So we’ve only gone and done it; compressed our worldly belongings into either a storage box, or the newly built mobile home, and set a course headed east.
Through either a demonstration of pure courage and commitment, or a desperate struggle to undo the terrible planning that left us both homeless and without a finished truck; we did what was necessary to complete our abode, and vowed to make it to Istanbul on Sunday in enough time catch flights to the Appin / Ponamale nuptials on La Reunion – replacing sleep with caffeine as required.
Our journey got off to an interesting start. With the door to the storage box finally forced shut we had just had to fill the water tanks and we would be ready to hit the road, and start this great adventure, a moment that had been in the making since the idea first came to us round about 5 years earlier. So with a hose connected we were ready to steal 100 plus litres of water from the leader box storage company before making our escape; simply turn the tap, and wait for the gentle trickle of water from the overflow to show we were ready. “Pop”, “What was that?”, “Dunno”, and a catastrophe of water pouring from the living quarters. We exchanged some short but frank words with Ivor (the truck), had a wee panic, and were greeted by an explosion of water inside our new home – the emergency foot pump in the water system couldn’t hack the pressure and showered our living room with its innards combined with a good 20 litres of H20. Luckily no lasting damage was done, parts were reinstalled, mopping up carried out, and we we’re free to make our grand (if slightly soggy) departure.
As the departure date had slipped day-by-day, our journey time has been cut down to a measly 2 and a half days for the 2800km dash from Toulouse to Istanbul. However with a good dose espresso in the blood stream, and ipod -> chemical brothers -> play all selected, incredible things can be achieved. Even the appalling roads of Bulgaria or the top speed of 90kph didn’t hold us back.
We made it to Istanbul with a few hours to spare on the Sunday morning, despite a couple wrong turns which gave Ivor the chance to delicately tip-toe through the steep, tight backstreets. We found our way to the open-handed help of the Firat family, Ivor was stowed away, and we could make our way to the airport. They really were very kind to take the time to baby-sit this couple, who on our sole previous encounter would have simply been ‘that drunk couple’ failing badly at traditional Turkish dancing on the roof of a boat at their sister’s wedding…
Tired beyond belief, we were in a taxi before we knew it. The driver was a mad-man, even by Istanbul’s exceptionally high standards in freestyle driving, this guy was a pro – managing to raise the pulse of even these weary travellers.
But there we have it; at long last, knuckles whitened, eyes bloodshot, but we had made it in time to the check-in at Istanbul. In 2 and half days we had chased down 3 weeks on our original schedule and we were back on track, ready to see what adventures would be waiting for us on Ile de la Reunion.