Day 9 of Rally: Lastik hunting in Samsun. Turkey

4275kms traveled so far
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Today was tire and food day. Stayed back in Samsun, Turkey to hunt for tires (Lastik).
Drove through the brick gullies where pedestrians take priority over cars, went to 3 different tire shops before we ended up in the mechanic’s section of Samsun. Google maps is kind of useless here as random roads are blocked and addresses are often not found in maps. Finally found 2 tires with steel rims that are almost similar to ours. Good enough. The fun part was that no one spoke English and we of course don’t know Turkish. Google translate on 2G and mostly miming is what got us through. Two women from “Hindustan” (they call us that when we say India), one of them barefoot, is definitely attention grabbing. We wouldn’t be gypped with worn out tires and unbalanced wheels – so they made exasperated sounds when we demanded the right stuff, but were generally very helpful and good sports. Very lovely people here. Everyone wants to offer you tea/coffee/water…
Now we have 2 good tires in the front and 3 not so good spares. We are a bit over-prepared, but excited to hit the roads in Central Asia worry free.
Had to remove the backrest of backseat to fit the 2 extra spares in – so officially Harriet can’t carry any more passengers now.
Finally ate my first meal at 4pm when we walked into a small shop run by a mother/daughter team. Ate amazing dolmas, fava beans and potatoes cooked in spices, the traditional Turkish salad, bread and tzaziki for me, and Turkish coffee for Anitha.
Tomorrow is a long drive to Georgia 🇬🇪

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