DAY 22: You Old Pirate

DAY 22: You Old Pirate

Thursday 7 September 2017

Day 22

Woo woo Taşucu. Now, if I had arrived on a Monday, Wednesday or Friday I could have taken the daytime ferry over to my 50th and final country, Cyprus — and wrapped up The Eurodyssey Challenge in exactly three weeks. But, alas, it was a Thursday so I had to sit around all day and most of the night in Taşucu waiting for the daily night ferry, scheduled to leave at 11.30pm and arrive in the town of Girne (Kyrenia) at 5.30am.

So I strolled along the waterfront, past the pleasure boats decked out like pirate ships. I stopped off for a bottle of Efes with my new friend Captain Ibraham, a salty sea-dog who worked on the boats. With the tourist season over, he was happy chilling in the September sun.

All old sailors have to look like Captain Ibraham, it's the rule.

I politely declined Captain Ibraham’s offer of sharing his lunch of roast seagull, and continued to amble around the quayside. I got as far as the big old statue of the founder of modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (1881-1938), he who banned Turkish men from wearing the fez, Turkish women from being veiled in public buildings, swapped out the Arabic alphabet for the Latin one, brought in a whole heap of sweeping social and industrial reforms and dragged Turkey kicking and screaming into what was then “the modern age”. God knows what he would make of this clown Erdoğan and his regressive regime.

But I digress.

"That Erdoğan fella, he's a proper bad meff" — Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, via Ouija Board, yesterday.

Afterwards I popped into the shipping offices to pick a ticket for that night’s ferry (could you imagine if it was sold out? Ygads!) and to be absolutely sure, 100%, no-doubt-about-it that it was going to damn well sail tonight.

After I was suitably assured that the ship would be leaving that night, I found myself a nice little cafe to while away the afternoon. I would have spent the time working on this blog, only, y’know… no laptop grr.

Tasucu Waterfront
Anyone heading to Cyprus?

That evening I gorged myself silly on tasty tasty seafood at the Taşucu Hayal Restaurant before returning to the shipping offices to waste a good few hours waiting my turn to board the solitary bus that was tasked with shuttling myself and a few hundred other passengers to the ferry.

But, eventually, at 11:20pm, I was ready to board the good Lady Su — registered in Freetown, Sierra Leone. I’ve been there.

If everything had gone to plan, I’d have been on this ferry five days ago. But the thing about plans is they have a nasty habit of not going to plan.

Graham Hughes

Graham Hughes is a British adventurer, presenter, filmmaker and author. He is the only person to have travelled to every country in the world without flying. From 2014 to 2017 he lived off-grid on a private island that he won in a game show, before returning to the UK to campaign for a better future for the generations to come.

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