Clinton, a fellow electrician, from New Zealand was my beer buddy for the next few nights. Together we scoured some bars and crashed other hostels. Managed to end up dancing with a semi clothed Turkish belly dancer in front of a crowd of hostellers – less said about that the better...though I'd like to think we held our own in the "wiggling" department.
I did well for free alcohol at this time. Thanks to Virpi and Jouni (a totally cool couple from Finland) who donated half a bottle of vodka to the jimmyrathbone cause. Then a bottle of Russian vodka came my way as a guy was leaving the hostel! I didn't even get his name. But thankyou mystery man. As it was, I ended up drinking it with Russians no less.
My daily laptop sessions were only interrupted when Neil (a fellow cycle tourist) would come to visit me and drag me out for lunch. Clinton and I joined Neil and his friend Logan for a day trip out to the Princes Islands. A grand day it was too.
Princes Islands Ride from James Rathbone on Vimeo.
The following day Neil has the excellent idea to ride across the bridge. It sounded like a fun idea so I decide to join him. We manage to waste well over an hour trying to find a way on. We eventually do so, but as we pedal along the slip road I feel a chill as I spot an all-too-familiar green sign. This sign, as with many others, indicates that cycling is forbidden as this is a highway. Something tells me that by the end of this trip I will have forgotten the amounts of times I end up on such roads! We jostle on the hard shoulder with moped couriers. There are no exits before the bridge and so we continue on. At the start of the bridge there is a small cabin an a guard. He gestures that we should stop and we comply, pulling up in front of his cabin. He shakes his head and points back down the highway – suggesting that we ride back the way we came. I look over my shoulder and see a steady stream of motorcycles that would make such a route suicidal. We shrug at him, he shrugs at us. A car pulls up. They talk. All agree that it makes more sense for us to ride across the bridge. Scorchio!
***I later learn that the reason they don't let pedestrians/cyclists on the bridge anymore is because it was a popular place for suicide attempts***