I almost screwed up very hard when taking the ferry from Turkey to Cyprus (January 2022)

Upon my arrival at Tasucu, my first priority was to purchase a ferry ticket from there to Girne, located in the northern part of Cyprus. To ensure that I would arrive at the correct port location, I kindly asked the friendly lady at the ferry office to mark the appropriate spot on my Google Maps. After spending some time at a lovely natural spot next to the town, nestled amidst sand dunes and the Mediterranean, I made my way to the designated location.

The friendly guards at that location informed me that it was not the correct spot for the ferry and directed me to another location, which they marked on my Google Maps. Upon my arrival at the new spot, I found it very packed with people and cars. It appeared to me that many people were unaware of the proper procedures to board the ferry, resulting in chaotic traffic and cars parked haphazardly. I parked Rosinante and approached the port’s gate to confirm the correct location and get to know what I was supposed to do. Once I verified that I was indeed in the right place, Rosinante and I navigated through the crowded area and entered the port.

As I entered the port area, I noticed several other camping cars parked nearby and decided to park next to them to confirm that I was in the correct location and to talk with them about their travels. After an hour had passed, the ferry finally arrived. However, the unloading of cars did not begin as expected. There was an occasional rumbling sound emanating from the vessel but nothing else happened. More and more workers gathered around the large, still-closed hatch at the front of the ship.

While conversing with the other travelers and observing the workers’ actions, a couple arrived in their large off-road truck and informed us that they still needed to visit the customs office to obtain stamps for their passports and vehicle. This turned out to be fortuitous for me as I had completely forgotten about the passport control and customs process. I shuddered to think what might have happened if I had boarded the ferry without the necessary stamps for myself and Rosinante. I likely would not have been permitted to enter the northern part of Cyprus and would have been forced to return to Turkey to obtain the stamps before taking another ferry to Cyprus. Fortunately, everything went smoothly and I was able to obtain the required stamps at the Turkish harbor.

After waiting for several hours, the large hatch finally opened and the unloading process began. As I boarded the ferry with Rosinante, I pondered the reason for the lengthy loading time. It wasn’t until I had settled in that I realized that all the cars and trucks had to drive onto a massive elevator that transported them to another deck of the ship. It was quite exhilarating to ride the elevator and watch as the larger vehicles “rose from the ground” to the upper deck of the ferry.

It was already 4:30 AM, so I decided to turn in for the night in Rosinante. The next morning, I explored the ship and spoke with the other travelers I had encountered earlier. For some reason, I still felt a sense of disconnection. I wondered why this was the case. Before leaving Germany, I had imagined that I would easily connect with guys like them. Those who embarked on long journeys to distant locations in their off-road vehicles. However, conversing with them felt rather distant and uninviting, a far cry from the warmth and kindness I had experienced with the lovely people I had met along the way. While I didn’t feel upset, it made me curious and pondered what influences human connections. I thought about what I was projecting on them that might prevent me from being open towards them.

Edit 03.03.2023: It’s amazing how things come together. Just a few hours after publishing this post, I ran into the guys from the ferry for the first time since we were on it. This time, meeting them felt entirely different to me. Much warmer and more connecting. It’s crazy how my perception of myself and others can be highly varying/ being delusional. And experiencing this over and over again strengthens my belief that trying to feel the true nature of things is always a healthy thing to do. By that I mean trying to perceive things and beings as they are in that moment I am encountering them with less delusions generated by my small mind.

At about 10:30, we arrived at Girne in the northern part of Cyprus, and I embarked on my first real border crossing. Firstly, I went to the passport control, where I informed the officer that I intended to visit the southern part of Cyprus as well. In turn, I received a visa for 30 days, and instead of a stamp in my passport, I received a separate small piece of paper with the stamp on it. Then, I acquired car insurance for six months because it was only 5€ more than the one for three months, and I thought it would be more convenient to avoid having to renew the insurance at any time. With the insurance, I was permitted to obtain customs papers for Rosinante, which were valid for 30 days. Having all the required documents, I joined the next waiting line of people to have Rosinante’s documents checked. Afterward, I was permitted to have Rosinante inspected, and once I had cleared that process, I was good to go!

Edit 03.03.2023: The other travelers from the ferry told me that just after Rosinante and I left the internet of the whole port broke down and that they had to wait for five hours to leave the port. And the lorry drivers had to stay for the night because the port closed at some point.

Finally, I was on Cyprus, driving Rosinante on the left lane of the road and ready to explore.

Fire cats and friends (January 2023)

Isa and Arne and I reunited at the next beach, which was a gathering place for campers. I enjoy these types of places from time to time, as they feel like small communities. However, I couldn’t imagine how crowded it would be during high season.

We became friends with two nice guys from Turkey. We trained with bo staffs together and had great conversations on a variety of topics. They even gifted us peppers, whisky, clay bowls, a cooling bag, and a camping table. A truly unique combination of items. And when the battery of their car had run out of power Rosinante was able to help jump start it.

There lived a beautiful and lovely cat at that spot. I didn’t know if it was a stray one or if she belonged to another camper but either way we had a good time and during one day she lived with me in Rosinante. I caught myself thinking if I could just take her with me. 

One day, I went on a hike to an old lighthouse and afterwards, I headed to a very special place: the natural fires of Mount Chimaera. It was a truly bizarre place. Flames were coming out of gaps between stones. The source of these fires was natural gas, and it was quite entertaining to blow them out and light them again with a lighter. Barbecuing there was also a lot of fun as well. I couldn’t help but imagine what it might have been like to discover these natural gas deposits in a time before human-made delivery systems for gas, fuel, and electricity existed. It would have been the perfect place to build a town in a game like Civilization.

Maybe the cats who lived there had the same idea and were planning to build their own cat civilization. They didn’t seem to be afraid of the fire ghosts that occasionally emerged from the flames, after all.

At the upper fires of Mount Chimaera, I met a nice French cyclist and we had an interesting conversation about traveling by bicycle and the differences between different forms of travel. Like me, she had already been traveling for over a year. I felt a kind of attraction between us, and when we parted ways, I thought that we might have missed something. Later, when I was inside Rosinante and searching for a place to stay for the night using my smartphone, the nice cyclist appeared out of nowhere. Although I had previously felt like we might have missed something, I felt the desire to find a place to stay on my own. And after I found a place to stay, I thought it would have been nice to continue our conversation.