Monday, 21 July 2008

Pilgrimage from Yuksekoren to Cukurkopru 17/07/08

The goats ensured I didn't get much sleep last night. Apart from their noise, whenever I did manage to drift off I would wake to find one nibbling at my sleeping bag, my backpack or sniffing my head...

Sure enough my first sight upon waking is goat nostrils bearly 3cms away :) Aberdeen and his mate are already up and about, busily collecting the morning milk.

"Ben, good morning! Come come..."

Aberdeen takes me into the throng and catching a goat gestures for me to milk it. Grabbing the teats I twist and squeeze but much to the goats disgust, and Aberdeen's amusement, nothing comes out.

"Here, like this..." Aberdeen grabs a teat and shows me how it's done. With that quick lesson I manage to get a pin sized hole squirting milk into the bucket, far from the hose Aberdeen has in his hands but at least it's something :)

A fun morning is passed wrestling the goats and after collecting our quota of milk it's time for breakfast. Rock thrower makes an appearance and enthusiastically apologizes for last nights shenanigans. Aberdeen, looking slightly sheepish, then makes shooting motions at me, shrugs, and apologizes as well :)

"No problem, no problem" There was no harm done...and besides, he's now given me a good blog story ;)

The video camera is set up on the tripod doing some filming and must have made an out of line comment to one of the passing goats. Suddenly one of them charges in and lays it out with a headbut :) Bloody goats! It's like looking after a hundred little kids that refuse to learn anything. You can throw rocks at them, hit them with a stick, kick them up the bum but they will still come back two minutes later and continue doing exactly what it was they were in trouble for before...

A couple of hours with them is more than enough for me!

Setting off towards Kozan I have one of these mornings which feels like I'm in a time warp. Every time I ask how far Kozan is I get the same response..."Five or six kilometers"!

After an hours walking, and probably five or six kilometers, I stop for a Sprite. Once again when going to leave the owner comes rushing over and says I have to stay for breakfast... :)

And he still reckons there is five or six kilometers to go! :(

The people in this area are incredible! After waking with the sun I was expecting to be in Kozan by 8am at the latest. Instead I get stopped every few hundred meters for all sorts of goodies. And by the mornings effort I believe I have now ventured into watermelon country :)

Finally around noon I stagger into Kozan, convinced the mornings walk must have been 15kms, no matter what everyone was telling me!

I have three things I want to do here before leaving. Hamam, internet and get a barber to give me a shave. Not caring which order they get done in the internet is the first to appear. The place is chock a block with kids and a big crowd surrounds me constantly firing questions. It's fun at first but having been off line for almost a week there's lot's to be done. Trying in vain to shoo them away I finally have to concede defeat and go elsewhere :)

The kids decide to follow and I resign myself to being stuck with them for the day. Besides they are pretty cool, even all chipping in to buy me an icecream! Guiding me through the back streets we run into one of their big brothers, I get invited back to his house for tea and it isn't long before other family members make an appearance bearing food :)

"You have walked for 50 days in Turkey!?"

"Yes, from Ipsala"

"Do you carry a gun?"

Laughing "No"

I get asked this question a lot around here and most people look at me like I'm lying when I answer "No". This suits me fine :)

"We do..." The guy reaches under the couch and pulls out a pistol...


Shrugging "But we don't have any bullets..."

Can't say I'm sorry to hear that... :)

Well fed, it's now time for a bath. All the kids loose interest in me except Suayp who nominates himself as my official tour guide for the day and off we go to locate a Hamam.

After a few days in the mountains and a morning wrestling goats a scrub down in a hammam is the perfect way to remove the thick layer of crap encrusting my body. And lucky I did, underneath the dirt is a big fat tick! Bloody goats!

Suayp waits for me to finish and after getting a shave and eating a kebab I'm ready to leave. Suyap has one more place he wants to show me though, an old colonial house which is beautiful and about to be opened as a boutique hotel. With a great view overlooking Kozan and quaint little rooms it is a perfect place to stop for a rest if you are ever traveling through these parts.

With one more stop at an internet cafe on the way out of town it's starting to get dark by the time I leave. The walk is nice, flat, cool and I even get given some Ayran when passing an Ayran factory. Some time around 11pm, spotting what looks to be an empty warehouse I set my self up out the back and call it a day...

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