Three hours riding down the Black Sea coast in Turkey in morning sunshine on a dual highway is such a pleasure and Storm is behaving itself, although stops and engine off are kept to a minimum. We are heading to Dinamik Oto (BMW Motorrad Service Centre) outside Trabzon. We negotiated the border crossing without a hitch, the insurance kiosk just meters beyond the combined Customs and Immigration kiosk is happy to sell us Motorcycle Insurance, although a three month minimum for €35 each. We have insurance and are in Turkey finally.
Breakfast overlooking the Black Sea, a cute restaurant bunny is photographed and uploaded to Instagram with the #cutebunny, first time we have tried that, but it gets a number of likes, probably the last “cutebunny” we will see and photgraph. The start and finish of our hashtag career…
My careful GPS location based on the BMW Motorrad Website map come to naught. Not at this location. Time and again, when we rely on map data, it turns out to be inaccurate or just plain wrong. How about a little data validation guys, probably a forlorn request given the growth in map data worldwide.
A phone call with the help of a Turkish speaker and we are only 7km from the correct location. We arrive and meet the wonderful Iko, who after checking Storm in, invites us to the staff kitchen where a cook has prepared an excellent Turkish lunch – please note other BMW Motorrad dealers.
The main business of the motorcycle side of the service department seems to be working on Traffic Police motorcycles. They have great sirens and cool flying fish stickers, can we have some please? It will take a few hours to run the diagnostic checks, so they offer to take us to our hotel on the other side of town, which is very kind considering the distance.
We get a message the next day that Storm is fixed. Our hotel is 20 km on the western side of Trabzon, Streak and Storm are 20 km on the Eastern side. We have heard that taxis are extremely expensive for such a distance, so we will travel by bus. There is a novelty for us. The highways are full of small white minibuses, each with a route board on the front, although we have no idea where the places are. We will need multiple bus journeys, to the centre of Trabzon, onto the airport, then finally further east to the BMW Motorrad service centre.
The first bus is easy, get on the main highway next to the hotel and we are on a bus to town. Bus stops are basically where anyone is standing waiting, sometimes only 20 meters / 60 feet apart, the rest of time we wiz along, speed limit humm….. We stop at the western terminus and then start walking in the direction indicated by our driver.
Another bus driver hooted as were were walking, we look, then bus stops, he is going somewhere different, but when we say where we are going, he invites us onboard, we understand his route will take us closer to where we will get the next bus. Into the centre of town, still travelling in the right direction, all passengers get off, one gets on and he hands me a phone, with an english speaker on the other end, ‘Are we looking for a taxi?’ She asks. ‘No’ we want to take the bus, taxis are too expensive, as the conversation continues I realise the driver is offering to change his route, by some 20km / 12 miles for a fee. Great, we negotiate a price and we are off, with the extra passenger on board! We have rented a bus en-route, and you thought Uber was good, this is the next level. Hire a London bus en-route to take you directly to your destination? We arrive in style at Dinamik Oto, causing much laughter by the staff when they realise what we had done. An enterprising driver and willing customers, we will be trying this on future bus journeys.
Storm has a new battery and everything else is good, we are getting ready to go. When Streak hesitates on startup, the mechanics are onto Streak straightaway, a quick voltage check and the voltage drops to less then 6v during startup. Another battery please, yes in stock, probably for the traffic police. The batteries have lasted four and a half years, been started probably thousands of times, not bad really.
It is now 5pm, too late for us to leave Trabzon today so we make another booking at the hotel we stayed last night and will move on tomorrow.