Day 23: Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road Time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go

2 Moose on the Loose Car Game over Mongol Rally RIP Still stranded travel Turkey

Miles: 26
Countries: Turkey
Stops: Ankara
Playlists: ...

We woke up to a motorcycle parking and keys jingling less than a metre from our car. We stayed as still as possible to appear like no one is in the car in case it was a cop checking in and wanting to write a ticket.

It wasn't. It was a girl who parked the scooter and went inside. It wasn't until we started to eventually emerge from the car and fold the bed that she came out, gave us some food, took a selfie with the car and disappeared back inside. Pretty sure she thought we were homeless by the way she presented the food.

After cleaning up, we went in to use the hotel bathroom. Figured we'd buy a coffee so we're not complete bums, but as we walk up the cafe bar, we were lured into the back with the continental breakfast. While justin went to the bathroom, I grabbed a tea and was approached by a guy with a list asking what room we stayed in. He was pointing at a name which I could've easily said yes, but I explained we slept in the car and we were just trying to buy coffee. He let us be! Pretty sure they also thought we were homeless.

The clock ticked 9 and the embassy was officially open. So we headed over but were turned away at the gate because of what I assumed was lack of an appointment. I don't understand how you work at a Russian embassy, especially in the biggest Russian tourist destination, and not speak Russian (or English). We were told to make our way to a separate Russian visa office 1.5km away.

When we got to the visa office there was a metal detector to get in. I walked through and set off all the alarms. So I took my purse and phone aside and walked through, again, the alarm went off. No security. The people at the desk looked up, then looked back at their paperwork without a word. I continued to strip down and set the alarm off 4 times before finally walking through. Justin walked through also setting alarm, nothing. 2 people came in behind us and just walked through both setting it off and not being the least phased by it. Meanwhile, I'm juggling all my crap and putting on all my layers, purse, clips, phone, etc like a tool.

Once we're called up to the counter, issue after issue emerged. It started with the guy saying he doubts Russia would acknowledge temporary passports. He had a guy from France who lost his passport and was rejected with his temporary passport. Granted, he didn't already have a visa. So then the next question was whether we would be able to use our old visas and we had to go hiking to find a shop to print our photos of old passports/visas/documents. We came back and were told to call at the end of the day to see if it was approved but he said chances were slim.

We drove off figuring we'll check out Ankara. The driving is horrid and the roads are all over the place. We find a mausoleum, heck it out but are beginning to reach Mayzilla levels. We get screwed around the roads for another half an hour by google, have an issue finding parking, and by the time we found a lot, we managed to only fit in the spot by bending the car into shape.

So far, this day is not a good day.

We never ended up finding the restaurant we were looking for and ended up eating at some dive bar after which we walked down to the famous park and lay down in the shade completely mopey.

We couldn't even bring ourselves to go wander the park - it's apparently THE park in Ankara, carnival and everything. We tried calling the Russian visa office multiple times to see if there was any news but couldn't get through. We made our way back to the car, scraped the other side of the car coming out but didn't even care at this point. We got to the embassy/visa office to find out that there's absolutely nothing they can do with temporary passports, not even transit visas (a get from point A to point B without touring visa). Basically, our rally is over for the stupidest reason - because the Russian embassy hasn't realized its effin 2017 and none of the consulate talk to each other.

We're pretty bummed out and are practically dragging our hands on the ground as we walk with our heads completely sagging.

It's officially time for Plan B.

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  • Brian on

    Did you try to ask him how much it would cost to make it work.

  • joanne on

    WHAT A DRAG! That’s really too bad guys, sorry to hear the change in plans are final.

    And I’m sure I am the only parent who’s going to say that and mean it :)

    Chin up though. Spain and Croatia await. Love ya.

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