Day 7 of Rally: Crossing into Asia

3610 kms traveled so far
33.5/200 kids sponsored

It’s been a week since we started! Holy smokes! Today we officially crossed into Asia from Europe! Straight across one continent in a week! Going to start slowing down – stopping more to meetpeople and take in the sights very soon.

Spent most of the day going up and down tire shops looking for a replacement for the wheel we bent. Ran into a few other teams at petrol stations who all had a minimum of two spares and they looked at us as though we are incredibly brave to proceed with one bent spare. That of course injected a healthy dose of fear in us and we subsequently stopped at every tire shop we could find. Most of them suggested we try the next big town. The biggest town, Istanbul, had a largish tire shop with all different brands but didn’t carry our size. They were also pretty sure we won’t be able to find this size in Istanbul. Keeping fingers crossed and hoping to find tires in Georgia or Azerbaijan.

Once we crossed from Europe to Asia we quickly realized that the road rules are easily bent and lanes are merely a recommendation. Truck drivers drive like F1 drivers. Being a tiny car that probably won’t even leave a smear on their side, we felt like Milhouse around Nelson Muntz. They probably pointed a disparaging finger at us and went “ha ha!”

Since we skirt around cities, avoiding their traffic like the plague, we are becoming intimately familiar with the outer ring roads or beltways. One such ring road is the O-6/O-7 outside Istanbul. This road is much needed because the motorway through the city would’ve taken us an extra 2hrs even though it’s 30kms shorter. The O-6/O-7 is brand new – so new that it has an identity crisis – google maps calls it O-6, road signs say O-7 and sometimes O-6. There are aspirational Starbucks and Burger Kings every few miles. Aspirational because there are both road signs that show fork and spoon, a petrol pump, a bed, and a vernier caliper (don’t ask me what it means, but I’m pretty sure it’s a vernier caliper), as well as corporate/branded signage from both Starbucks and Burger King, but, there is nothing there yet – just bare walls and in some instances just the foundation. O-6/O-7 also had aspirational exits on the left that were incomplete bridges to nowhere. It did have the magnificent Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge (pictured below)

Much like Istanbul’s famed traffic, our fundraising has stagnated around 33.5/200 kids. If you still haven’t walked over to grab your credit card, please do so and help relieve me of some stress and help some children go to school instead of to work (a lot worse than stress!). Please donate at