Waking up knowing that this was Garrett’s last day was pretty sad. Getting to spend some quality brother time for Jason, Jeff and Garrett was an unreal experience and certainly a trip of a life time for the 3 of them.
Typical mid summer heat swept in and we were all sweating profusely by 9am. Our plan was to get G to the airport, fix the car and eventually head off to central Turkey to the infamous Cappadocia to check out the balloon freaks. JH was the only one highly interested in floating around with a bunch of people in a closed casket. But we’ll oblige. first things first though – get G back to the madre.
While JH and Kevin were busy sleeping, Jeff and Jason hopped in the wagon and headed to the airport to see Garrett off. He boarded the flight with no problems and was off to Portugal to see the rest of his family. All whom were still on vacation in some beautiful beach town north of Lisbon.
Since JH and Kevin couldn’t be trusted to take the car in, Jeff and Jason headed straight to our new homie at the restaurant. He owned our hotel and a local eatery just down the street in prime foreigner location. It was a genius way to shuffle guests to spend money at the family run establishments. This guy was a full on maniac (more on that to come) but he found a place and we took the car in. You see, rolling 4-5 deep in a 1999 Ford Fiesta can really sink the little beast. We were dragging and scraping all over the place. We were afraid as the roads worsened that we would get stuck and be f*cked. So the logical thing to do was raise our car and align the wheels.
Jason and Jeff went to a few places that told them to f*ck off before finally finding a “mechanic” section of town with 20 shops right next to each other. Luckily one of the owner’s sons was fresh off a year abroad in Canada so he spoke English very well and was eager to help us. They left the car there and headed back to the hotel.
Once the car was done, Jason and Kevin went to retrieve it. JH couldn’t be found. He was filming some weird, irrelevant shit all over town. SAD! After sitting in traffic for a few brutal Turkish hours, they returned home. The car was in tow and ready for some more extreme adventures.
Time to hit the road! Psych. Since we were all galavanting around separately most of the day, and the car took longer than expected, we decided to stay another night. Plus the drive was about to be 15 hours so there was no point leaving at 5-6pm.
What to do? The maniac bar/restaurant/hotel owner gave us one choice. Go to his place and smash down some beers and local food. Done deal! We went there and saw one of the most incredible displays of a personal space violation ever witnessed at a restaurant. This guy went full creep mode on every table. He was yelling and aggressively hitting on every girl there. The best was his constant look backs at us for some sort of approval. I thought we could get debaucherous and out of control but this was on another level. Some of it hilarious, all of it very uncomfortable.
We did eat like kings though. Jeff was able to finagle the bars light-up guitar beer sign which he put on the back of the car. You will see pictures from the rest of the trip with the bright blue guitar sign. Absolutely brilliant! He also ordered a clay pot dish, that is customarily a broken table side to reveal the stew like concoction within. We of course used some type of sword for this.
We drank beers and bullshitted for a few hours. Finally it was time to leave for the night and get ready for another long drive. This 3 day respite in Istanbul was welcomed as the path forward would become more and more chaotic. The roads would get worse and worse and the strain of the road would get stronger and stronger. But of course we would have MORE and MORE adventurous fun.
The next morning we packed up and ate some breakfast. We drank the Turkish coffee like we would never experience it again. Poof – we were gone without a trace. All of us with a feeling that we’d return to Istanbul at some point later in life. It is truly a magnificent city. Metropolitan, ancient, modern, beautifully stunning and abundantly filled with awesome people.
Next stop – Cappadocia!