03 July 2008

Life in Fethiye….

Med Moored at Ece Marina
Lycian Coast
(click on photo to enlarge)

If you have been following Sandpiper you will know that we have been moving fast for the last 4 months. We are now marina living, living large using as much power as we want, showers whenever we want, and bars and restaurants just a short stroll away.

Our days go something like this: we bought 2 really cool old-school communist issue bicycles before we left Egypt so we would have transportation here in the Med. Buying the bikes in Egypt is a story in itself, but the day we arrived after unloading the bikes mine had a flat tire. Flat tire? No problem! The communists supply an air pumps with every bike. We hooked up the supplied pump and started pumping. On the second stroke the pump snapped off right at the tire valve ensuring that there was no way to fill the tire even if you had a good tire pump. Big surprise for a Chinese bike.

So we pushed it through town trying to find a bicycle repair shop. After pushing the bike through town during the hottest part of the day, we found one on the other side of town. It was a very small bike repair shop run by a man and his 2 sons. He changed out the faulty valve, and since the the other valves were so bad, we decided to replace the valves in all 4 tires on both our bikes. And he even sold us a new bike pump.

After a cup of tea with the shop owner and his sons we were on our way, thinking that we had just resolved any future problems. The next morning we walked to where we keep our bikes locked up and discovered to our horror that my bike's tire was flat once again. I took our brand new bike pump and was quite happy when I was able to pump the tire back up to pressure with a few strokes. It wasn’t 5 minutes later and it was flat once again… so again in the heat of the middle of the day.

I pushed my bike through town and agreed to meet Amy at the bike shop so she would not have to walk her bike along with me. I got to the bike shop and was wondering where Amy. Then she showed up all sweaty after pushing her bike through town too! Her bike chain kept falling off. Because her back tire was bent of alignment, the chain kept falling off. So one more bike to fix.

The guy at the bike shop, who is now a great friend of ours, looked at my rear tire and showed me where the inner tube had broken at the valve. He told me that I needed a new one. He sent his son to find a new inner tube while we sat in front of his shop. 30 minutes later the son arrived with my new inner tube that was going to fix all our problems. So with my new inner tube keeping air in my rear tire we peddled away, ringing our bicycle bells, and waving goodbye to the bike shop owner after we had just paid him many dollars to get us back on the road.

From the bike shop we peddled ¼ mile away to the great market that Fethyie has twice a week and loaded up with all kinds of great fruits and veggies. Upon returning to where our bikes were locked up there was a man sitting 5 feet from the bike. He told us “Two minutes ago your tire exploded!!” He was a bit shaken. We think it blew up quite loudly while he was eating his lunch right next to the bikes.

This new inner tube was less than an hour old and blew up while it was just sitting there all by it self! So once again we pushed our bikes back to the bike repairman that we had just given a lot of money to and showed him the rear tire. He said in broken English "Your tire and inner tube is ruined and will cost you many dollars to fix." What choice do we have? Once again his son takes off returning 30 minutes later with a new tire and inner tube that was installed quickly. So after many dollars we are back to not pushing our bikes through town with flat tires.

And if you are wondering what “Team Sandpiper” does all day, this is it…………..


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