It was almost 9.00 am by the time we left the hostel and we only did 6 km before our first stop. We had to get some fuel and sat down for a coffee. In the meantime the skies cleared up so we put back the rain suits in the panniers before heading for Turkey.
There were no events to mention in Bulgaria. The road from Sofia is a bit better and the scenery is very green. We stopped just before the border to refuel the bikes. That’s when Csabi fell off his motorcycle just as he stopped at the pump and he managed to brake his windshield but luckily he wasn’t hurt.
While we filled up the bikes a group of local boys came over to admire the motorcycles and trying to touch every bit of equipment only to be chased away by a lady working at the station. I bought a Coke and we ate some energy bars from my pannier while sitting and contemplating as felt we travelled back in time. People in this area are very poor and that can be clearly seen from the environment, the facilities and even their clothing.
We continued on the motorway towards Silivri where we planned to camp for the night in a campsite that we found in the Garmin database (Karadayi camping). We stopped for fuel just up the street and then went to the campsite…only to realise it is not a camping but a camp for refugees or homeless people. They were rather surprised to see us entering but we quickly turned back and went down to the seaside to regroup and discuss plan B.
We decided to go to Istanbul and look for a place that was recommended on the UKGSer homepage. The riding was great. I just loved the way the traffic flows although I must admit I still do not understand why there are pedestrian crossings on the motorway…
We quickly adopted to the local habits and followed the flow of cars that seemingly have no rules to follow. We arrived at the address only to find out that the hotel Albion does not exist anymore. We parked our bikes and walked around to look for a budget hotel but focusing on the safe parking for our motorcycles. We sound one just around the corner and the receptionist seemed to have a key to a locked parking lot just down the street. He opened it and we rode in to a building that would be awaiting demolition in every other country.