no bike bigger than 250cc to enter Iran" law. This law has been in place for more than 10 years, but never implemented, well all thats changed and people with bigger bikes are now being turned back at the boarder. It's thrown many overlanders plans into chaos. Going from either Europe to S.E.A. or vice-versa is now a nightmare. With both the China guide debarcle and now the Iranian 250 law, future overlanders now have some tough decisions to make. Many either won't go or they'll have to fly their bikes across, or do the sensible thing and travel on a 250 if solo.

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    Here's a view of the back of Namiks BMW GS 800 Adventure, man this guy is inspirational. He's travelled through Asia from Turkey and later through South America. Whilst in South America a couple of years back he had a bad off when crossing a cattle grid somewhere in Argentina I think. He ended up with multiple back injuries. He was quickly flown home and he now has a permanent metal brace screwed to his spine (externally) affixed with 30 screws. He can't bend and obviously his movement is severely restricted. After recovery he returned to South America and completed what he set out to do. He has a permanent smile on his face and really does follow the ethos of "no problems". He's known by one and all here in Turkey as "No problem Namik". I'm not at all sure I'd be still smiling like Namik always is, after what he has been through.

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    Within a days ride of Bodrum there would have to be at least 100 archealogical sights. That needed further investigation. Here we are at Labranda.

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    It's all Greek to me.

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    The ancients used Lego, who knew?

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    It's the season for poppy's

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    Seems Freddy Flintstone used to ride a KTM, I never knew they were around back then. :dunno :D :hide

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    It's not just the poppys out in bloom. There are wild flowers aplenty all over and for some reason the vast majority are yellow. Nature would have an explanation as to why I am sure.

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    It was time to move onto Miletos.

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    Which has one of the most impressive theartres that we have seen.

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    Her Highness is seated.

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    We last saw Griffins at Persepolis in Iran.

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    We finnished the day off at a fish restaurant in the little village of Karina.

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    The following day we were invited around to Namik's for a relaxing afternoon with fellow riders and overlanders.
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    No prizes for guessing who is "no problem Namik".

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    Hatice & Levent.

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    A young goat went into that clay pot.

    Vegans look away now. :jack
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    Bunch of great people here in Bodrum.