After Allan and I failed to get into Abkhazia (don’t mention it to him, he may cry), we were ready to get onto the road again. He was heading to Istanbul and I had Cappadocia in my sights. We spent a night in Batumi , Georgia’s Black Sea resort town, and made up our minds to take overnight buses through Turkey the next day.
Over my morning tea I checked the map, and then looked at photographs of some of the towns along Turkey’s northern coast. It seemed such a waste to pass through so fast – and in the dark too. I said as much. Allan and I looked at each other. I suggested we hitch across the border. Allan and I looked at each other. We smiled. And in a flash we changed our plans, scoffed down our breakfast, packed our bags and headed out of town with our thumbs stuck out.
As always, hitching in the city proved difficult and we ended up taking a marshrutka to the border. We took a selfie and joined the queue. No travelling day would be complete without some complications, and we both caused the border police some headaches. Allan needed to buy a visa for Turkey and something was unclear about my passport. Following our charge into the police station I watched him tell the other officers about Allan’s giant moustache – it is the best icebreaker I have encountered on the road.
Visas finally sorted, we crossed the border and found ourselves in the past – Turkey is two hours behind Georgia. We had prepared for a long day of hitching to Trabzon, but we were quickly picked up by a Frenchman driving his bakkie from Georgia all the way to Athens, Greece. Add the smooth, tarred highway to the mix and we were at our destination in only a few hours. This left us with the afternoon to walk around the city where we happened upon this food market among some narrow, hilly streets. I do love markets.