Wednesday, October 17, 2007

And the band played Waltzing Matilda....

We left Istanbul today and are now on the Gallipolli peninsula. Tomorrow we will visit yet another memorial to the absurdity of War. I have Shane McGowan's version of "and the band played waltzing Matilda" running through my head.

The pollution here in Turkey is shocking, 50 miles from Istanbul it was still a strong haze, and as we rode along a dirt road next to the Sea of Marmara there was just a thick layer of smog hanging over the whole body of water.

Gas is $10 a gallon here, but traffic is still bumper to bumper within 7 miles of Istanbul. Once we got into the countryside the roads got much more lonely, which is a good thing. Clara had a cab cut her off and hit her as we tried to leave Takim Square this morning, but he just hit her panniers. I had a car whiz by and hit my crash bars in Munich at about 30mph. Clearly the most dangerous part of this trip is traffic in the heavily congested areas. The cliff side dirt roads with no guardrail and washed out areas look more intimidating, but really we've had no problem.

Clara said she was at one with her bike today and is really becoming a fine motorcyclist. A couple weeks ago she said " I finally get it. The whole motorcycle and freedom thing. It isn't just the riding, it is the freedom to go wherever you want, whenever you want...and the feeling of being so close with nature as you ride" We've got a winner on our hands!