Compared with the last time we crossed the border from Turkey to Greece, things have gone much more smoothly and taken a fraction of the time — a couple of hours instead of about 24.

At one stage it did look a bit dodgy, however. When we arrived at the Turkish border, we had to wait for the customs inspector. Courier J was allowed to walk round ‘the other side’ with a friendly official, but there was no-one there to sign us out. So once again we were invited to sit down in an office and drink chai, with a mild sense of foreboding and déjà vu.

Once our papers had been looked at, we played a game that reminded us of musical chairs. “Go to window two,” they said. At window two we were told, “Go to window three.” But window three was empty, so we reported back to window two. “Try window four, maybe,” they said. At window four we were told, “Inspector five minutes, go to window three.” It’s a good job they have a large standing army — a small one would never do! Then to cap it all, a pigeon pooped on the customs form!

Finally we were allowed through the Turkish border, to cross no man’s land to Greece.

At the Greek border we were paid a nice compliment by the smiley vet, Mavridou Vassilki, who said: “You have very good paperwork. We do like that, English people always bring good papers.”

Approaching the Turkish side of the border

Papers being looked at

A clear instruction

Seen as we left Turkey

Kipi bridge in no man’s land

The Greek border vet, Mavridou Vassilki