My goal – a rainbow gathering in Israel is finally coming nearer. I spent time in many differents marinas, sometimes bypassing security guards, sometimes getting help from them. But the main season is over and for getting a lift on a sailing- or motorboat one needs to have a little patience it seems.
In the port of Mersin I tried getting on a freighterboat; at first approach quite an imppressive place. There are huge freighters coming and going, trucks going around, huge cranes moving huge stacks of containers (nokiagame anyone?), endless trains coming and going, and no obvious way to meet the shipcaptains. So instead I spent time talking to the security guards; one guy having a black mustache and sunglasses with small cracks in them was particular helpful. He could stop every car which came through, and he asked many of them about boats going to Israel. In the end he found one, but unfortunately the company’s agent was not in the mood for it.
After this I walked to a couple of offices, had some phonecalls, but got nothing out of it but the experience. That’s what you get for working to high in the hierarchy I guess, it’s so much easier to just stick out your thumb on the road and communicate directly with the person who is driving the vehicle. So I took a ferry instead, socialized with two Hungarian hitchhikers who had been travelling around Kurdistan, and are the only backpackers I’ve met in about three weeks. Marianne and Peter have been travelling since June. They told me one story about trying to get into Russia; they applied for a visa in Minsk, Belarussia, but the clerk told them “to go home” instead! The difficulty level for getting a Russia visa really seems to differ in each and every country.Since there are barely any real borders between Belarus and Russia they just went in anyway without the visa. After two weeks they were caught however, and put into jail for one week, and then thrown out of the country. Marianne lauged about it, and called it “an adventure”, although she also added that “I didn’t think so yet when I was spending time in the Russian jail”.
My own travels are not so crazy yet, even though I got chased of some camping spots in quite convincing ways. Today I’ve been hitching in Northern-Cyprus which was quite easy. Besides, it’s a small country and only two lifts were needed to bring me to the capital Lefkosa, which has a wall running through the middle deviding some people from some other people. All these walls, wether they are made from stone or from paper seem so senseless, and yet a traveller needs to spend a lot of time and money on them.
Soon I’ll be trying to cross one of the few ‘checkpoints’ between North- and South-Cyprus. They don’t call it a border, because neither country acknowledges the other as legal. Crossing the border in this way is sometimes even called ‘illegal’ and seriously frowned upon, allthough both countries cooperate in operating these checkpoints.
Ps. We were having some very serious rains in the south of Turkey, but all is well in the end. (Allthough it will take a while to repair the material damage.)