The time in Antalya was really great. The helpfulness, which certainly far exceeded the economic benefits of the workshops, has burned into our hearts. Therefore, it was a bit hard to turn your back on this city. Some other highlights awaited us in the west of the metropolis. The entire landscape is simply gorgeous at this time of the year. Not too warm, but still green, the Taurus Mountains rise from the sea. At one of these mountains we met Mattis again, whom we were allowed to accompany a day in sport climbing. We both used to hang on ropes on a mountain once, but the whole atmosphere of this climbing camp (Geyikbayiri) infested us, so a few days later the space in Ernst was reduced again by a little bit of equipment for own climbing trips.
In the southwest of Antalya are beautiful ruins of ancient settlements and cities that impressively demonstrate the grandeur and progressiveness of the ancient peoples. Large flagstones, heated bathhouses and amphitheatres built on the hillside make most of today’s buildings seem short-lived. The road led us further south, along winding coastal roads, and all without a cracking rear axle. The destination is a mystical place where Greek hero Bellerophon is said to have defeated Chimera on his winged horse Pegasus. The fire-breathing monster is said to be buried behind rocks and its fire is still bubbling on the surface. Dozens of small gas flames licked here in Carali for hundreds of years and let one understand that one can believe in this myth. Practically, marshmallows are also sold at the foot of the hill. Roasted over an ancient fire, they taste at least twice as good.
The drive back to the east came along with a strange noise from the rear axle. No, not the clacking, something new, a hum. Our way back again led through Antalya, so we decided to visit our well-known workshop again. On the way there, the troubleshooting guessing ran at full speed, and so we could report directly on arrival that probably the universal joint of the drive shaft tried to give up. Normally they will always help you immediately. There does not seem to be any dates. First come, first serve. Unfortunately we were not the first, so we were put off to the following day. And since we had a little time pressure on our neck and we did not feel that the damage was particularly acute, we decided to continue traveling to Alanya. Our impatience was punished. After only about 40 km, the noise became so incredibly loud that we stopped, asked questions about the nearest workshop and repaired the damage there. But why was the entire axle so hot that even the spray water evaporates on it? A short time later, on the way to Alanya, we had the answer. The universal joint was just part of the problem. Something was still wrong back there. The grinding noise of metal on metal gave us goosebumps, so we crunched back to the workshop at walking pace. Although already closed, the mechanic came back quickly and was after a short investigation quite sure that the differential must be damaged. The shock was great, but the incredulity, too and yet we followed his advice and continued at a snail’s pace back to Antalya to a well-known workshop for differential gear. After only 2 km this journey ended with a blocked rear wheel at the roadside of the freeway.
Before the start of our big drive we were sent by our chief mechanic on a 1000 km test drive. On this we stayed with broken radiator hose. A circumstance that came to our attention right now, because the then called yellow angel persuaded us to a PLUS membership at the ADAC to be able to get help outside of Germany. And honestly … that worked perfectly. A tow truck with special equipment for blocked wheels, which can transport a 3.40-meter-high camper was send to us in such a short time, a masterpiece. And despite the downpour, which drenched us all to the bone while Ernst was being loaded, the mood remained cheerful and serene. A fast ride, bypassing many tunnels and underpasses later we prepared ourselves for a slightly different night, at the depot of the old known workshop. Will we ever go further east than Antalya? At least we have not lost the will to do so yet.