Monday, 7 July 2008

Pilgrimage from Buyuk Boyalik to Koprukoy 28/06/08

I managed to position myself well last night and it isn't until 08:30 the sun finally wakes me :)

Setting off in good spirits the walk is hot and dry, not much to look at which leaves me plenty of time to contemplate life the universe and everything. Finding a water fountain to rest near I promptly fall asleep, only to be woken an hour later by a family offering me watermelon. Probably a good thing or I would have slept all day.

Passing a sunflower seed company I get called in for tea, and before long they have me eating a huge meatball sandwich which is awesome. About eight of them sit around and chat for half an hour before deciding they better get back to work, loading me up with goodies from their factory before they go.

Not even 100m later some road workers call me over for tea as well. By the time I leave it's 3pm and just one of those days...I've taken 7 hours to walk 15kms!!!

The next 5kms pass quickly and it isn't long before I reach the magical little town of Koprukoy. The bridge here was built in the 13th century and is still used by cars today. Koprukoy is also known for fishing and there are plenty of people lounging around with rods in the water. The scary thing is almost all of them are drinking beer! I get plenty of offers to sit and drink but I'm determined to get some blogs done today so I go the the little shop and buy myself a Coke.

Mehmud and Adam were the first to ask me to sit with them so I make my way over to their table. And just in time for the fresh fish coming straight off the BBQ. Perfect! :) Both are really cool guys and promising I'll be back I take my leave to go for a swim.

The water is a wonderful and after 10 minutes of floating around I head back to join the lads...

"Do you want a beer?" Adam asks innocently

"No, thanks...not right now"

"Come on! Have a beer!"

Laughing "Sorry I've got things to do but if you are around for another couple of hours I will have one with you then"

Adam gets up to go to the store ""

I look back as he is returning, happy that he only has two bees with him. Cracking one open he hands it to me. I just laugh and pass it on to Mehmud...

"No, no...I can't drink. I'm driving"

Adam just smiles innocently

Shit! Oh well...

Of course the one beer turns to three or four and as I go to get another round one of the locals, Arif, calls me to his table, pours me a glass of Raki, then invites me to stay at his house for the night. I like Arif straight away and he has a real "old school" feel about him. Still wanting to get another 10kms in I turn him down, but on turning around I see these huge dark clouds streaked with lightning on the horizon...

Arif smiles "Are you sure you don't want to stay...?"

"Actually...OK" :)

I go to say goodbye to Adam and Mehmud but take a bit too long for Arif's liking. He comes over and after a couple of strong words says that we should leave. I find out later he thought I was buying all the beer and he actually told them he was willing to fight if they didn't let me go :) I didn't have the heart to tell him the only round they let me buy was the last one...

We wait for Arif's friend from Ankara, Adnan to pick us up as he is staying the weekend as well. The car pulls up with Melih driving! You can imagine my surprise, I can see it's going to be a crazy night!

Heading straight back to Arif's the beer comes out and as his wife starts preparing rabbit for dinner...which I'm told goes perfectly well with Raki ;)

The rabbit can't be found so it's down to the restaurant for fish, which just so happens also goes perfectly well with Raki. The restaurant is the same one Rob, Sabine and I stopped in a few days back and of course they still recognize me. Sort of puts a few holes in my "walking from England to Jerusalem" story :)

Arif starts pulling faces at me like I'm a big fat lier. I'm too drunk to try to explain myself and don't really feel the need. Adnan speaks perfect English so I tell him briefly what happened and leave it at that. Arif still doesn't look convinced :)

Back at the house the Raki comes out and the real fun begins. We have a wonderful dinner then Arif pipes up...

"There's a wedding on down the road. Do you want to go?"

Shit yeah! Count me in on that!!! "Yeah sure!"

Piling into the car again we head down to the party. I get presented with another huge plate of food which I've got no idea how I consumed and sit there chatting to the locals.

It's a pretty good party but my main problem is all the girls are safely locked away out of reach on the second floor. They have a balcony which they can look down on us from but the communication is minimal. Then I realize they stay up there by there own choice, probably so they don't get harassed by strange drunk men like myself :)

One of the girls comes down, still wearing her headscarf, grabs her boyfriends hand and starts making out with him in the middle of the dance floor! Go girl!!! And here I was thinking they were all prude! I suppose that's what I get for thinking :)

I don't really know how long we are there but wishing everyone well we head back to Arif's and some more Raki...

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