Thursday 4th October 2007
There was a definite need to raise spirits today and how do you raise the spirits of the road weary traveller? Simple, a hot breakfast, with the help of two of my fellow busers and our tour leader I set to making scrambled eggs with tomato and cheese, beans were cooked, water boiled for coffee and despite a couple of unhappy campers and a really difficult pan scrubbing breakfast was a huge success and with some even fitting in a dip in Lake Van before we hit the road for Dogubayatzit, aka Doggy Biscuit our stop for tonight allowing us an short drive to the Iranian border the next day.
A few hours into the drive and it was time to find a spot for lunch, a waterfall on the map seemed promising so soon we were piling of the bus to enjoy our soggy sandwiches watching some very nice waterfalls reached by crossing a very wobbly rope bridge. Some people found this great fun and could not resist the urge to jump on it and give it a shake much to the annoyance of a female Turkish guide who was at the waterfalls who seemed adamant about telling the world about it as she was straight on the mobile phone as we left.
This behind us we continued on and came to a military checkpoint, not uncommon in Eastern Turkey and not the first we had passed through but this one was different, we were stopped, passports inspected and questioned about several things. It turns out the woman at the falls had called the police claiming we were travelling illegally through Turkey and were obviously trouble makers. Luckily we made such a good impression on the soldiers they reported back that all was fine and sent us on our way. Just as the bus begins to get excited as we pull off our tour leader utters the classic line of “don’t get excited yet guys, wait till we are out of range of the guns”.
This drama behind us it was on to the campsite for our last night of camping for a few weeks, we arrived in daylight, set up tents, headed to the bar for a chat and a beer. A few of us, me included played Monopoly and lets be honest, I kicked ass! After dinner it was back to the bar to pool all our Lira and buy every beer in the place and finish of our time in Turkey in style, especially as alcohol is illegal in Iran. Apart from some locals skimming off our beer supplies it was a good night and we all staggered off to bed happy and ready for a really early start the next day as we would be crossing into Iran!