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Published: July 24th 2009
Krac De Chevaliers
Here is the crusader castle looking from our hotel. It was built in the 1100's. Our hotel was $30 per night for a triple room. We were able to hike over there and see the sights. Once we got to the top, the wind was so strong we could hardly stand.
I know we have not "blogged" in a while. I hope no one thought we were dead, but it would be nice to know that someone was paying attention! We have had no Internet access, English newspapers, or English television for 5 days. We are feeling a bit disconnected from the world--Dad said it seems so long ago that we were in the USA that he has forgotten what his mother looks like! So, it is nice to get comments from everyone who has sent them.
Kyle brought his laptop and in Damascus we were able to access the Internet and Kyle's work files from our room, but other places have either not had access, the services was way to SLOW or it has not been compatible with our programs. Another city was all wi-fi, but did not have computers available for use because it was assumed everyone would bring their own laptop.
We are having a great time and seeing even more of the world than we expected, but as you can see we had a little hiccup in the trip...
Driving from Aleppo, Syria to Krac de Chevaliers, our car started making a sound that means
The Pit Crew at Work
Farm boys could teach the Middle East boys a thing or two about changing a tire! Look at that form!
the same thing in the Middle East that it means in the Midwest...our tire was flat. We pulled onto the side of the highway--not the shoulder, because they do not have shoulders on their highways. We pulled to the side and began unloading ALL of our luggage. Dad opened his pack to get his leather gloves out and he was pleasantly surprised to find $500 that he stashed away while packing. I pulled out my leather gloves from my pack and found nothing!
Dad and our driver began changing the tire while Kyle and I signalled oncoming vehicles to move to the left. The vehicles were mostly trucks hauling wheat, tomatoes and fruit. Our traffic control turned into a circus because the drivers were too busy waving at the Americans, gestering to have their pictures taken, and flirting! Oh well, at least there was not an accident and the tire was changed in NASCAR time. Our driver seemed pretty impressed with dad's skill.
Our next stop was at a roadside tire repair shop to get our tire fixed. It reminded dad of the old days when he had to repair tractor tires, etc--especially when the guy put the
Another Victim of the Aleppo - Homs Highway!
This bad boy was in line ahead of us at the tire repair shop...we decided to just let him go! This poor truck is loaded down with foam and he was not the only one we saw on the road.
tube in a near-by fountain to look for air bubbles. At one point dad's Crenshaw-genes came out. Kyle and I had to practically hold dad back from going in the shop and showing the guys how to properly repair a tire! Our driver said that the wheel was broken so he was going to buy a used wheel and then stop in Homs, Syria to get a new tire. After driving awhile he decided the used tire was going to be okay. Probably not a decision we would have made, but so far so good!
It cost us about $7 at the tire shop. By the time we left, there was a line of others waiting to have their tires repaired. An interesting thing happened at the repair shop, dad bought sodas for the guys in the shop because they were working hard and it was a hot afternoon, but they refused to take them. Eventually they accepted them, but it took them awhile to warm up to the idea.
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