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 40 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 (name Alex), 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 🚿🚽⌛
Begining the day ready to go and find out about this new boat coming in! Woke up, exercises and a good breakfast.
Here I am waiting in front of the boat, the note I've left the day before is not there anymore... So I know they read it, I m so curious to discover what do they think about it?
An old woman that I ve seen the day before around the marina, stoped and stepped in the boat. I go to her to introduce myself with my nicest smile. But unfortunately she's very clear about it : they don't sail with strangers. I try to explain and negociate but she's cutting the conversation. I don't insist and respect their decision.
Need to keep moving forward! I go to say hello to my Scottish friend and then left for groceries.
When I came back 'home' I put the things in order and sit on the couch to think about the plan two guys arrive (I recognized one of the two, he works for the marina) and ask what am I doing here? "Me ? Mmmmh you know just here sitting chill". They asked if it's my boat ? I said the truth. Then why do you stay here? I explained my situation of looking for a boat to Israel etc. That I had one but the guy changed his mind afterword...
They explained me that the second guy is the owner of the boat where I sleep and that he saw my bag and reported to the police. So they nicely asked me to take my things and follow the guy to the marina s office. I understand that I m in trouble but they are not aggressive at all.
So I play it cool, I try to speak with them. We laughed about the fact that he's place is " the Gypsies king hotel " he laughed and asked why did I choose this place to stay? I explained him that I found that was the chilest place of the marina. Simple but with everything you need, so I figured out that the person who set it up must be chill 😉 he apologize to have already called the police. If he knew it was someone chill like me if would have let me go like this.
At the office, police man is not laughing... The worker of the marina is. Pleading my cause explaining that I m peaceful. Nothing to do, he scanned my passport and tells me to never come back inside... It looks like it's gonna be complicated to find a boat outside the marina!
I got out, I was suppose to meet Salomé and Adrianna (two cousins from Spain) that travel together by bike. They are planning to cross also In a month and I was suppose to show them the tricks I found.
They just came back from 10 days cycling in turkey in the country side. So they were really looking forward to a hot shower and a washing machine. Looks like destiny had other plans. It's already end of the evening and sun is going down, so we set up the camp on the beach. We spent a nice moment to relax and have some drinks, I m happy I need to think about something else that being kicked out. They are very chill and fun, we are in the same trip so get along pretty well 😎
Good morning, yoga, sea and breakfast 🏊🧘🥑
Something is in the air, we don't want to put out the camp. We feel at home with our Gypsies king camping. Sunshine is here and we are I a good mood so we're taking our time ✌️
Adrianna hurted her ankle playing volleyball but still in a good mood 🤽
We started making sign for what we need, her : washing machine and hot shower me : a boat to Israel. We gonna see if larnaca poeple are willing to help us ?
So you have the picttured all the bikes, bags and the mess around that we moved from the beach to the sidewalk 😅
We only attracted poeple that needed things and nobody to help us. At least we met nice people!
After all this craziness, I decided to get back to my reality and see what can I do at the marina. I went to check if I could put my sign somewhere near the entrance. I thought it would be easy but the guard are not very positive about it. I try to negotiate with them. They called the police office of the marina to see what their gonna say. They arrive in a big Jeep and asked me why do I want to go by boat etc. As I explained my trip, they relax and say ok for the sign. I tried to negociate a little bit more and see if I can come back inside at some conditions.
I should have stopped before because the conversation end it up about how did I get in in Cyprus ? Big problem, remember : north part is occupied by turkey, therefore it's an illegal territory for Cyprus government. I'm speaking with the borders officers, it's their main mission...🤔
I end up saying that I arrived From Greece with a sailing boat to Cyprus directly. they want more info about the Port, the crew etc. I explained that I m cooker that travel working for poeple and don't always remember the name of the boat.
They keep asking questions and start to be a bit aggressive. So I play the international cooperation card. I take out my cart of visit and explain that I m honest citizen that has worked for his traveled. They asked for passport, so I give my ID cause passport got stamp. It seems that the visit cart has done the trick to install the trust again. They take my name and leave me. Ouf i almost got into more trouble.
I go back to the gitans and think about what I m gonna do ?
This crazy day needs to end, the girls are tired and Adrianna cannot walk. So they decided to take a hostel. On my side I will stay at the beach one more night and see if I can find a way to get back in the marina tomorrow. If not I will need to really think about plan b...
I go to check if my sign is well attached. He s not... The guardian ( with who I get along now cause we got into talking peacefully) explains me that the boss of the marina heard the story and got very angry and took the sign of 😤 the security guy kept it on the side for me. He advised me to not come back at all here.
When I get back, Salome started to tell me : maybe you should let it go ? At this moment, I hear a car calling next to us. Some one is calling me. I go to the car, it's the owner of the boat next where I was sleeping !! He tells me that he was looking for me since yesterday night. " Put your things in my trunk and let s go ".
So he takes me in as his guest, the security guy register me in the list.
He takes me to his boat and tell me that I can stay as long as I need. He even open the boat so I can sleep inside 😂
He went to the police office to say that I was his guest and that I was allowed to be here! To summarize, now I m legally staying at the marina and I can get in and out as I need 🤝
I suppose because I was chill with him when he kicked me out, he changed his mind 🙏 what's the lesson here ? I m not sure but destiny his with me 😇
A hot shower 🚿 and go end this day with the Spanish team and a nice kebap
They rest in their hostel and me I go back walking and singing to my home ✌️⚓
With this kind of up and down, I hope there is a boat in my gift list from the destiny ⛵
I m gonna sleep well after all this craziness!⌛🌙
Storm is coming on the island so it's not gonna move much those two next day ⚡🌧️☔
Now, I m living inside of the boat Wich means a big up grade for me. I can leave my bag safely inside, I have access to power and I m legally here. So I can get in and out from the marina as I want!
I'm not loosing my mission from my sight but since the weather is bad there are no new boats coming in.
In the meantime I keep meeting new people in the marina and start to discover this microcosm from the inside. There's is actually a few persons living all year long in their boat, so it's kind of like a small village here.
The most interesting and atypical person is Sergei, a Russian that has been living here for 20 years. He his the kind of do it yourself person. He has learned to sail by himself like a lot of other things: he build his boat from scratch ( he even made the fridge) ! 😅
As I speak more with, I understand after a few days that he has a disease that he cannot cure and doesn't want to live much more... He explained me his combat against health care system and the unsolvable situation in which he is. At the end I understand that he has sold his boat to send the money to his family. His plan is now to go die in the sea as a true sailor ⚓🙏
We shake hands and tells me that it was nice meeting me. I m amazed by his calm but scared by the situation.
On the other side, when I got back to my home. Chris has left me a plate with fresh fish fried on the barbecue!
As I wake up very early, I do my morning routine. Then I m curious to see if Sergei s boat is still there. I don't dare to go directly, so I stay sitting on a bench for a while. I ran into Lio ( the Israeli guy ) he tells me that he might have another plan for me!
Just after that Sergei appeared and sat next to me. I m surprised to see him. He explained me that he was too weak to sail far enough with this strong wind. He s tired and frustrated but im kind of happy to see him again.
Later on I discovered that Lio s plan was a false hope. So I go to visit Sergei, he teaches me stuff he discovered about his disease. He also showed me how to read the weather prevision on a specific web site. We said goodbye to each other again.
The days go very quickly and I m starting to loosing a bit track of time here 🧭
The weather was even worst than the other night, like a tempest!⚡🌧️🌙
The next day Sergei had faced the same scenario I suppose because his boat is still there. I don't dare to bother him cause I see the door is closed.
I'm starting to become a bit crazy in this Marina. Salome ( Spanish girl) also she's stucked here because of her cousin's injury. So she proposes to me to join her on a one day bike trip to get out of the city. I accepted, I felt I needed a break too.
On the way to meet her, I heard Hebrew. Speaking on a big ferry boat at the commercial port. It's a Israeli cruise!!!
So we ride !
We haven't gone far but it felt good to change of ambiance.
I'll get to know her, she's nurse traveler, vegan feminist and pro bike. Very interesting person 🙏
We slept in a beach where it's a kyte surf spot. The owner of a school and shop let us puted the tent in his place ✌️
In the morning it s swim in the sea and yoga class 🧘🏊
And going back already 😀
She got me into thinking about my plans and this plane- issue. Haven't accepted the idea yet but I consider it as plan b🤔
As I go back to marina and talk again with Lio, he tells me that no one is going to come soon cause the Sea is too rough...
Sergei s boat is still there, So I go to talk to him. He explained me that the new owner of the boat offered him a plane ticket to Russia to try one last time to do something about his disease. He accepted but has not say anything to his family, they think his already dead in the sea! What a lesson about hope and protection 🙏
On my side I decided to go a few days away since nothing is gonna move. My chances are very low to find a boat cause winter is coming and the season is almost over for Israeli boat...🧘✌️⚓ I ll see what I do when I come back!
Didn't really got a plan but I felt like I needed to change a little bit of landscape and see a bit if the island.
I knew I could get hosted in Limassol so I thought going there to look at the place differently than the first time I've been. I decided to go hitchhiking to see if it's true what I've heard : " cypriot don't take hitchhikers" ?
I started my trip around midday in larnaca and had to get at Limassol, 60km away. Normally to hard !
Well it was not to bad, except that a guy drop me on the highway and an other in a super small village where i got stocked for a while; I have to say that it was pretty good.
My last ride even took me in the center of the city to help me cause he lives outside. It was not for the conversation neither cause he knew about 10 words of English!
In limassol, I meet Andonis that received me as I we knew each other for a long time. Big bed, nice appartement and very chill guy 😎
Felt good to live at a other rythmin and see the inside of the life of a local 🌯
After 2 days of pure relaxness, I've made a plan !
So I leave the city, hitchhiking to the mountains to be in the wild✌️
Except for leaving the city I haven't waited more than 5 min and my last ride a guy named Chris did a huge detour just to drop me where I needed to be and all that with a big smile 👍
I guess what we say about cypriot and hitchhiking is not so true 😉
I arrive to kidasi when the sun is going down. So I thank chriss and must find two trees quickly to set up my hamac ! Not a single tree around it s all bush and mountains...
I finally found two In the middle of a field. Didn't seems like it was raining so I didn't put my tarp. I felt asleep looking at the stars...
..... Huge mistake playing poète disparu ! I woke up in the middle of the night, freezing cause wind had raisen up and temperature must be around 5c°🥶
Puted my tarp half sleeping with a strong wind, not my best set up but made it 😂 learned my lesson!
So the plan for the day was :
And I got a ride with Tony to the north side 👌 perfect that's where I m meeting with Carter for some more climbing!
I set up my camp in this small town call guzelyurt in the Turkish area. It happens to be a military town so it's full of soldier but no problems everybody is pretty friendly!
I found a nice spot in the parc near the university and the military base, that will do for the night 😀
Morning exercises, breakfast and I go to the meeting point to wait Carter.
My phone changed time when he connected to WiFi so I got there one hour to early ( north and south part are not always on the same time zone) but this yes. So I looked for a cafe open at 7:00. I ended up driking tea with all the senior of the village 😀 they even paid for my drinks.
So back to the meeting point, I find Carter with a group of young people.
I didn't know, he is a teacher from USA at one of the Turkish university in the north. An old school climber passionate that has created a club for the students who want to discover this adventure!
So here we hitting to the 5 fingers mountains in the north of the island at 12 in 2 small cars.
I'm lucky they took me considering the freespace in the car 😉 plus Carter has opened most of the routes where we go climbing so he knows very well the area.
They're pretty organize, we split up in groups and each go to s sector and open some routes for the rest of the group.
Carter took me with him to a sector where the easiest is a 6b ( my Maximum level)...
So I warp between two routes, and did pretty good.
He even pushed me into a 7a Wich I have never even tried indoor. For a first visit on the rock I m happy, I made it to the top ( with falls of course!) 🧗
I finished the day by flashing a 6c on the first try! I still don't believe it 😅✌️
Today was a good day!
Group with very good vibes✌️
They dropped me on way back outside of of the north part of Nicosia. I thanked everybody for this nice session!
I'm suppose to meet andonis (that hosted me) for a party in the south of Nicosia.
So after 3 days in the outdoor, climbing, no shower I walked about 10km across the city to meet him 🚿😎
On the way I stopped to eat and check my messages, I got one from the British that I have met in larnaca s marina: the boat (penelopa) is there!!! It's the boat I ve missed from one day when I arrived the first time. The Capitan is a nice guy that comes every once in while from Israel. Everybody said that he would probably take me but he has no phone to be contacted, so I could only wait and pray He is my last hope to get there by boat 🙏
I immediately answerd to my friend to ask him if he had the chance to talk to him but he is not connected, it s to late. I will contact him the day after.
When I called him the day after, he gives me the bad news that he already left cause a storm was announced for the next days. He was supposed to stay longer but he changed plans at the last minute...🌊🌬️🌀
So now I'm back in Limassol, resting a little bit after those days pretty intense 🛀🛌🍵
I'm starting to accept the signs that the universe is sending me 😂 I'm going to keep visiting a bit the island while I figured out if I still have an other option that the plane.🧘
It took me a few days to accept the up and down of the last boat missed. Before that I had arrived at a point of acceptation and it putted me back into it the game of hope!
To let a little bit of time going by to evaluate if I still have a chance of finding a boat, I decided to go around the island a few days more.
I started my journey by going to Nicosia from limassol. Back to the capital !
I m going to Vas', we met at the party last Saturday. He is an artist and has also traveled, so he told me that if I need s place to stay in Nicosia, he ll be the host 😉 and he meant it !
His place is super cool, he lives a bit outside of the center in a neighborhood with a lot of artist. His house is actually an old small cultural center! You feel it when you are in, still a good vibe. With his roommate Alexis, they welcome easily poeple so it's a open house ✌️
Unfortunately, I arrived late and leave the day after cause I would like to be at my next step on a certain day. So, here we go again : on the road !
As I walk to cross to the north side, I take my time to observe the wall of separation and the neighborhood that are next to the Line. It is strange and sometime, you see some funny things 🙂
Interesting to cross again walking in this sense, it is a strange place this small island divided in half
My next destination is the campus of ODTU next the village of kalkanli. I m going there to meet with the group of students with whom I went rock climbing the last time. The had offered me to join them, since they had such a good vibe in the group, I figured out why not !
I m meeting with Mohammed, a student from Palestine that leaves in Jordania for years. He is part of the responsable of the climbing club and offered me to join for their training session. That is why I wanted to be there on time.
We go to eat and drink after with some of the group, Mohammed let me stay at his place to sleep. He is a very welcome person, very mature and smart for his young age. Respect to him 🙏
Next day while they are studying, I'm enjoying the campus life. It is funny for me it's big! It is made in the American model, as a mini city with a Life inside. Very different from what I knew back home 😅
The campus is very international, most are Turkish but they have students from a lot of different countries from Africa and some from Asia too.
It is a bit in the middle of nowhere and on an hill makes it even more atypical!
We spent a good night with all the group talking about everything and nothing, getting to know each other 🙂
The day after it is sleeping and afternoon of climbing 🧗
Finish the day with a good meal and a good night of sleep. The day after it is time to keep going on my journey !
Goodby and thank you to everybody ✌️
I plan to go hiking to a bouldering spot that Carter had pointed me. It is a little bit more down south west on the coast of north side. It is called Limbi next the village of yesilimark.
It is a bit of road and I by myself so not sure to find it. I go by bus, hitchhiking and finally hiking 👍
I packed everything to be self-sufficient for two days!
It's beautiful, just in between the mountains and the see! Right in the middle some divine force has putted a perfect rock for climbing 😎
First I need to set up my camp, finding some wood for cooking etc. It doesn't look like it will rain but there is no trees so it is gonna be tarp only ! Since the sun goes down pretty fast and that I want to enjoy the light to climb, I set up a protection mostly for the wind 🌬️
First session is pretty motivating ! 💪 But not so long to still enjoy the light for cooking 🍴
As I finished eating and enjoying my little fire camp I decided to go to bed to read. At this time a huge rain started to pour ! Short but very intense 🌧️ I had to maintain my structure because the rain was destroying everything! To late to change, that will do until tomorrow !
That's how look like my shelter in the morning 😅 I survived, nothing can stop the climbing !
Breakfast - morning exercise - relaxation and hop!
Pure freedom ✌️
I spend the whole day climbing, I loved it so much! Alone in the nature just on the rock, pure happiness 😎
I have no more water so I must go back to civilization...
I'm not far away from the next village, to not go back on the road where I came from (=big detour) I go the other way trying to find the following path.
Not so much of good idea, I got stucked by pointy painful bushes 😂 well I made my way at the end ! Found the village and some water. Sun is almost down so I put my hamac in a spot i ve noticed earlier on the way.
Not so much of a good night, I could not start my fire so I ate cold... I didn't insist to not get noticed. And in the morning I got woke up by the workers that came to pick the olives. It was THE day of recollect !! Imagine my surprise in the morning still sleepy face to face with the farmer 😅 he happened to be pretty chill and didn't tell me to go away.
On the road again, I didn't even raised my thumb. A guy just stopped and picked me up after walking 5 min 🙏
I stopped charge my phone, jump in the sea and eat a big fresh fish 👌
Now I'm back to Nicosia at Vas' place to enjoy a bit the mood over here and rest 🛌
Will see about the future 😉
Vasilis place is located outside of the center of Nicosia, where you can forget that you are in the capital. With his roommate Alexis, they really have implemented an open house spirit in this house ✌️I don't know them at all and they have welcomed me as an old time friends, feel good to be in a Home!
They are both open minded person with atypical stories, so my time over there is filled with interesting stories and conversations!
I arrived there tired from the hiking and climbing. I had set up the goal to make a decision on this boat/plane situation when I ll be back from this last trip. So it is time for me to come up with a conclusion after all of this this thinking I v been through lately 🙈🙉🙊
I have been trying to analyze why it was so hard for me to accept to take this plane ?
The starting point is that I challenged myself to go traveling around the world by myself. To that I added the fact that I didn't want to use the plane during the whole trip.
The reasons are :
I experienced traveling by the past with planes, and I didn't enjoy the fact to be propulsed into a place like this. The idea here, was to take the time of the journey, crossing borders, see the landscape changing, languages, cultures and food as well. In a way experienced fully the travelling part as a main step. Stop where your guts tell you to stay!
I also have ecological motivation. I wanted to try to travel in a responsable and a respectful way. So not taking the plane was making sense in this objective.
So from there how can I question those reasons and try to match them with the reality I have been experiencing lately ? 🤔
For the part of taking my time and live the full travel-experience from home to my first step, I honestly can say I'm very satisfied how it went and wich surprises had been put on my path.
On the impact question, I would say that I m a bit more triggered. In a way just by traveling you're a source of pollution ( buses, trains, cars, ferry) except if you do everything by bike or walking (respect to those ones!). On the other side, I travel following a light impact lifestyle in comparison of most poeple moving a lot by plan and not paying attention to their consuming habits. So I would say it's a Gray conclusion 🧐
Then, trying to look at the whole picture and when I was thinking in a very logical way, they wasn't good reason to not take this plane. But something was bothering me from the inside...So what it is ?
I challenged myself to go around the world without plane, Wich is one of the most scary and at the same time coolest decision I v made in my life. I ve been dreaming about traveling around the world since I was a teenager 🧭🗺️
I worked and puted so much hope in this project that I kind of have high expectations for myself! It got me thinking about the reasons of this trip and what can I learn through itself ?
I decided to give me this time in my life to NOT stick to a plan, to experience a certain type of freedom, to discover, learn, meet, understand, try, etc everyday.
All those things are suppose to be positive !
So I arrived to a certain conclusion : " a challenge should push you to go over your limit, not blocking you. When it's the case, maybe it's not relevant anymore"💪
I got so obcessed with the boat challenge, that I almost forgot the giant step I took by leaving my comfortable flat country 😉 plus all the adventure I ve been through lately that has fulfilled me with so much experience!
I did everything that was in my power to find a boat (even illegal solutions), I kept focuses on my objective, I did not give up at several difficult step. My last safe chance of crossing left last week, my Israeli contact in the marina doesn't answer me anymore, the English couple are back home for the holidays and sailing season is off. I reached a pointed where I m fighting against the elements and nature. That is maybe above my strength and Power 🙏
I realized at some point that Ego was the main thing that was blocking me.
If vanity and lack of acceptation of unpredictable events are leading a part of my trip, then I am going wrong way!
So I would like to thank everyone that has supported, believed or helped me during this adventure! It meant a lot, some days I was loosing my good spirit and you good words kept me up. Plus some of you helped me looking in an other way at the reality! Merci, teshekir, efkharisto, thanks 🙏✌️🙏
When I look back, Cyprus was my training time : I had the chance to use and try all my material, get into the rythmin and the vibe of traveling. It stopped me from rushing and arriving with calm 🧘
Bonus : I v trained a lot my rockclimbing skills 😉
Believe it or not but I booked my flight in the afternoon and the same evening I got hill ! I don't know if it was a virus or my body that just let it go after a month of moving all the time ? But I was with strong fever, very weak and made the craziest dreams 🥴🤒🤯
The day after I was still weak but getting slowly back on my feet as long as the day went by 💪
Vas' and Alexis took care of me by giving me good food, tea and vitamin 🤗
I thanked them and left for Paphos where my flight was leaving ✌️
The flight was 45 min... Almost a joke !
I learned some good lessons for the rest of my trip! A simple and important one about boathitchicking : don't be on the rush, target an area (not a country) and be there on the proper period 😀
Now I know what to do for the Atlantic!
As I plan my plane at the last minute, I hadn't tell yet the project in Cisjordania that I was finally coming. So I thought it would be a good time to do a little transition by Israel !
I knew there was a little bubble of love and happiness where I could rest for a while 😉 so I went there for a few days 😇
And I have been welcome with the 'tapis rouge' !
I wanted to spend a few days in Israel before going to Palestina also because it's good to spend some time on both sides. It was interesting in Cyprus as well, so I applied the same logic.
Israel is such a special place with so many influences from around the world. The Occidental impact is huge in the society But yo do feel that you are in the middle East, it is a different vibe and other way of living in the day to day. Not the same rythmin, not the same code of communication, different protocols 🤓
Even if Israelis look like tough person, it's always a good reminder to experience the day to day life and see that as everybody they have their own sensibilities and good feeling about life. We get a very particular image from the media that impact us in a way. We tempted to see this kind of situations in black and white from the outside 📰📺📻
Even if I m not a big fan of City, I went to spend two days in Tel Aviv, I suppose the KEY of understanding is seeing a bit of everything 😉 It is a big city but mixed with very different people. You can find some quiete areas as well. I did a little detour by the climbing gym to train a bit and see how is the mood over there 😎
After those days of chilling in the bubble, I thanks everyone and it is time for me to cross to the other side.
The plan was crossing near Natanya to go to a farm project in tulkarm. When I arrived there, the soldier ask me some questions. He tells me that I should not go to this village for security matter. I explained him that I knew he would say that but that I'm taking responsibility for my decision. After a while, he asked his supervisor to see if allows me to cross. He arrived, check my passport and ask me a few more questions. Now he's asking to his Superior. He comes back, answer is negative. I tried to understand and discuss but it is : "as simple as no"... They won't take the responsibility to let me cross on this specific gate to go to this village. They were very polite and calm but firm. So change of plans. It won't be for today!🤔
So I took my backpack and left 🚘
New plan : I m going to cross to Jerusalem where it's not a big deal. I decided to adapt my plan to go first in Ramallah (that was supposed to be my second stop in Palestine) and figure out later what I will do after this step!
So crossing from Jerusalem was actually very easy, I just took a bus from Jerusalem center that brought me to Ramallah center. I didn't even speak with a police man or show my passport 🚧🛣️
Here I am : Ramallah !
Before leaving I cutted my toothbrush in half so it would fit in my small toiletry bag. Problem is that I cutted it too short and it was very hard to brush my teeth with it. It took me 2 months to accept that it would be better to get a new one and do again the process 😅
Learning to accept that our decision are not always the best or even that things do not depends only on our call is a long road 🙏 I'm getting there slowly.
My new toothbrush is awesome and Ramallah seems like a good first stop 😇
I will leave you with that for the end of the first part of my trip around the world !
Hey to everyone this is the end of the first chapter but the adventure is not over! To follow the next chapter you can click on this link :
Hope you enjoyed, thanks for reading me, it means a lot to have your support 🙂💪✌️
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