Kavala to Kumbağ

Wednesday, July 27, 2022 - 20:30

After a lot of anticipation, today was the day we successfully crossed into Turkey! The drive from Kavala to the border crossing took about two hours, and wasn't a particularly interesting drive, with low lying mountains to the West, and mostly farmland to the East. The road was also very quiet, until we got about 1km from the border crossing where we hit a very long line of mostly Turkish lorries. After driving around them, we had made it to the Kipi border crossing between Greece and Turkey.

We had been worried about the crossing into Turkey for a couple of reasons: firstly that in theory the Titer test for dogs must have been taken three months prior to entry into Turkey, while Summer's was only done just over two months ago. Secondly, it was unclear whether the car's v5c would suffice as proof of ownership to buy insurance at the border, since a v5c only proves proof of registered keeper, not ownership (a quirk of UK car law it seems, since this is much clearer in other countries). Slightly nervous, we joined the short queue of cars to first exit Greece. This was a simple 5 minute process, before we headed over the border bridge over the river Maritsa which is the actual border between the two countries. Interestingly, on the Greek side of the bridge there were huge amounts of barbed wire and anti-tank obstacles piled up, seemingly waiting to be used at a moment's notice, while on the bridge itself were heavily armed guards from both nations. The whole thing seemed a bit tense, but then again we had heard Greek/Turk relations aren't as good as they could be.

After the bridge we made it to a huge brand new border crossing terminal on the Turkish side. I'd read about the building of a new terminal online before the trip, so it was nice to see it open and usable. The whole thing was very organised, with only about 5 or 6 cars in front of us for passport control, a customs check, and then a drive to the exit. We got held up slightly at the customs check because I had to get out to go and buy a Green Card insurance for the car inside the terminal. This was another thing I had been a bit nervous about since there are lots of scare-stories online about people being made to pay huge amounts for insurance papers by unruly border guards. There was nothing like that here (perhaps a result of the shiny new terminal), just a very friendly woman in an office who carefully typed all the car's details into the system, and printed out a certificate of insurance valid for 3 months for just €45. I couldn't believe how easy and cheap it had ended up being - don't believe everything you read online!

Once out the other end, we were officially in Turkey, giving us great peace of mind that the rest of the trip can go ahead as planned. There was one small administration task left however, and that was to get a toll sticker (HGS) for the car. Research online suggested this could be done at any Shell petrol station, but the first one we went to right by the border, told us we had to go to a post office. We then tried to find a post office but struggled because Google Maps is nowhere near as accurate in Turkey, quite literally telling us the post office's location was 'approximate location only'. So we carried on up the motorway and found another Shell petrol station where the man inside happily put all my details in the HGS system and gave me a sticker for the car, topped up with 300 Turkish Lira which apparently should be about enough to cross the country.

After another hour of driving we made it to our hotel for the night, in the small resort town of Kumbağ on the Sea of Marmara, It is a nice enough place, but the beach was quite disappointing being covered in litter and cigarette butts, not to mention rather crowded. We did have good Turkish food at a local kebab shop for dinner though, and are looking forward to completing the drive to Istanbul tomorrow morning.

Dog Notes: 

Yet again we came prepared, and yet again we didn't have any checks on Summer as we crossed a border. The crossing into Turkey was the one we were most worried about from the start of the trip, and despite coming with all the documentation required, we didn't have to show any of it. Still, all that money spent on the rabies vaccine and Titer test gave us peace of mind I suppose.

Electric Vehicle EV Notes: 

Today was a straightforward day for charging, with the entry to Turkey meaning we now have access to the nationwide ZES charging network. The only slight issue we had was the ZES app seems to load much more slowly now we are inside Turkey - no idea why and I have emailed their Support to query why this is happening.
- ZES 60KW DC charger at Migros mini-mall just outside Keşan, 7 TL/KW which is a bit better than what we've been paying recently in Greece.

Miles Driven: 
CSK Otel


Relieved to read the border was easier to negotiate than anticipated!

Its quite a saga Jamesy. Looks like its just you and summer. Have you dropped Lucy and Mel off?

Clearly you had some good luck and a relatively easy ride at the border. Just as well as you can’t exactly avoid going through Turkey on your route. No pics of Lucy?

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