Today is a ‘no news’ day for the Animalcouriers trip that’s passing through Turkey on the way to Greece, and hoping to reach Bodrum tonight.

In our case, no news is good news! Having a calm day or two gives us a chance to reflect on recent happenings and remember the people who’ve been kind, helpful and thoughtful during challenging times!

For starters, the owners of the dogs — the intrepid band who accompanied us to Mersin got safely back to Famagusta. From the moment we met them at the KAR office as we limped back from our first abortive attempt to enter Turkey, until they left us at Mersin port, entrusting their precious pets to us, we never heard a single grumble or groan! Everyone pulled together for the crossing from Famagusta, organising visits to the notary, new car paperwork, car insurance, permission to take their cars to Turkey — all at lightning speed. Not forgetting Bob and Lynn, who quickly reorganised for their dogs to fly instead, as they couldn’t come to Mersin with us.

During the crossing from Famagusta, there was plenty of good humour and laughter. A quick rethink when we had to leave Janet’s car behind. Willingness to take the dogs onto the ferry’s open deck in the middle of the night on a pitch-black sea. Coping with the long wait at Mersin, when all everyone wanted was a shower and a cold drink. Then the near panic when we thought they might all miss the boat back to Famagusta. Then when it looked like only Diana might have to stay behind, everyone else wanted to support her by staying behind too!

And although some of the bureaucracy came close to making us despair, the willingness of certain individuals to go the extra mile for us kept us going. Eren and his dad from Petical Vets, who put so much effort into the paperwork. The kind port police who watched over the van for us. The lovely member of the ferry crew who gave us a key to the vehicle deck so that we could check on the dogs whenever we wanted. Then at the port the next morning he found courier J, gave her a hug and handed her a bunch of grapes from the mess supplies!

And of course, the exceptionally efficient senior port officer Aynur, who kickstarted all the officials into action. We told Aynur: “We can’t thank you enough. We hope one day someone shows you the kindness you’ve shown us.” “Someone already has,” she replied, “So I know just how you feel.”

Camel in its Sunday best

Camel in its Sunday best

Off to the shops!

Off to the shops!

Buying fresh strawberries

Buying fresh strawberries

Driving through a large banana-growing area. We were tempted to buy some but haven't got through all the strawberries yet!

Driving through a large banana-growing area. We were tempted to buy some but haven’t got through all the strawberries yet!

Just one of the many handsome mosques we've passed

Just one of the many handsome mosques we’ve passed

A prayer room at a Total garage

A prayer room at a Total garage

A sprawling old fort

A sprawling old fort

Courier M shows off his dog-wrangling skills, while Jasper, Tink and Roxy do their own thing!

Courier M shows off his dog-wrangling skills, while Jasper, Tink and Roxy do their own thing!

Reo hoping for a treat

Reo hoping for a treat

Brandy — one ear up, one down

Brandy — one ear up, one down

When we pulled in for a comfort break, a street dog came up to see what we were doing. We slipped him a few treats before saying goodbye.

When we pulled in for a comfort break, a street dog came up to see what we were doing. We slipped him a few treats before saying goodbye.