Monday, 7 July 2008

Pilgrimage from Koprukoy to Karakaya 30/06/08

Feeling slightly pickled when I wake up I make the decision that enough is enough...No beer today!!! :)

I am feeling better than I was on waking yesterday but breakfast is still a mission. And what the fuck am I doing in back in Ankara??? Thinking back on the last few days I don't now what happened or where the time went. And it's funny, most people I have talked to tell me the townsfolk in the small villages in Turkey hardly drink. Maybe they have just never visited the right villages! The people in the places I've just been walking through seem to do nothing else!!! ;)

Saying a big "Thank you" to everyone I catch a taxi to the bus station. Extremely dazed and confused I finally locate the counter for buses to Koprukoy...

"Yes, Koprukoy. Three O'Clock"

Hmmmm, a four hour wait... "How much?"

Smiling broadly and opening his book "Everyone 60 Lira...but for you 50"

Fifty Lira!!! He must be joking!!! I'm in no mood to bargain and his big grin is shitting me so I just grunt and walk off. I think I'll hitch :)

"No, no, stop, come back, come back..."

Walking out on to the highway I look in dismay at the cars speeding past. I really don't feel like doing anything, let alone stand here in the sun hitching! A taxi driver spots me and comes to see if he can help out...

"Where are you going?"


"One hundred lira"

Not bad really when the bus was fifty, but "No thanks..."

"If you want a bus you can catch one here. Just wait, one will come"

Sounds good to me and he waits around to keep me company. True to his word five minutes later a bus stops and is going to Bala. And for five Lira! Bargain :)

The only problem is I have to stand, and the smell of all these sweaty men cramped together starts to make me feel incredibly nauseous. I stand there with eyes closed focusing on my breathing. Braking out in a hot sweat I'm pretty sure I am going to have to jump off before Bala and vomit :)

Luckily after thirty minutes the man in the seat next to me gets off and I can sit down. This helps and I try to sleep for the remaining journey. Making it to Bala I then hitch down to Koprukoy, arriving around 1pm.

Not feeling like walking anywhere just yet, I make myself at home in a little supermarket and receive wonderful hospitality from the shopkeeper and his daughter. Over the four hours I'm sitting in their shop, trying to catch up on the countless blogs that I've managed to forget about over the last few days drinking, I'm presented with lunch, tea, nuts and fruit. Wonderful!

Around 5pm it's time to go. I'm impressed with how well I'm feeling and start to make plans of making 30kms. The first two kilometers are great, then I get a slight headache, then start to feel sick, then after 3kms am completely incapable of walking another step...

Thank God a tree just happens to be positioned right here and I pass out, only to wake an hour later feeling like I've been run over by a bus.

Revising my plans to 15kms I slowly resume my journey. Not long down the road a man comes out to meet me from a little tent village and I'm more than happy to sit down for some tea. I have been keen to check these tent villages out, having seen a few on my walk so far and have concluded as an ignorant white westerner that because they live in tents they must be Gypsies :)

Within a minute there are kids everywhere. Hundreds of them!!! Well, I'm exaggerating slightly but considering the village is only made up of six tents there are an awful lot of the little buggers :) They're running around, pulling faces at me, posing for photos then getting chased of by the old women with sticks when they get too close to my camera.

It isn't long before we draw a crowd, but all the men must be working, the only other male present is my host. I'm presented with tea followed by a perfectly timed snack of bread, tomatoes and cucumber, it all does well to settle my stomach.

The old women and the girls start pointing and giggling and I get the distinct impression I'm getting weighed up for marriage! Sure enough a minute later my host asks...

"How old are you?"


"Are you married?"


All the girls start giggling and pointing at each other once again...

"Do you have a girl back in Australia?"


"You must stay the night. It is getting dark already..." :)

I have to admit, the thought of retiring, settling down with a cute Gypsie girl in a tent, then spending the rest of my days looking after sheep is quite appealing ;) but I have to decline...

The suns starting to go down as I make a move and I'm treated to a wonderful sunset over the fields. The temperature is a lot cooler and I make good time. As darkness sets in I realize I forgot to get batteries for my headlamp. I do still have the super powerful dog scaring torch though, but I don't really want to use it's batteries needlessly...and really, I'm quite happy walking in the dark, with no moon the starts are awesome!

Happy to be getting some kilometers in a service station appears and I stop for a break...

"What!!! You are just walking? Now???"

Its 11pm and we are in the middle of nowhere. I can see why they might be slightly surprised...

"Yes, just walking"

"But it is VERY dangerous. There are dogs...MANY dogs!!"

"I know, I know"

They offer to let me camp but I still feel I have some kilometers left in me and set off...

As I get going I start thinking of all the warnings about the dogs I keep getting, then a really bad thought strikes me...maybe they mean "Wolf" not "Dog". I have been told that the funny looking spiked collars all the dogs in these parts wear are to stop their throats getting ripped out be that true? And if so, how common are they???

Now, I don't really know anything about wolves and even though they have been present in some of the countries I've walked through, I figured I would be pretty unlucky to get attacked by a wild animal in the forest. But there is no forest here, only farmland. Maybe the wolves here aren't so afraid of humans and are more likely to attack???

So now a slightly paranoid pilgrim, still walking in the dark, makes his way east...

Starting to tire around midnight I find a great campsite by a creek under some trees...perfect :)

No comments: