Day 20: I was happy in the haze of a drunken hour…

…go on, sing along if you know the words… But heaven knows I’m miserable now.

Well, what a throughly shitty set of days. 

  • Wednesday, booked for speeding and had a crash
  • Thursday, the most stupid outcome of a general election imaginable – come on, 5 years of a tiny Tory majority, with their right wing pulling the strings… an unnecessary Euro referendum, further dismantling of the NHS and they have even come out and said they want to bring back fox hunting.., give me strength!
  • Friday, spent all day sat on my own in a sleeper car that was 6 foot by 6 foot on what felt like the world’s slowest train. Then Eejay told me that one of our cats had been killed in a car accident.
  • Today, Saturday, my garage confirmed my worst fears…

The day started where yesterday left off, on the slow, trundling train to Ankara. Still, I was happy to see that the bike had had a good night’s sleep.


I’ve spent most of the day with BMW in Ankara – Borusan Oto. They have been great – especially the head bike mechanic / foreman Cam. They didn’t spend too much time looking at the bike to be honest;  a cursory look shows it needs new wheel, disc, forks, steering column, head bearings etc… Plus plastics to make it look pretty. If they have to order anything from BMW in Germany it gets tied up in customs for 10-15 days. It will take them 5 days to fix the parts. He checked, they have some parts in Istanbul, but they would need to order some from Germany. Potentially 20 days hanging around Turkey. 

I don’t have 20 days spare I’m afraid. So, it looks like the only thing to do is fly home with the bike, fix it in Manchester and then it doesn’t matter how long it takes. So, Plan A is firmly over – riding all the way to India isn’t going to happen I’m afraid. Gutted isn’t strong enough a word… Distraught? Maybe. It’s been a long time (if ever) that I’ve felt so deflated. 

As an aside, it turns out that the dealer looks after the Presidential Security motorcade, some very nice nice bikes there… The security staff didn’t want their photos taking. (Spot the broken 800 on the ramp)


The head mechanic has been great, he took me to the cargo airport to make enquiries. Unfortunately none of the agents work weekends, but he called some friends, who made suggestions, gave phone numbers and eventually we found a customs agent who gave a decent quote. In theory, the bike will leave Ankara on Monday and arrive in Manchester on Wednesday. I’ll sort a flight for me as soon as possible once I know it’s left Turkey. 

In the planning for the trip there were all sorts of eventualities planned for: plan b,c,d…. I think this is now Plan Q: when home, I will try to get tickets for the same flight as my family to fly to India on 23rd (in theory to have met me as I cross the border) and spend two weeks travelling as a family – Golden Temple, Taj Mahal, Elephant and tiger sanctuaries – great. I’d like to stay for a few extra weeks to rent a bike and tackle Khardungla, but I need to talk to Eejay more about this. 

Tonight, I’m booked into a hotel that BMW have a relationship with so get a decent discount and it’s only €25 per night (about £18). See the luck I’ve had this week, I’m expecting someone to break into my room tonight just to kick me in the balls!


3 thoughts on “Day 20: I was happy in the haze of a drunken hour…

  1. Desi

    Take me back to dear old Blighty….

    Well Dave, its not about the destination, it is about getting there. Or rather getting as far as you could. You traveled further on a bike than you ever had before and saw more getting there than one would flying into Turkey.

    I’m a desk top explorer and only dream of traveling as far you as have on my bike. My rides on my Enfield are day trips around my local area of Detroit Michigan / Windsor Ontario areas. With family commitments and and mostly empty wallet, I can only dream for now these days.

    I flew into Gatwick a few years ago and got a rental car (Renault Clio) on a points card. Spent a week with no plans. The only place I had to be that week was back at the airport the following week. The freedom was amazing. Explored some sewers with an Aussie in London, abandoned asylums, the Tinsley Towers in Sheffield and had awesome indian in Manchester lol.. drank buckie with neds in Glasgow. You know… the usual tourist stuff….haha

    The Iran, Pakistan and India aren’t going anywhere soon. While you are there maybe look at the logistics while you are there to ship the bike back someday, send the bike ahead and fly to it to continue on?

    1. davenunns Post author

      Thanks Desi.
      The Indian restaurants in Manchester are legendary!
      The idea of doing Iran, Pak and India in the future isn’t a bad one – unfinished business and all that. I’ve been surprised how cheap the costs for air freight has been to get the bike home €1150 ($1280, £840) to crate it, do all the paperwork and fly it. There will be some handling costs at Manchester, no idea how much. So, it’s not impossible to think I could fly the bike to Istanbul then ride to India… Maybe in a couple of years when work, family and finances allow.

    2. davenunns Post author

      I’ve been in touch with bike rental firms in India and bikes can be had for less than £20 per day. So, two week Himalayan loop (as planned) might only cost £300.

      Need to get the family on board first…



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