Friday, May 30, 2008

Not every trip …

Not every trip goes perfectly – our return trip from Canakkale to Kusadasi was an example.

We had been on a tour of the Gallipoli sites and knew that at the end we would return to Kusadasi by bus. What we didn’t know were the details which turned out like this. We crossed by ferry from Eceabat on the Fez Tours bus, this is a secondary departure point where the ferry leaves when it’s full (that doesn’t take long) and takes only a few minutes to cross. When we arrived back in Canakkale the guide told us where the bus would leave from and at what time – 11:30 pm – another overnight bus trip – our 3rd in less than 2 weeks! And that doesn’t count the day bus ride to Canakkale.

We still didn’t have a ticket but the guide assured us it would be on the Truva Company bus when it arrived from Eceabat at 11:15 pm. Trusting souls we are we set about making use of the next 5 hours doing some people watching on the water front.

At 11 pm we turned up at the bus stop and the company rep assured us our tickets would be here when the bus arrived. He assured us he was ‘on our side’.

The bus turned up, no tickets but we were assigned seats and left for Selcuck – we were supposed to be going to Kusadasi, 15 km further onwards. However, we were satisfied that at least we were going to be closer to where we needed to be and that we could solve the rest of the problem later.

We arrived at Selcuck at 6:10 am; woken by the ‘conductor’ and told this is where you get off. So alight we did onto the street – our bags were already on the street. I said to Lynne, ‘Isn’t this typical, you get dropped off in the middle of the night (well it felt like that) without any explanation!’

However, once the bus moved off we recognised the Selcuck bus station across the street so made our way there. We managed to escape the hotel tout who latched onto a Canadian couple who had also been cast off the bus and who were half asleep too.

We managed to work out which dolumus (mini bus) we had to catch to Kusadasi and were sitting contented with ourselves when I realised that my camera was still on the bus! That immediately accelerated my heart rate- almost 200 irreplaceable photos about to be lost!

No-one at the bus stop was going to be able to help us so we dug out the contact details for the travel company who had helped us in Istanbul – the woman there spoke much better English than I did Turkish. She was able to give me a contact number for the Truva bus company which I pursued only to be given another number for the company. The second person understood what I had done and contacted the bus while I waited. He came back to me after a few minutes with, ‘I have some good news for you. Your camera will be left at the Aydin office of the company, you can pick it up there.’ I was thrilled and impressed and hoped that picking it up would be that simple.

However, we then needed to rescue our bags from the dolmus that was going to Kusadasi and find the dolmus that was going to Aydin – 1 hour away. Having successfully done that we relaxed again and accepted that we weren’t going to make the 8:30 am ferry from Kusadasi to Samos.

Finding the Truva office at the bus station in Aydin was easy enough but the staff at the desk seemed to know nothing of the arrangement for my camera to be left with them. I tried several times to make myself understood and to have them understand what the deal was with the person I had spoken to in Istanbul. This was not going well, then the panic started to set in! However, I used my cell phone to call the last person I had spoken to at Truva in Istanbul and handed my phone to the Truva man behind the desk. While he was talking to the Istanbul agent he walked over to where the TV was mounted, reached in beside it and brought out my camera - hooray!!

The rest of the day was straight forward – a dolmus back to Kusadasi and a Greek ferry to Samos – delayed some 9 hours but a successful outcome no less. What would I have done without my cellphone? Well worth the roaming charges I believe!


Ngamoenga said...

That wa more than just good luck but one of the trials of travel and will be chalked up to experience. And yes thank goodness for cell phones!!! Glad it all turned out in the end.


Raquel and Steve said...

as soon as I started ready your note, I scrolled to the bottom of the entry for that day and guessed you had lost your camera, its the first entry with no photo's. My heart was racing for you as I read through your entry to see what the outcome was, re the camera. Phew you were pretty lucky. Being thrown off the buses in the middle of the night can through your senses a bit.

Dionne. said...

My heart was racing reading this one Dad! Pleased it all worked out - I can remember some of those night bus trips and how disorienting it can be.