Day 86 – The Bike Box Delemma

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Published: September 25th 2023

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Nice Hotel we passedNice Hotel we passedNice Hotel we passed

As I have mentioned, we still haven’t decided how to get our bikes to the airport. Our options are someone comes and collects our bikes, takes them away and packs them, and then returns on the day of departure and transfers us to the airport in time for our flight. A great option but two considerations are that we won’t actually see our baggage being packed, and Jeff has some concerns about someone else packing his bike without him being there.
The second option we have is to find bike boxes ourselves and pack the bikes up here at the apartment and then find an airport transfer independently. This is made difficult by the fact it’s not that easy to find bike boxes in Istanbul and we would be spending time packing instead of exploring the city.
As it turns out Tom and Jeff found two bike boxes at one of the few bike shops in old Istanbul yesterday. Which left us one short. We decided to go on the hunt for a third box and if we couldn’t find one, to use the packing service. We headed off at 8:30am this morning. It was a 2.5km walk up

Down the stairs . . . Down the stairs . . . Down the stairs . . .

the steep hill and down the other side, unfortunately there are no metro stations in our immediate vacinity. We returned to the shop we had bought two from on Saturday and were told they had no more. We started the rounds of the other bike shops which were all clustered together. We finally found one who said they had a box. We then followed the “goffer” down streets and alley ways through a small locked door up some steep steps and were shown “the box”. It was well worn and very flimsy, not much of a deal for the $10USD being asked. We decided to give it a miss and keep looking. After a number of “sorry, can’t help yous” we finally got a “yes”. We were told to wait, so we did. We were offered Turkish tea, which we accepted and drank, and still we waited. I enquired about the price and was told $20USD. These are for old boxes they are going to throw out. I haggled a bit and got the price down to $15USD. While I was haggling Tom saw someone with a bike box walking by, he went out after him to ask where he

. .. and into the dungeon. .. and into the dungeon. .. and into the dungeon

got it from. It ended up being a Canadian who wanted to get his bike back home and he said he found the bike box in a dumpster! Finally someone arrived at our bike shop and again we were led down a series of streets and alley ways and this time through a locked door down some steps and into a room that was full of musty old bike boxes, most of which still had bikes in them. We picked a box and the box was opened and the new bike inside removed. We paid the man and off we went with box in hand. We walked the 2.5kms back to the apartment and began the process of breaking down our bikes and packing them in the boxes.
By about 3pm we had all either packed our bikes away, or to the point we knew we’d have no issues. It had taken most of the day but the dilemma was now resolved.
On Wednesday, Tom will leave for Australia with his bike box via a transfer organised by the manager of our apartment. On the same day Jeff and I will head off to Cappadocia leaving our bikes

Eggplant and sausage with tomatoEggplant and sausage with tomatoEggplant and sausage with tomato

at the apartment. When we return we are staying at the same apartment so they are happy to hold them for us.
With a few hours to kill before our evening dinner river cruise Tom and I headed out to see a few more sights. The lines for the major attractions wound on for hundreds of meters so we cruised by the Bazaar again before returning for a bit of a rest before the cruise.

The cruise was a real hoot. The meal was OK without being great and the cruise itself was well worth the effort. Then there was the show they put on which was really quite good. Multiple dance routines culminating in a belly dancer who put a lot of effort into her routine, the amount of money tucked into her top and belt was testament to that. And to finish off they got lots of people up dancing on the stage including the 3 of us.

Tomorrow is our last day together, we’ll be out seeing a few more sights before Tom heads home on Wednesday and we head to Capadocia.



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