Aydogan receives bad news from his brother who tells him that he is going to divorce. The mood changes, but we still enjoy it. Later in the afternoon Roelie is taken by Ece to take a shower and Harry goes (again) with the men to do the shopping for a barbecue evening. Harry has put a lot of pressure on Aydogan to take care of the cost of the meal this time. This pressure had to be maintained until the cash desk, but in the end he succeeded. The barbecue is again nice and cozy, but Aydogans mood is less festive than before. Around midnight, Summeth takes us back to the campsite by car, which again is packed with new tents. Not only the sheep on the other side of the road, but now there are also camping guests, who stay blaring until late at night.
The last day, Sunday, we have breakfast with the preserved ‘left overs’ of previous days. Aydogan did not sleep well and does not feel well physically and mentally. We cycle to a shopping center for a SIM card for our WiFi hotspot and a contact lens for Harry. Buying a prepaid sim lock free ticket creates a lot of confusion and language problems at a Turkcell shop. We have to show our passports, forms are filled in and the final amount to be paid is adjusted a few times upwards to eventually more than € 30. In Serbia 4GB costed € 3 … We decide to use one of our help lines and call Iskander from Istanbul, whom we met in Alexandroupoli. In the end, we decide to postpone the purchase and come back with our hotspot device. Five minutes later, however, we walk by a Vodafone shop. “Let’s try again”, we say and we enter the store. A little later we are outside with the desired card for less than € 10. We do not buy the special Apple paper clip for € 3. At the nearby supermarket we buy a box of paper clips instead for only € 0.50.
The contact lens is a more difficult story. It turns out that you can order contact lenses in Turkey only on doctor’s prescription, to pick them up after a week. If we had known that before, the doctor would have written us a prescription. But still we had to wait for a week to pick them up. That is not working for us. Our Turkish friends are going to leave today. Harjan, the son of Harry, will have to send something to us on the way for the first time.
Once back at the campsite, the doctor and Summeth have arrived and a few beers are being drunk. With Aydogan, however, things are getting worse and by the end of the afternoon the time has come to say goodbye. With a tear and lots of hugs we say goodbye to these beautiful, sweet people. They go home, we continue cycling. The flag of Ataturk, a small turkish flag, a bandana from Ece and a cap from Aydogan accompany us with all the valuable memories.
On the last evening the tent field is ours. Everyone has left and this evening no one is setting up his tent in the dark. Besides the tent field, there are still many families barbecuing. We decide to follow their example. All those nice restaurants including those next to the campsite where you can sit with your feet in the river, we leave unvisited. At the Tekelshop we buy a disposable barbecue complete with coal, pincer and impeller. In the restaurant next door we choose delicacies from the display: kofte, sis kebab and steak fillet. The good English speaking waiter, who also has a few important Dutch words ‘Achtentachtig, allemachtig prachtig’ (meaning ’88, extremely good’, referring to the year Holland won the EK championship soccer). He adds extra sauces on the house. Together with bread, fresh tomatoes, peppers and fruit we are guaranteed to have a wonderful evening of an unforgettable weekend ….