British tourists on excursion in Turkey left ‘shaken’ after 4x4 breaks down on cliff edge
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A group of British tourists were left “shaken” when their off-road vehicle broke down on a cliff edge, forcing them to continue the journey on foot for 45 minutes under scorching sun.
Josef Killey, 24, and partner Joseph Morphet, 29, were with 14 other holidaymakers, travelling along a dirt track when a tyre to their 4x4 popped, leaving it tilting towards the side of a slope.
Other cars were able to continue the journey but, feeling unsafe, the couple and their group of eight decided to go on foot, along with another family of five. Recounting the horrifying moment, Josef said the incident could have gone ‘horribly wrong’ for them.
He said: “It was a full truck with kids, kids in our family and another family with kids and grandparents on board. Everyone was really shaken up by it and the lack of information from the guides just made it even worse. It could have gone horribly wrong and we are grateful it didn’t but the thought is scary enough for us."
Josef said the group had booked the tour on June 3 through the concierge at their hotel in Bodrum, where they were enjoying a two-week holiday. The group were told by tour guides that they could get in one of the other 4x4s and continue the tour, but they refused as they felt unsafe.
As there were no alternate routes down the mountain, the group walked for 45 minutes to the next stop-off point, where they agreed to get in another vehicle for a ride to the main road. Josef said that they still felt unsafe in the vehicle and after just a few minutes asked to be let out so they could walk the remaining way to the main road.
After establishing there were no more cliffs or dangerous roads, the group agreed to return to the vehicle and finish the tour. He said: “It was quite bumpy – our driver was telling us we could stand up on our seats to look at the view, so people were stood up and holding onto the railing.
“The driver pointed out an eagle flying across on our left side where the cliff edge was - it was quite a narrow road and he was distracted and wasn’t looking where he was going. Everyone was shouting to get out of the vehicle, it was like someone had slammed on the brakes really hard.
“We said we don’t want to get into another one of the cars and don’t want to go back the way we came. We walked for 45 mins in 28 degrees to a photo stop up the road - we were all exhausted by the time we got there.
“The tour guide said we could carry on along the road or wait and go back the way we came in a Jeep. We decided to get back on and get to the main road, but the driver was distracted so we insisted on getting out even if it was just a short distance to the road and said we would walk.
“We then asked the new driver if there were any more cliffs and he said no, so we continued the tour from there.”
In response, a representative for the tour company refunded half of the money they paid after what happened. They said: "We were driving on a hard terrain road when a stone hit the rim of the tyre which broke down the centre. We provided a second vehicle in 20 minutes as we were away from the city centre.
"The guests insisted on not getting in the vehicle and said they wanted to walk. A Jeep followed them until they got on the main road. We offered them a full refund and to take them back to the hotel as well as a full check up at the hospital in case of any injury.
"The guests refused to go back to the hotel, choosing to continue the excursion. We also refunded half of the money they paid for. They also got a free zipline, water pistols and photos which were worth £100. There was no crash at all, it was just a breakdown while off-roading. We obey the highest health and safety rules and regulations but cars can break down all the time."