Friday, 31 May 2013

From Coast to Coast

31.05.2013
Left Sultanhani at the crack of dawn or 07.45 heading for the Mediterranean, across the Taurus mountains. Great drive after leaving the dusty plains at Konya. This is downtown Turkey that the majority of tourists who stay at the beach resorts never see. The roads are really rubbish and pothole dodging is not amusing. There are great improvements being made by dualling nearly all the roads we have travelled but it is a work in progress and could be good one day. Unfortunately it seems that the quality of build is sub-standard and by the time one carriageway is upgraded, the other has deteriorated again. Some ruts are lethal, and the number of breakdowns at the roadside is enormous. In addition to this, thou have to watch for shepherds deciding to graze the flock on the other verge without warning, (but they always wave as we pass......and are now riding donkeys instead of walking), tortoises risking life and limb to get to the other side, and the odd car taking a shortcut home down the hard shoulder towards you.
Speed limits are universally ignored despite a highly visible police presence with radar guns. Motorhomes are rare here and people stop and stare as we pass and usually wave happily at us. But the tough side of life is the sight of (mainly) women bent double hoeing the weeds under a blistering sun in the hard baked, rocky and dusty soil. There is lots of agriculture on the plains (and we know they are self sufficient) but it seems mightily inefficient even to me who knows little. And how they can work, covered from head to toe in that heat I don't know. Sailing past in air conditioned comfort makes us realise how fortunate we are and blessings are counted.

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