Planes, Trains, Automobiles and Rather a Lot of Running!


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Middle East » Turkey » Mediterranean » Alanya
January 1st 2017
Published: January 1st 2017
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We were quite sad to be leaving the farm and as the car drove us down the dusty tracks for the last time I’m sure I saw a tear glinting in the Mammoths eye.



Woolly says – It was dust from feeding the chickens! Christmas had passed and although Father Christmas had got the dimensions wrong for my Porsche we had enjoyed ourselves, well I had as I carried out my final supervisory duties, the women seemed to think I was working them to hard! Pulling up at St Astier’s train station I trotted onto the freezing platform as Jo and Zoe sorted out the tickets, just as the last part of my body started to freeze the train pulled in and I settled down to a relaxing journey back to our home in Turkey.



Eight months after leaving, 15 countries and nearly 9000 miles covered we were looking forward to a month or so of having some warmth.



Woolly says – The hour and a half train ride passed quickly enough and as we alighted at Bordeaux’s central station I suggested a quick snack break before taking the bus to the airport, although Jo pointed out that I had only finished a ‘quick snack break’ five minutes ago she for once seemed willing to indulge me as I tucked into a burger and fries, I sat happily munching and telling her what we would be doing in Alanya. Her attention seemed to have wandered from me and having kicked her repeatedly I realised that her brow had furrowed and her face had hardened, glancing at the message she was reading I also felt my heart sink as I realised that we might well get to Turkey, but we had no keys to get into our apartment there....arrrrrr.



Doing the only thing that I could I sent a quick message to our amazing friend Mustafa asking for his help, his response was, as always, rapid and he said he would do his best, unable to do anymore I helped the small ketchup covered fiend with his backpack and we headed outside to the bus stop.



Woolly says – the half an hour ride deposited us outside the departure area and I raced in to check what time our flight would be going at, it took several moments to absorb that the red writing on the board appeared to indicate that our flight had been cancelled. Well I wasn’t having that! Spying an information desk I raced over and demanded to be put on the flight, the man behind the desk shook his head and pointed us in the direction of Air France to see what could be done. Two escalators and a mile long walk seemed to have worn the girls out, I had no sympathy with their bulging backpacks having warned them that they had way too much stuff, I mean who needs shower gel and shampoo!



Trying o keep up as our small companion galloped towards the desk we arrived gasping for breath. Having explained our situation the kind women started clicking keys on her computer and shaking her head.



Woolly says – With the first of our three flights hanging in the balance I decided that a quick snack might make me feel better and sat down to let Jo and Zoe sort things out.



The lady gave us the option of flying directly to Istanbul which would help, but having already paid for our overnight accommodation in Amsterdam I asked how I could claim the money back, just as she finished explaining her colleague interrupted, telling us that there were places on the earlier flight to Schiphol airport and if we ran they could put us on that one.



Woolly says – run we did, as we scooted through security and raced for the gate I raced onto the plane with moments to spare....well so I thought, as I buckled up an announcement came over the tannoy telling us that we had been delayed for take off due to weather conditions in the Netherlands. I considered heading to the cockpit to see if I could sort the problem out when the stewardess handed me a pile of biscuits and a nicely chilled drink, well it would be rude not to!



An hour passed and word reached us that we were on our way, the short hop brought us into dense fog and as we bumped onto the run way it crossed my mind that tomorrows flight might also be problematic, I decided to worry about that later.



Woolly says – with our luggage safely stowed for the morning, we caught the train into the centre with a promise of waffles! It was dark and very very crowded, it seemed strange to be with all these people after the quietness of the farm, fearing for my welfare I encouraged Jo to carry me as I admired the lights and Christmas decorations that covered the city. It was at this point that Zoe realised that she had left her kindle on the plane! Something else for me to sort out no doubt! Full to bursting I happily fell into my hostel bed for the night and settled down to dream about warm beaches and cocktails in my adopted home.



The morning was cold and the heavy fog had failed to lift, as we arrived back at the airport Zoe went to retrieve the bags whilst I sought out the information desk to make enquires for lost property, the mammoth sat munching his croissant whilst people tripped over him!



Woolly says – the line for security was endless and having consumed a further two snacks to keep my strength we were finally in the departure lounge having also tracked down the lost kindle. Glancing at the board it appeared that our flight was delayed so having persuaded Jo that breakfast might be a good idea I sat contently nibbling a large piece of cake as she went to find the bathroom, she had only been gone a moment when I saw her racing towards me shrieking ‘move, move the flight is boarding now!’



Having rechecked the board it appeared that we had read the information for the flight after ours, grabbing the hand luggage and dragging Woolly away from his cake we set off at a fast pace to the gate.



Woolly says – there is far too much running on this trip so far! Skidding to a halt at the gate we showed our tickets and jogged towards the plane and hopefully the chance of a sit down. Buckled in once more the tannoy sprang to life to announce that ‘due to fog we would be delayed in taking off’ ARRRRRRRRRR what are they trying to do to my nerves, before I could leave my seat to go and complain Jo passed me a snack which appeared to be of a toffee like consistency, that took some chewing.



It kept him quiet for the hour and a half that we sat on the tarmac! Finally the plane rose into the sky and he dosed as I tried to comb out the lumps of sweet that had adhered to him. Checking my watch I was happy to see that we should be landing shortly when the pilot started to speak.....



Woolly says – Nooooooooo, due to back weather in Istanbul we had run out of fuel.......no fuel! Were going to CRASH!!!!! Help! Children and mammoths first!



....... we were in no danger but we couldn’t keep circling Ataturk airport so on we went to the next nearest airport to refuel and to try and get a landing spot later.



Woolly says- another two hours passed as we waited for the plane to go again, I could see Jo’s face becoming tense and knew that she was also thinking that if we were much longer we would miss our connecting flight to Gazipassa airport which would mean a night in Istanbul, as I started to consider if we might have time to visit the Blue mosque once again it appeared that we were on our way back to the main airport.



As we finally set foot on Turkish soil I knew we could well have a problem, the queue for passport control consisted of thousands and the hands of the clock seemed to be moving faster and faster. With only fifteen minutes until our scheduled departure time we finally presented our passports and hurtled towards the baggage claim.



Woolly says – I just knew what was coming, so being the sensible one of the group I hopped onto the small wheeled suitcase as we ran, two backpacks weighing around 14kg each, two rucksacks with another 10 plus the small suitcase should have been easy after all the physical work at the farm! Along walkways we galloped, down stairs and into the domestic departure check in, as Jo nearly fell onto the airlines check in desk she appeared to be struggling to breathe and was only capable of handing over our tickets and gasping ‘please’. Zoe panted up behind us and the humans stood gulping for air as the man on the desk spoke into his phone, the moments passed and as the clock hand moved to the moment our plane should be taking off I sighed, when suddenly our bags were disappearing and we picked up our pace as we galloped past people shouting ‘excuse me’ in a last frenzied race, the gate was in sight as were an awful lot of people. I pushed through to the front and gasped out ‘Gazipazza’ before collapsing in a heap of sweat and fur.



Luck was on our side, the flight had been delayed and as we filed onto the plane it only left the small problem of how we would get into the apartment that night, not having had a chance to get wifi I didn’t know what to except.



Woolly says – an hour and a half later and the transfer car skimmed through huge pools of water as we drove the last few kilometres, it was sheeting it down and having unloaded the car I sat shivering in the bus shelter looking at the closed and dark interior of Mustafa’s restaurant, I looked at Jo deciding that it was time she took responsibility, Zoe looked at Jo and Jo looked at the rain.



With everything closed I was slightly out of ideas as I needed wifi to find out what had happened to our keys, with nothing left and as we were all soaking wet I led the way to a small hotel a mere hundred metres from our own front door.



Woolly says – the night clerk was friendly and helpful and having shown us to a room and given us the password for the world wide web I settled into bed as Jo was finally able to pick up a message from Mustafa. I heard her snort of laughter and looked at he message, our keys were downstairs our amazing friend had done it again and sorted out or problems. A quick conference ensued and the decision was made to stay where we were and head to the apartment first thing.



Getting soaked the next morning seemed such a small thing and having unpacked and managed to catch up with our friends John, Gwen and Kath as well as thanking Mustafa profusely for his duties as our knight in shining armour we settled down for New Years eve.



Woolly says – No posh function and dancing for us as we sat happily watching Zoe’s vlogs of the most incredible year we had been through, now we just need to plan the next year....better get the maps out!



It really has been an amazing year and we wish you all a Wonderful New Year of happiness, peace and travel....no Woolly were not going to Australia next!







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1st January 2017
So what is everyone else having?

A perfect holiday feast
Wow
2nd January 2017
So what is everyone else having?

It's amazing the amount he can eat!
The only disappointment was the sprouts and chestnuts ....the chestnuts were not good but everything else tasted wonderful.
1st January 2017

Not coming to Australia!
Shame on you, Jo. There are a lot of people down here who would love to meet you. Listen to the mammoth.
2nd January 2017

I always listen.....
....... it's definatley there for the future but not an option at the moment, we will get there one day.
1st January 2017

Welcome home!!!
Your travel from point A to point B and beyond is always amazing...hurry up and wait! Happy New Year. I'm looking forward to your year of adventures.
2nd January 2017

I fear that next year might not be as exciting....
.... but with us you never know!
3rd January 2017
Singing Christmas songs with Jerry...check out the vogs

Too cute!

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