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Old 05-03-2011, 04:20 PM   #751
Fishfund OP
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Location: Lansing, MI
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Entry 54

Well it took us 3 days to get our bikes out of customs. The first day Happened to be Easter Sunday. We got to the airport and it was dead. Nobody was working in the cargo terminals.

The airport trip wasn't fruitless because we had a special visitor to pick up. Nick's dad Russ. You see just a few days ago, Nick got a suprise email from his dad telling him that he bought a ticket to Istanbul and was going to meet us for a few days. How random and cool is this? His dad was also bringing us gifts, or was he? When we meet him his luggage looked a little thin. They lost his bag. Russ, fills out the lost baggage forms and we head into town on the subway (because we don't have our bikes.) We grab a late dinner then retire for the evening. We need to be fresh for the long day ahead of us.

Nick, Ben and I are at the airport by 9:00 A.M. Ben and I tackle the bikes project, while Nick tries to hunt down his dad's lost bag. I can not remember what all happens this day, and that is a good thing. I just remember going from office to office, and getting stamps and signatures, and more stamps. At one point we pay $100 USD for some thing and continue with the office hopping. Mean while, Nick got his dad's bag and has no idea where to find us. Eventually Ben and I grab a bite to eat for lunch that happens to have WiFi. I call nick via skype, who happens to be in another terminal on WiFi. Good timing too, because we are at a standstill until we get Nick's bikes title which Nick has on him. I think I will spare you the details that I can't remember of the rest of the day, but it ends like this.

It's late, everyone is leaving, we think we are going to pull it off, and then we find out we need Turkish Insurance. We must come back tomorrow with Turkish Insurance, no exceptions. Oh, and we had two taxi rides in there somehow, Oh and Russ showed up towards the end, hoping to get an evening ride back on the bikes, but instead we ended up with this.

Back in town we grab a dinner. Russ tells us about his morning. He has already seen the Spice Market, The big Bazaar, the underwater sistern and problably more. He is missing the most important part though.. The turkish bath. We find a place to eat that has Iskender Kebap. My little sister claims it is the best meal she has ever had. Bold statement I know. My opinion is different. I must have had a bad batch.

The next morning starts off a wee bit frustrating. Because this is Russ's last day and we really want to hang out with him, but we have these bikes that we have to take care of. The shiping company charges a heafty storage fee for everyday the bikes are in the warehouse. Russ gives us till 11:00 to get the bikes, otherwise, he's off to see the city. Ben, Nick and I head in the general direction of the airport looking for insurance places. It takes us about 2 hours to finally find a place, and then 1 hour to get the insurance. The girls didn't speak English and we didn't speak Turkish. After a lot of hand motions and google translater, we have insurance. Luckily it's cheap. Only $3 each for two month. Unluckily I always blink for photos, and the picture with the girls is no exception.

By now it's noon, we are not going to make the 11:00 A.M. time goal, so Russ heads off to have fun by himself, while we get to go back to the airport to get our bikes, but first lunch is in order. And yes Emily, it is better than Iskender Kebap.

We have the insurance, we show our papers, and now more waiting...

and waiting...

and waiting

and waiting

and we are given our bikes!!!!

reassembly time.

Nick's bike is done first, then Ben, and I am way behind. We were told that we are charged by weight and Volumn, so I made my bike as small as possible. This means I took my two front fuel tanks off, my windshield and my handlebars. Turns out I did all this for nothing as they shipping company only charged us by weight. Nick takes off as soon as his bike is ready so he can spend the remainer of the day with his dad. Ben is stuck with me while I get my bike put together, but that's only the first part. I still need to change out the throttle body. We drive our bikes to the nearest gas station with my bike sputtering the whole way. I do a field throttle body swap that takes about an hour. I hope this finally fixes my problem. John from Rally Raid was nice enough to ship me the throttle body off his spare rally bike. Thanks again John. I do the 15 minute reset idle and cross my fingers.

I turn the bike on and with in 50 feet, the code is thrown again. Well, I guess I'll just have to limp the bike into town to the KTM dealer. What else can I do? Everytime I turn the engine on, the bike starts fine, but the code eventually comes back on. Well the 3rd time I did this, the code never came back on. I drove for 45 minutes back into town with the bike running great the whole time. Why is it running good now, but threw the code two times right after I swapped throttle bodys? Man, this bike is confussing.

I didn't know this at the time, but I wasn't the only one fixing my bike. Nick was at the KTM dealer installing a new front wheel and tires on his bike. That's what the special package was that Russ brought. Inside was Russ's complete front wheel from his own BMW 800, along with two new tires. Yes, you read that right, Nick and his dad have matching bikes. Turns out Nick and his dad also have the same kind of luck, as after they swapped parts, they got a flat tire on their maden voyage. Luckily they just added air at a fuel station and managed to creep back to the dealer.

Nick and his dad enjoy a nice last father son dinner while Ben and I go to a local joint to catch the Manchester football game. Russ's flight leaves earily in the morning, so Nick takes him to the airport late in the evening.

We got our bikes, We got to see Russ, and we got our package. Success, but it was a struggle the whole way.

FYI, this was the best part of what came in the package.

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Old 05-03-2011, 07:49 PM   #752
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f ing awesome RR ... keep it coming Luke and nick sters .... Hey Luke when is it you need to be in AK?
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Old 05-03-2011, 08:29 PM   #753
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Originally Posted by thorzite View Post
f ing awesome RR ... keep it coming Luke and nick sters .... Hey Luke when is it you need to be in AK?

No later than June 9th, and that's coming up quick.
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Old 05-04-2011, 05:28 AM   #754
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Sounds like a frustrating couple of days. But how awesome to have Nick's dad fly out to see you guys

Glad to hear you guys will be back on the road shortly. Hope you get your KTM sorted out quickly.

Thanks for the update!

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Old 05-04-2011, 06:39 AM   #755
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Originally Posted by Olas View Post
Luke, do you ever wish you had your bmx bike with you in some of these places?

All the time. I saw this just in Istanbul. There are so many cool things to ride that We pass by that I'll never get to ride. I love BMX

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Old 05-04-2011, 02:56 PM   #756
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Entry 55

We spent a week in Istanbul, but only 3 days getting our bikes cleared from customs. This is the abridged version of how it went down. First of all we each had our own day of being sick. On my day Ben and Nick went out to explore the city while I stayed in and slept seriously all day. The next day was Bens turn to stay in and sleep while Nick and I went out to see the city to check out some Mosques.

Every town that has tourists has creative people in the area doing neat things trying to make a living. I've never seen this being done. Live lollypops.

The guy was really fast at making them. At the end he adds lemon which I assume is supposed to harden the candy, but they end up turning into a big mess.

Nick said his mom would be proud of this snack.

We aimlessly walk around town looking at things in the big Bazaar like this.

There are some really beautiful areas.

It's really nice to "blend in" or at least not stick straight out in a crowd. We are not bothered once during our outing. No one is running up to us trying to get us to buy sunglasses. I appreciate this. I notice that I have changed. When I first went overseas as a senior in Paris I loved heckling with the street venders, seeing how good of a deal I could get. I am completely over that now. I don't care about buying trinkets. I like blending in.

Turkey is known for it's food. I might be making that up, I don't know. I do remember once watching Anthony Bourdane (I know it's spelled horribly) and (It cooler if you call yourself out first) do a show on Istanbul. He would not stop ranting and raving about the food. I know he is right when it comes to the fish sandwhiches on the river.

I loved these, Nick doesn't like fish.

I really liked these too. They called them meatballs, but to me they are sausages.

speaking of things I like, I thought this was really cool.

They are the parking police, and this operation was completely automatic. They never got out of the truck. Just using his mirrors the driver had the forks go under the car, lift it up and set it on the truck bed. This took less then a minute and he was off. Unbelievable. Speaking of Unbelievable, check out this water cistern that the people built a long time ago.

It's pretty cool to check out. You just have to try to ignore all the people and merchants down there and just focus on how old this is and how hard it would be to build it. My favorate part is fish they have swimming around. That was a surprise.

Kind of makes you wonder about the "tuna fish salad" they are selling a few yards away.

This seemed to be what everyone was focusing on. Why is it upside down? I think so years later people would wonder why it's upside down.

Building this must have been a huge pain. Speaking of pain, our next entry is going to be the Turkish Bath.

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Old 05-04-2011, 03:17 PM   #757
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Turkey > Africa

It good to see you happy again and positive in all the new things you see!
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Old 05-05-2011, 06:06 AM   #758
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Turkey looks incredible. Make me wish you'd spent the last couple months in Turkey!
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Old 05-05-2011, 06:33 AM   #759
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What's your route up north? Coming through Russia?
Adventure is just another word for poor planning.
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Old 05-05-2011, 10:25 AM   #760
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Turkish food looks

How about a few pics of the pretty locals
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Old 05-05-2011, 11:10 AM   #761
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Originally Posted by quicktoys2 View Post
Turkish food looks

How about a few pics of the pretty locals

There are MANY. I've visited Istanbul and the women are AMAZING!
Big Trip to Washington, Vancouver Island and British Columbia
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Old 05-05-2011, 11:37 AM   #762
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Old 05-05-2011, 11:51 AM   #763
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Make sure you don't leave Turkey without eating a doner kebab. It is usually a mixture of lamb and beef with assorted veggies wrapped either in a tortilla or pita style bread. Some places will even have a garlic yogurt (kinda like Greek tzaziki). It should look something like this.

Good luck on the rest of your journey!
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Old 05-05-2011, 12:32 PM   #764
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Damn you guys... You make me wanna go back home...
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Old 05-05-2011, 01:15 PM   #765
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Originally Posted by Fishfund View Post
Inside was Russ's complete front wheel from his own BMW 800, along with two new tires.

What an awesome Dad!
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Originally Posted by WaterWheel View Post
The things I would do with that old broad would make a seasoned porn producer puke.
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