I almost screwed up very hard when taking the ferry from Turkey to Cyprus (January 2023)

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.

New year’s eve, new friends, in an recreational alien spaceship and proper traveling (January 2023)

After five weeks at that wonderful beach near Datca in Turkey, I felt like it was time to move on. For the first time on my journey I had an plan: I had decided to travel to Cyprus, stay there for 95 days before returning to Turkey for another 90 days. This would give me a warm winter and the opportunity to explore the east and northeast of Turkey, Georgia, and Armenia in spring and summer.

I asked some new Turkish friends for a recommendation on where to go dancing on New Year’s Eve. They suggested a small town by the coast, so I headed there. Upon arrival, I discovered that the town was a hot spot for tourists, filled with holiday apartments, hotels, bars, restaurants, a harbor, and a promenade. It was a proper little “concept town”. Although that place felt pretty alien to me, I decided to stay there to have a chance to meet some nice people and have a dance after my time in nature.

In the evening, I met Isa and Arne. They were traveling and living in their all-wheel-drive VW van and on their leisurely way to India. I felt connected to them from the moment we met. We spent the evening and the night talking about a lot of things, including living in a community on a sustainable farming, being human, traveling, and all the other stuff. I enjoyed our conversations a lot. Later that night, we went to a bar and chatted for hours with a friendly Turkish woman. Just when I started to dance a little, the music stopped at 1 AM. I didn’t know about the rule, but the bars weren’t allowed to play music after 1 AM. So I continued hanging out with the others and having a good time. By the end of the night, I had drunk more beer than for years, I guess. I felt good but the next day I took it easy.

After a day of relaxation, I headed south towards Cyprus. Isa and Arne, who had left the day before, had told me about a great hot thermal bath at a stunning lake. When I arrived, I ran into them again. They continued their journey, while I headed to the thermal bath, which looked like an alien spaceship. I spent hours soaking in the hot water. After months without a hot bath that felt awesome.

The next day, I went on a hike, explored ancient ruins, and took a ferry across a river. The ferry was very small, and when it was Rosinante’s and my turn, we had to drive slightly on the loading ramp to make room for two more cars. I had never been on such a tiny ferry before and although our ferry was very far from it, it remembered me on these super adventurous videos about little motorboats that carry jeeps across rivers in Asia and South America.