Terminer tout pour partir tranquillement...
Prendre le temps de dire au revoir à un max de ses proches et profiter de ces moments riches en émotions !
Réussir à quitter le nid douillet du plat pays
Now it begins!
Need to go down south, wainting for the sun. cheap and ' fast' our big friend : flixbus!
Budapest a city where iv been a few times, but this time no plans, no expectation. I actually had good memories over there the last times I came.
Feeling good, found a cheap and super hostel. Have to check my options to keep going down south!
Fun fact : I went to the public bath to relax after the long bus trip. I managed to ran into the only belgo-hungarian girl I know in the world(from University). Cheesy : but what a small world 😀!
So, found a good option to go until Istanbul in train, gonna be 3 days in raw in the trains but like this I can be chill and eating some kilometers at the same time. So I bought my ticket for the next day and then stay a second night here
The afternoon i need to see some green and be in the nature. The city is beautiful but so noisy, so I decided to go explore a little bit outside the city. A person from Budapest talk to me about a nice spot to relax easily from the city.
On the way back, I do a little detour cause I need to do some exercise and keep training for rock climbing...
It has been only a few days that I left Belgium but it feels already like a lot had going on. I keep meeting people from differents countries with interesting stories and talking about the reality they v experienced in their society. It's crazy when you take the time to meet people and listening to their visions of life, the diversity of reality you can hear.
Budapest- Bucharest (night train)
So of course it's impossible to book a bed before the train, it s a bit like the lottery you never know what you ll get. Plus with my level of Romanian I m bit restricted to merci and Buena sera 😅
So in end up in the part of the train where people can't afford a bed. It's a familiar ambiance, everybody talks with his neighbor. I got to know a young Romanian student in English literature who writes novels. And a climber addict who has the most fuck up accident stories!
Top of my shape after this night 😂
Wainting for the next train I met Kai, a swedish guy, that happens to be a sailor that made his way in this world by himself, the real DIY types of person. Really impressive, how he knew nothing about sailing and started with a old boat founded. Now he has sailed in lot of places, has fixed-sold and bought a better boat a few times until being comfortable with a nice boat.
He has lived like this for 13 years, working a bit on other boats and traveling around the world and sharing his boat with others backpackers
We talked so much and be chill that we missed our connection. In our defense the train arrived 5 min earlier (Bulgarian lottery). Then, We take the next one but we won't make it to the next connection. So with Kai and Nils (German guy that also missed his train) we stop at night in gorma orjahovica.
With the help of a Bulgarian student that we v met in the train we go to the next town where it's possible to sleep for the night : veliko tarnovo!
The next morning, the surprise is even better : the place is really beautiful. Love when life puts you nice surprised on your way!
The best part is coming, I m thinking mountains and rock. So I look it up and found that is a spot for climbing 😎
In the afternoon, I m chilling with shu a traveler from Malaysia that left everything to travel and makes his way with his smile and a guitar : a real character, respect man'
And now we ride! Direction : Istanbul!!!
I knew I needed to go early at the train station to make sure I checked if I could still use the same ticket (that I bought in Budapest to Istanbul). So got there, like two hours before my train to be really sure to not miss it. I was not able to have the information about my ticket at the station even though someone help me for the translation. Conclusion : just take the train and see with the conductor : )
So that s what I did for the first part from veliko tarnovo to dimitrovgrad and no problem. I ask him about the beds for the next train and tell me I have to check with the other crew. I knew it was going to be complicated because I had crossed the Turkish border 8 years ago and at that time it had already been complicated to get a bed in the night train.
[I'm gonna put some videos links inside of the story, a girl had the good reflex to film everything. So if you want to follow the whole documentary and have a good laugh, I'll suggest you check them 😀]. You can understand the story without them but trust me, some are gold!
Normally it costs about 15 EUR to get a bed but no surprised we arrive and the train is already full, so it's gonna be like Romanian night train.
Video : https://urlz.fr/aUwf
There I see others backpackers in the same situation : tickets and no bed. I decided to nake a nap until the next stop, it s already midnight.
We arrived at the Bulgarian side , the train conductor enter and ask to come outside. Apparently the seaten wagon's is not going with the rest of the train to Istanbul. So i get out pretty sleepy in the cold night.
There, the border officer ask us to wait next to train while he checks all the passports of the poeple in the beds wagons . So he leaves with all the passports to his office to check up. At this point, I'm still confindent : like don't worry we will arrange that when he comes back : )
Video : https://urlz.fr/aUwl
He comes back after a while and tell us that is not going to be possible to get this train but he proposes we'll take the next one. We perfectly know that there is only one train per day doing this route and he is trying to scame us.
That's where it started to get complicated...
The border officer started to get pretty aggressive and doesn't want to give us any explanation about the situation.
The train conductors who are Turkish, didn't want to accept us in the train even on the floor in the hall. We tried to go back in the train but because we wanted to discuss with the responsable of the train.
What made it even more complicated, is that each wagons had his own train conductor responsable for the persons he would register in his waggon. So they were sending back to each other like ping pong balls. ( Still thinking we will fix that)
Video : https://urlz.fr/aUwt
So here we are 6 random people with their bags outside of the train with the Bulgarian's officers and the conductors who didn't want us to get on in the middle of the night. Nobody accepted to give us an explanation about the situation.
I'm starting to wake up and loosing my calm so decide to go back and discuss with the train conductor an other time. He started to be violent and put me outside of the train!
I go back by an other door to try again with the officer : still no answer...
The officer tell us to go our ambassy and the conductor just ignore us now
Video : https://urlz.fr/aUwy (one of the most funny)
Ok this is it, now it's on! We shall pass! It makes no sense with passports, visa and ticket. We are willing even to stay on the floor. Some poeple agree to welcome us in their compartments. There are still two beds left. But nothing to do, they don't accept us.
It s not about the money because we are willing to pay for the beds but won't let us. Police doesn't want to answer us and don't want anything to do with us anymore.
We go, one last time to try with a other conductor. This time poeple start to come out of their compartments. Everybody is yelling in Turkish at the same time. Some because the train is not moving for a long time, some other are trying to understand what's going on. Finally someone help us to translate. The conductor seems to don't know what to do anymore... Hope is coming back!
At the end, the principal officer had left pissed of and one of them decided to go in our way. That allows us to discuss with the last train conductor who seems nicer. He accepted to empty a compartiment that what was supposed to be for him. ( He had actually a other smaller place assigned for him on the other side, but I supposed wanted to stay more comfortable ).
We finally got to stay in the train and end up with beds. We paid less than the other that had payed for a bed. On and on, this joke has last for two hours!
We could have arranged that since the first train. It is makes no sense at all for anybody. What a surealistic moment!
Victory : https://urlz.fr/aUwL
So just for the record my ticket date was over at midnight. It was usable until the 28 but because I missed my train in Bulgaria and stayed there I was just at the limit for the last correspondence. They never even asked to check it. I was the only one that might have a good reason to not be able to go in this train 😉
It's not totally finished there, we still have to cross the Turkish border. When I crossed it last time we had to pay at the station. Now, for security matter, you have to apply online (like for the esta). Luckily I read about it a few days earlier, so I did it (thanks to my smartphone, have to admit it's handy!!).
But the two Spanish girls did not read about it. So bad surprise for them, it looks like it's gonna be back to Bulgaria...
We don't know each other but now a type of solidarity has been created because of the previous experience!
After talking with the Turkish Police ( who by the way where the nicest of all the border I crossed those days) they accepted to drive in the middle of the night the two girls to the closest border officer to fix the situation. One of the guy go with them to secure them. And the rest stay with the lugages at the station. I'm not sure the police would have done the same if it was a guy, but let's give it the benefit of the doubt 😀
So here we are, again the whole train is waiting...
They finally come back and here we go for a 4hours night of sleep in the train after a lot of emotions😉
My plan for sleeping in Istanbul was to go to some friends of a Turkish friend living in Belgium. So damla ( thx again by the way 😀) had putted me in contact with her good friends: Can and Zinnure who directly accepted to host me.
I'm feeling bad because my train has arrived 4 hours late and they are waiting for me at their place. I have no way to contact them from the train. I go the fastest that I can to their neighborhood. Perfect timing, when I m in front of the building, they come out at this moment because they are in a hurry and have to go. They hand me the keys, welcome me and leave.
I'm exhausted after this night and haven't slept well neither in the previous ones. So I'm so happy when I enter In their place. It feels like a home 😀 I take a shower, eat and end up sleeping the whole afternoon!
I wake up late, completely desoriented. It's almost dark, it doesn't seem like I'm going to move in the center today. My hosts come back from their night ( it's actually Zinnure's birthday), so we have a few drinks together and I get to know each other. They are really interesting poeple and very welcoming, they took me like if I was family. I ask them a thousand of questions about their opinions and Turkish society. Really nice talk that goes in every way possible 😀
The next day, it feels like a Sunday. They have day off, so I cook them a brunch to thank them.
After that, time to go at least explore a bit the city!
It's a 20 million person city, it is just huge! So many people and things going on at the same time!!
Last time I came, I had walked a lot around and I had a good memories of the mosques. They are pretty beautiful and kind of quiet places. So I decided to go visit one and Walk randomly I. The neighborhood.
Still got it! I impressed like the first time I came! This city is really impressive 🇹🇷
I walk around and hit back home because I got a night train to catch. On the way, I stopped for some kuru fasulye (dried beans cookt in a special way) that Zannure had recommended me. It was just excellent 😀
Thanks again to both of them, had a great time!✌️
Hit the night bus to Antalya, I heard that nearby there is the best climbing spot in Turkey. So I decided to take a little 'detour'...
The closest village from geyikbayiri reachable by bus is akdamlar, so I managed to get there. Complicated cause every bus driver say something different : ) from there I hitchhike to the first camping : Josito
It is manage by a Turkish/ German couple that climb too. Everybody stay there for climbing and hiking!
I arrive there super tired from the night trip but good surprise : it s a super relax place!
It's gonna be the good opportunity to try to set my hamac by myself for the first time. Let's if my lessons with my hamac master are still fresh 😀
Bad news, I misunderstood I thought it was possible to buy basic groceries at the camping. Apparently not and the village it's pretty far away... Plus you have to buy your own bottle gaz wich will be a waste because I stay only two days.
So it's gonna be récup style, i only have four cookt eggs and a piece of cheese with me...
While I m cooking some rice (from the Freebox) with boiling water from the kettle [ for the record it s works pretty well, in two loads of water and by covering the pan In the mintime] I start to talk with poeple to see if I can find some poeple to climb with.
It's a place for Climbers, some come in groups and some by themselves with the idea of meeting other person there. Normally everybody carry his own material (ropes and all the rest). Me I just have my shoes and not some much experience in rock climbing. So I m in a uncomfortable position to approach poeple and join them. Climbing is also about safety and trust, after all you have the life of the other in your hand...
The sky head me and send me : Oran (an Israeli guy)! He arrives in the kitchen and ask me out of the blue if I want to climb with him. He has all the material and the knowledge.
I explained him my low-level and his cool about it, he takes the time to teach me a few things and push me up to my level! I finish the afternoon on a 6b on the rock ( Wich is my Maximum inside, t
At the gym) 😀
Come back super happy to the camp and ready for a good night of sleep after all this!
Bad news... Time is getting ugly. They say is gonna rain this night...
I have to put a tarp quickly above my hamac if I want to spend a good night. By the time, I get there it s already getting dark. So here I m struggling in the dark with my first setting up of a tarp like this.
It s gonna be rainy whole day... So no climbing today but a good moment to read a bit my book AND reset my tarp!
During this day a lot of poeple stay at the camp, so that allows me to getting to know the guys. They kind of know each other because poeple stay a long time in this kind of camp. So I m starting to understand the dynamic, a lot of crazy Climbers and some are also mad travelers. Bruno for example a young bresilian guy who quit everything in San Paolo to climb and travel or Mukesh from India, same thing. Very cool and chill poeple ✌️
I was suppose to leave today but because of the rain I was not able to climb, I decided to stay one more day and take a lesson with a local guy. I meet Volkan, an old school climber that really knows what he's doing! He basically open the roads and wrote the book about the area with his friends. Plus he's a instructor for roap job in the industry and do some testing of safety material for pro s. The guy is a master Jedi 🙏
He s strict in his way of teaching but very efficient! He taught me exactly what I needed to know : now I am able to open and clean my road on the rock. It means I m ready to climb by myself outside 💪😎
I'm starting to get along with everyone, I don't really want to leave this place...
A Franco- Suisse couple (from the age of my parents) invite me for dinner. Christophe and Adele are so friendly that I feel at home with a nice meal and even a dessert 😋 they travel in their truck a bit everywhere and stop to climb and chill : la grande vie!
Next to fyer, later on in that night I hear about something really interesting happening the next day. For my last day, I was thinking to just pack my bag and relax me before I ll go back to a Antalya to catch the bus. But it looks like destiny has a other plan for me 😉
Yes I think your starting to understand...
(It tooked them a long time to set it up and I had to leave maximum end of the afternoon.)
I even got the chance to try! My heart is still pumping hours later!!!
Not able to stand up but already really happy to be able to try the whole process !
[Note for my family : I was checked by pros, everything was extra safe😉]
After that I thanked everyone for the opportunity and hurry up to have the time to hitchhike to the village when it's still day light. It was already dark by the time I get to the road but luckily a family of Kurde toook me to the next village : Sipas dikim (merci en kurde)
Now I m taking the night bus to go to Tasucu on the road again✌️
At the station of Antalya, there is atmosphere of tension. There is a big football game this night, so there is a lot of poeple screaming everywhere and throwing some fireworks. What a change after the climber paradise...
I eat and jump in the bus for Tasucu
The accompagnant of the bus, wakes me up yelling Tasucu in my ear ! I wake up and don't really understand what is happening. I grab my stuff and get out of the bus. There, he has already throwed my bag on the ground. And they leave immediately...
I arrive at 6 am, it's still dark and cold. No where to go, I start to walk randomly. I meet Hussein, a young Turkish guy who's waiting for his bus. We manage to communicate with a piece of paper and a pen 😀
We eat a breakfast at bakery /atelier to wait for the sunrise.
Tasucu Is a small city on the coast with a port. It looks like a place where Turkish poeple come for the weekend or during the summer. Now it's a bit empty and décalé.
I go to the park to finish my night of sleeping
I pay myself a little reconfort since we are in a port 😉
Now I just have the day to kill and chill until my ferry for Cyprus at night
Let's roll captain!
It s not poeple on holiday in this boat. It s truck driver and young Turkish going on military service. I m the only traveler in this crowd!
When we arrive at the Port everybody hurry up, truck and military going out and fast!
I walk from the Port to the center of kyrenia and from there take a bus to Nicosia. It's strange, it is still turkey (even though the territory is not officially recognized for the north part. Turkey occupy it for more than 10 years) but it s a different ambiance than on the continent. Poeple drive on the left and way more speak in English.
I walk in the city to look how can I cross to the other side. I m pretty surprised when I arrive there. It's a real no man's land in between both part with a UNO presence in the middle.
Once I arrive on the other side it has nothing to do, it looks like I m on holiday in southern Spain expect people drive on the left and speak greek!
It's a bit weird, so far the more I was going down south the more the environment was getting different from Western Europe. In Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey, very few people spoke English and the organization, the street, the ambiance was so different. Now, I just went completely the other way!!
Fun fact :I drank a tea in northern Cyprus and an other in the south part and I paid like ten times the price 😛
I keep going with a last bus to Limassol, South of Cyprus. That s where is the biggest Marina. After those 48h of trip I m pretty tired and need to take a break to realize where I am exactly! So I stop in a hostel to rest.
Tomorrow, I have to go to the Port and try to find some boats that are willing to take me to Israel... We ll see😉
I started my day with a good breakfast and a positive attitude !
First I walked to the new Port outside of the city. It is not a welcome place, it s not for pedestrian at all. It s about big boats and trucks.
I went to the office and try to get some information. In a office where all the workers are playing cards and smoking cigarettes, I asked some questions. One of the guy tell me that there's a company who Shipp to Israel : salamis co 😀
I go over there to ask if there is a way to go with the ship? The workers are very nice but explained me that they are not allowed anymore. They used to do it but Cyprus government doesn't let them anymore...
So I go back in the direction to the old City to search for the Marina.
At least it was Interesting to get out of the center of Limassol and see how it looks like outside to the touristic area. Well it has nothing to do with the image they trying to show off!
Limassol center is really a place for tourist who have money to spend. The part next to the old Port is super Chic, I don't really fit in with my outdoors clothes 😉
I look around and try to find where is the adminstration of the marina. For the part with the sailing boat and yacht there is a gate... I asked someone to let me in with him, he accepted.
Then I went to the office to ask if there is any boat coming from Israel. They said they are not allowed to give this information because it's a private marina.
After that I decided to walk around the boats and ask directly to the poeple. There a security guard found me and wanted to bring me to the police. I negociated with him to just peacefully going out of the private area.
I spend some more time asking the poeple coming in and out from the gate about Israeli boat. They were nice but nobody knows anything...
At some point I got tired and hungry so hited back to my hostel.
Trying to not loose my good spirit, I m already looking for alternatives. Such as a ferry to Egypt but it doesn't exist anymore neither.
I even checked if I could back to Turkey and go to Irak to arrive but from what I read it's gonna be more than complicated!
I m going to need to be inventive if I want to make it to Israel without a plane...
Well at least, I had a nice evening. Asimina took me to show me a nice point of view and put me in contact with a friend that is a captain 😀
So I v done more than 4000km in two weeks and now I am at 400 km from my objective but the last part in a race is always the hardest one I guess!
I v been looking for some options to volunteer in a hostel here to prepare myself at being stuck here for a while...
After two days at the Port of limassol, i succeed to make some useful contact. I have to be discreet because my best friend de security guard is there all the time... So I stay mainly in a part of the marina where he's not spending too much time.
Overv there, I met an Indian owner of a big yacht, that told me there was a Belgian Capitan. I got to meet him, he s friendly and accept to hear my story. He has heard about an Israeli boat but they left a few days ago.... To bad! I gave him my number in case of he hears anything. He s not very optimistic about it, he explained me that most of the boat in this Marina are from Rich poeple that are going to spend the winter in Cyprus.
Later on I meet I guy from Cyprus that also works for someone else on a boat. He s very friendly and helpful because he has traveled a lot in the past. We talked for a while and arrived to the same conclusion that with the other Capitan : it s a long shot and limassol is not the best place for it.
So new plan : I m going to larnaca. It's a other city on the coast with a smaller port. There are not a lot of boat but it's not a hig class private marina over there. Hopefully I ll have more chance over there.
I decided to take the rest of the day to go in the sea 🏊
My time in limassol was okay, I v met some nice poeple include Roy ( an Israeli guy pretty funny), eat wey and rest a little bit. But the ambiance is not so enjoyable as it was in the previous places I have been.
Had a really hard time getting a appointment to a doctor. So I finish my last day at the doctor ( nedded a shot of vaccination missing before departure).
And also very complicated to leave the city, the buses where late and full. On the second one I got into an argument with the bus driver. Finally someone gave me his seat because he knew I was waiting Before him at bus stop for two hours. Thanks to this honest gentleman, I m now in larnaca 🙏
Let's see tomorrow 😉
Clearly the marina of larnaca is not the same as the one of limassol. It s not a team of security guard in little car but only two seating at the entry. Still it's all fanced and they won't let me in or give me any information.
Luckily my parkour skilled has been useful 😉
I spend all day in the marina. I talked with a lot of persons! Everybody was very friendly and helpful but nobody knew anything about a boat from Israel.
I even spend the afternoon at the cafe of the marina, speaking with anybody I could ran into. At some point poeple recognize me. I found some Israeli but they live here and have a school of sailing so not so helpful...
From what I got during the day, I really missed the season about two weeks! They were a lot of Israeli boat but they are all gone...
At some point a cypriot guy advice me to go to an other Port in zigy. He said that he has seen some Israeli boat over there! So that might be a hope. But I better hurry up because it's really the last day of the season.
I kept walking during the afternoon, trying to find some poeple and thinking about my alternative if I don't find any boat ?🏊🐫🙊
At the end of the day I finally found one boat with an Israeli flag. I wait there for a long time but nobody has come. I left a note we ll see if they have read it 🙏
"the devil is a good dancer, otherwise why would you follow him on the dance floor?"
I started the day with the mission to go and check if the note is still there. Problem I checked out from my hostel and my bus for Ziggy is at one. So I m going to the marina with my big bag...
Luckily Ahmed an Egyptian guy I've at the hostel is going to the same direction. So we walked together, I left him my bag while I sneak in again in the marina. Have to hurry cause he has soon a bus.
I go directly to the boat but the note is still there... I found a responsable of the marina and ask him about this boat. Apparently they are leaving today for Israel ! My heart is full of hope 🙏
I go back outside, thanks Ahmed. Now I have to sneak in my bag inside 💪 I hidded it in some place so I don't have to walk inside with it. Otherwise it's gonna be to obvious I m not suppose to be here.
I sit and wait for the Israeli team to come. Big suspens for myself 😁
Finally they arrive! I go to them and introduce myself. The family say they don't know I ll have to ask the Capitan. He arrives and talk to me, he s friendly but unfortunately he cannot help me. He s a Skipper for a company, the poeple on the boat are a family who's booked the trip. That's not the complicated part because they don't seem opposite to the idea. The main problem is the paper to be register on the boat and enter legally in Israel. He says he's not able to help me 🙁
While I sit here on the bench and think what should I do, I decide to go check some boats in part of the marina I haven't been. It's a bit exposed because it's next to the entry where the security guy are. Nothing to lose anymore.
I speak with a few people. One guy told me to not go to zigy. He says it is not possible to catch an Israeli boat from there because they are no register office over there 🤔 what to think ?
I m heading back a bit confused, I heard some poeple speaking in Hebrew. I stoped and ask them. They don't they were just on a tour with a friend... I asked to the owner of the boat. He tells me that there is an Israeli boat, it's a friend of his.
He showed me the boat and and gave me the number !! Now I v contacted the guy and wait for an answer 🙏
I decided to set up my camp here. So I wait for the light to go down and go to get my bag. I have found a nice place where to stay 😇
Not so bad at end, I have cooked myself a nice picnic before leaving the hostel. I got food and water with me, I m all good ✌️
Yesterday at night, I got invited by a Scottish couple with their friends (wales/Irish). A pleasant evening and a good practice of the different accents! Plus drinking on a boat is a good test to see if you have see sickness 😉
I woke up motivated and super early! Since I'm sleeping right in front of the sea the sun woke me up at 6h30💪 short but good night ( expect for the mosquitos)
Start the day with some exercise, swim in the sea and a breakfast in front of the nice view.
I go to the cafe to check my messages and see if Uzi has answered me : nothing...
But I ran into lio ( thé guy that introduce me to Uzi). He tells me to call him Israeli style! I did, he answered and tells me : yes no problems we meet this afternoon.
Yeaaaa !!! 🥳🌈✌️ So happy it's perfect !!!
Later on ( after a little nap) I come back to the cafe. Hear some poeple speaking Hebrew, so go to ask them if they know Uzi. Yes he's right there inside told me one of them.
I go to introduce myself, he says : I don't have the time now, we ll each other end of the afternoon. I said alright, let's meet here after!
I spend the afternoon reading relax, wainting to meet up with Uzi. As the sun is going down and I have no news of him. I send him a message and he answered just : it's gonna be complicate, find a other way...
Just went back to step 0, just like that...
Boathitchicking is just not the same game as with the car. It may sounds stupid but I realized that today, I will need to arm myself with a lot of patience 🙏
I go for a walk before sleeping to think about something else and tadam!!
I left a note, we'll see tomorrow if they have read it and I ll try to meet them !
I don't how long I m gonna be stuck in this golden jail but I can't complain. I have everything I need, even showers 🚿🚽⌛
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