We wanted to visit the old town of Antalya and the Hadrian gate. We stayed a few days in Antalya in 2012 during our first visit to Turkey. We remembered it as a city with a lot of atmosphere, not too big and with cosy streets in the old town. We wanted to visit the city on a Wednesday, but the forecast was pretty bad. Rain all day, about 33 mm would fall, and there would be quite some wind as well. Not exactly a good day to walk through the city. Especially not with all the restaurants only open for take away. So when we arrived in the area on Tuesday evening we decided to find a camp place and visit the city on Thursday. We found a place on a field which overlooked part of the city, it would be fun for Binkie and had a good internet connection. If we have to stay inside all day that is important.

We had just finished building camp when a man walked up to us. It turned out he lived further up the mountain and saw us driving up there. His name was Vikrath and after a chat, he invited us for tea. He only spoke a little English but you can get a long way with a few words of English, Turkish, signing and pointing and of course google translate. We had a nice cup of tea near his shed. He was living there while building a house. He asked Kilian if maybe tomorrow Kilian could help him with his pond. Of course, no problem, we have met so many kind and helpful people here. He also invited us for dinner the next evening. We accepted and went back to the van. Time to take Binkie for a long walk!

The next day it was indeed raining but Kilian went over to help anyway. Well, he and Vikrath spend the morning sitting in the shed as it was really pouring with rain. So much so that I even had to put down the roof of the van because the combination of a lot of rain and hard wind caused leakage inside. But in the afternoon it got dry and the sun even came out. Kilian and Vikrath worked for about an hour and then Vikrath declared it was enough. Even if it was nowhere near finished and it was now finally dry… Apparently this was the Turkish way of doing things.

Later he roasted some chicken over an open fire and made a salad from onion, paprika, olive oil, lemon and salt. The salad was really good and the chicken was delicious!

The next morning we said our goodbyes and went to visit Antalya. The old town was mostly deserted now, what a difference with the summer season! The rest of the city was lively however and sun was out. We had a nice day sightseeing and browsing the shops.

We also still needed to replace the upper swing arms on the front side of the van. So we drove to the area where all the garages are. Just like in Albania most of the garages are concentrated in this one area. You will find other type of workshops concentrated in another area. We found a garage that specialised in 4×4’s and made an appointment for next Tuesday.

While camping in the area it was clouded so when we drove of the next day we wanted to charge the household battery while driving. Only to find out it wasn’t charging. The battery separator wasn’t making the connection to the household battery. And it was raining again so the solar panel wasn’t working either. Shortly before sunset we spotted an abandoned market square which had a tented roof. We decided to park there so Kilian could figure out what was wrong, without getting soaked. While he was working on the solenoid, I spotted a few lights and electric cables. And after a quick search, we also found an working electrical outlet, so for the moment our power problem was solved. Kilian couldn’t find what was wrong with the battery separator so we searched online for a new one.

Tuesday morning we drove to the garage. We arrived at 8am, like we were told, but nothing happened until it was nearly 9, this didn’t really surprise us though, we just waited. I put Binkie in his backpack so the two us could wait in a nearby gazebo. Before they finally started on the van, the all important matter of breakfast was dealt with… Kilian and 3 boys worked on the van most of the day and managed to replace the upper suspension arms successfully. Although later Kilian discovered that they had broken the seal of the steering joint while using a hammer to loosen and remove the conical part of the joint. So we went back to the garage again, where it was quickly fixed. We had also managed to buy a new battery separator even though the old one was now working again all of a sudden. possibly it was just a bad contact after all. At least now we have a back up.

We spend some more time around Antalya waiting for a package with a new rim for Kilians bike which had a little accident…. We couldn’t get the rim anywhere in Turkey. After nearly three weeks in the area of Antalya we drove on in the direction of Alanya, now everything was fixed, replaced, etc.

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