After the eventful hike the day began properly with a mediocre breakfast of bread, jam, spam and yoghurt and a struggle with the concept of coffee? Tea? No COFFEE? Tea? C O F F E E? Oh Nescafe, ok! With many starting to flag after such an early start the call of the bus and sleep was strong. Loaded up an in the road by 8am we headed for a ferry crossing to cut the amount of driving time we would have to do reach our planned destination of Lake Van. With no real idea of what time the ferry will leave we pull out of camp with Take a Chance by ABBA blaring on the stereo. Tonight will be our first free camp of the trip so water, electricity and showers are out till Iran. The lake is apparently so alkali that you can wash in without soap and is reported to be frequented by blue eyed white cats with a penchant for taking a swim!
The ferry stop was not far and we hopped off the bus to wait for the next one to arrive, after a short wait, some stone skimming, lost jewellery in the lake and a very questionable ‘toilet’ the ferry arrived and the fun and games began.
As I have mentioned before our tour leader and main driver are women, our other driver is a man and was behind the wheel to drive our bus onto the small car ferry, I do not envy him this job, every man, whether passenger, ferryman, passing goat herd or random nutter offered advice on how to get on the ferry while simultaneously showing our other driver and leader out of the way. Our tour leader, always looking to defuse the situation whipped one Turkish guy with a stick then shouted at another and blew him a raspberry! Eventually the bus was lined up and rolled on to the ferry, unfortunately the exhaust did not make it! Apparently this is not essential though and apart from a noisier hotter bus we will be fine till we can get it repaired!
Off the other side of the lake and on the road again it was soon time for a lunch stop and the next drama of the day. After group of us found the one kebab shop serving lunch in town, not easy to do in Ramadan, we chowed down at high speed and legged it back to the bus, all aboard we pulled off only to be shouted at by the locals, eventually persuaded to stop it became evident that we had ripped a sign out of the ground, buggered the rear bumper and attracted a crowd of locals. While the usual repair crew grabbed a role of gaffer tape and jury rigged the bus the rest of us chatted to the local kids and before we know it we were on the move again, what dramas await us for the rest of today we will have to wait and see.