Sunday, 27 May 2012

England Here We Come!

The time has finally come.....bikes have been bought, panniers packed, camping equipment assembled & our things have been reduced to 1/3.  After a wonderful couple of weeks with family, friends & strangers we're ready to set off on our next adventure.  At dawn tomorrow we'll leave the centre of Istanbul & head westward towards Bulgaria, beginning the long journey home.

The Blue Mosque, Istanbul
We're so excited to finally be heading off on the bike trip - something we've been planning & looking forward to for a very long time.  It finally became real when we bought the bikes - there's no turning back now. :-)  Lots of people have shown great interest in our trip & we must say a HUGE thanks to everyone who has visited our fundraising page so far & made a donation to New Life Foundation.  It's been a great motivation and we've been overwhelmed by the support that's been shown.

Tasty Turkish Treats

The past couple of weeks have been really wonderful & we've had such a great time seeing family & meeting new friends.  It's fair to say we've been spoilt rotten - first by John's cousin & family in Hong Kong, then by our various couchsurfing hosts and this weekend by John's folks in Istanbul.  We've also been pretty astounded by the kindness of strangers - Istanbul has no shortage of friendly people wanting to say hello and help where they can.  Yesterday on a stroll through the park, we noticed an amazing coal-fired water heater being used to heat a kettle - I asked if I could take a picture & the next thing we knew we had 4 cups of tea in our hands & a large family stood around smiling & chatting away in Turkish.  Even though neither of us could speak the other's language, it really didn't matter - we were all happy to have met the other & somehow managed to establish who was who.

Our new couchsurfing friends

Like Father Like Son
It's been a great week in Istanbul - a wonderful city rich in history with a west/middle eastern blend & plenty to see & do.  It's been great to see John's parents & although we're still loving the travels has made us excited about getting home & seeing everyone again.  First things first though - we must saddle up & be on our way.  Wish us luck!x

Goodbye Istanbul, it's been fun!

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