There is nothing better than getting to port and discovering that the container key is missing… But more on that later. Let’s go back a couple days. Picture: A bus… I have never been on a bis for an actual trip, for work yes but never like this, so I suggest me and Sean take a bus to Izmir. A mere 8-hour trip. Half way through Sean looks over at me and says
“Having fun yet”
I was most certainly not having fun. But upon arrival in Izmir life instantly became good again, we hit up the Airbnb and settled in for a nice stay. We are in a decent area where we could walk everywhere, which means we were only 400M from the coastal wall. And it just so happens there is about 4 shops that sell beer on the way so with 4 beer and spitz in hand we head out to watch the sunset. Timing is spot on as usual and I watch my Ship arrive with the little monster on board. Its… it’s just magical.
While waiting for the call form port to collect the car we decide to hit up the town. It’s a lot colder than we thought it would be so we end up doing a few ferry trips to the other side of town to enjoy a beer out of the wind for a change. We hit up about 3 different museums as well to fill in the time frame. Covering on average 10kms a day which was good to kill the beer intake.
“Good Morning Matthew, can you please meet us at the office tomorrow at 9am”
That’s the call we were waiting for. Due to lax rules, we are able to get Sean in as well to give a helping hand. We sort out all the paperwork at the office and head to the port about 15 minutes away. This was a heap different from unloading in Mozambique, basically my helper sorted all the paper work and then we drive to the container, I had a coffee for the process. But once in the car I heard an interesting comment,
“So, you have the key to the container right”
Huh… I never lock the container so at some point as we found out later the shipping company had put a lock on it due to how long it had to sit on the ship to avoid theft, which was great, except for now. We got the port staff to come with a torch and cut the lock, but boy was that stressful, they were almost going for lunch, which would have pushed us past our window to get the container out for that day. And that was not going to work for my time frame.
But we luck out and see the car, as a bonus it starts under its own battery power, custom comes for the quickest inspection ever and we close the container and leave. According to Turkish port law, you can’t actually drive out of port if you didn’t drive in, is it accurate? I don’t know but it also avoids a heap of extra paperwork.
With the wagon loaded on a truck we are waiting on a highway offramp, then a flat bed rocks up. Ohh I see how this works. With all the tyres back to about 2psi I hop in and reverse out, onto the flat deck on a down ramp. Which we then get unloaded and we are wheels on the ground in turkey!!!
We spend the night packing up and shipping some luggage from Africa to Asareh in Antalya to knock some weight off the car and open some room. We turn north and make it to Foca, just to have the transmission give out. We made it whopping 140kms. Sadly, these things happen and for what we do to the poor car it was not a huge let down. We got a tow back to Mitsubishi was of no help. I called Soyer, my shipping guy and asked if he knew anyone that could get the car to Antalya for us. Luckily, he has contacts and we have the car prepped for shipping in a day. All we have to do now is kill a day and catch a flight home… we are not doing the bus again. We check out heaps of ruins around the area, and even walk 8kms to a non-existent place which was awesome!! A quick beer in the airport and we are headed home.
Upon landing at home, I get a message that the elephant is only an hour away, so I quickly hop in the rental and wait at our meeting point. We do a late-night unload, prep the wagon as best I can for its last 10kms home and we set off locked in first gear. It’s a slow drive but it’s doing it. At 1:19AM I pull into our apartment complex. Its done. It made it.