Adventure in Igdir and Dogubeyazit
The next two cities were Igdir and Dogubeyazit. Dogubeyazit was a small town following Igdir. Through several calls that we had made with some hotels, we finally reserved a three-bedroom. We put the things in hotel as usual and went out to eat dinner. Other people had eaten their Iftar and it was our turn to eat food.
We found a place and ordered “Lahmacun” and ate a lot. Lahmacun is a local food that is prepared with ground meat and spices are poured on bread and baked in oven. I wished you could be there and have it as well.
We felt like having a drink after the dinner, so we bought a bottle of vodka and returned to hotel. Each person, having the drink, sprawled at a corner. We were so tired that we fell asleep in that position. The next morning, I wanted to see off my friends to the station of the castle’s cars and go on my way, but I couldn’t resist the temptation of historic sites and joined them once more.
Another car took us to the mountains again. One of the historic relics of there was an ancient palace which was built as a seraglio for kings. This palace was dedicated to a grandee to be able to live with his several wives. Given that I was late and the guys wanted to stay the night at the same city, I returned to the hotel, put on my skates and after saying goodbye to them, resumed my journey.
My God! What terrible road that was! The sands which were used to pave the road were too rough to let the small wheels of skates turn easily. During the way, I was frequently warned by many Turkish residents that not to skate through that path because of it being a frequented area for terrorists. They claimed that terrorists had commuted there recurrently and taken many people as hostages to their bases among the mountains or killed them in order to get some grants from Turkish government.
After a little skating, I arrived at a crossing. I had to choose the way which led to the city of Calderan. There I took a short rest in a gas station. There was a guy with his son who brought me some tea. I drank it then continued my way. I was so afraid of the sheepdogs that were around there because they could attack unexpectedly and hurt me in a way that would hinder my journey; therefore, I was as careful as I could be.
I faced a group who was touring around the world by car and motorcycle. They thought I was out of my mind for the transportation mode I had chosen for my journey. They said that I could have used a more convenient way like riding a motorcycle.
It was an extended and perilous road. Each moment of skating on it passed with anxiety; the anxiety of encounter with sheepdogs and terrorists. I got into a mountainous road which passed among the heights of a mountain and it was so hard to climb. For that reason, I took off the skates and gently walked upward. It was about 9 PM. I wondered why the cars passing by me increased their speed to move away from me. When I moved up a little more, I arrived at a place in where those lorries whose engines had boiled as a result of the steep ascendant road, stopped for a short time to cool it. It was not an appropriate place to stop for a long time because the danger of terrorists threatened them.
One of the drivers who had stopped there came to me and asked about who I was and what I was doing there. When I told him the reason why I was there, the way of his looking changed completely and he became sure that he was talking to a mad. He said: “in the place that you are in right now, any moving object is targeted and shot by snipers because here is one of the places where PKK attacks the carks. Are you dumb enough that you are walking here with this backpack? Several days ago they burnt 15 cars here.” He did me a favor and took me to Caldiran with his lorry that had burden of watermelon. We talked a lot through the way.
I stayed in a poor hotel which even didn’t have proper water. I bought a little yogurt and went to the hotel. I wondered why I had been feeling terribly awful. I agonized all night long and vomited several times until morning. I even didn’t know the reason why I had gotten that sick. I was so sick and my body had lost its energy that I didn’t know what to do. I profoundly wished that nothing serious had happened that interrupt my journey. In that situation, the only suffering matter was may be happening something that disabled me from finishing the journey.
I had a tumultuous night and had just one hour of sleep. When I got up in morning, I wanted to find a better hotel with at least had proper water, so that I could take a shower and rest because I was not good at all but sadly there was no other hotel in the town. I was told that I could find a good hotel in Muradiye. I had to set off without taking shower. My stomach had a dreadful pain while I had to continue the way. I put on the skates …. went on my way. Fortunately, it was a good path and some parts of it were under renovation. When arrived at Muradiye’s waterfall I went to a restaurant and ordered to cook some fishes. While eating, I was looking at the waterfall which was showing off gorgeously.
I was still so ill. Neither sitting nor walking could soothe me. I waited there for my friends. They told me that they had stayed in that city one more night because both of them had gotten sick. …… ! I just realized that the drink we had taken had sicken us. We were so fortunate that it hadn’t brought about our death. I was luckier because the illness of the other two ones had led to getting hospitalized.
I didn’t wait for them more. I wore my skates and left for Muradiye. New asphalt was dumped on the ground at the entrance of the town and it vibrated my feet. There, I asked several people to direct me to a hotel and they suggested the Teacher’s House and escorted me to it.
I stayed the night there. I had a well-earned rest, so that I could move toward the city of Van with all my power. I got up late in the next morning since my energy had dwindled. At the beginning of the day, I could get rid of that horrible pavement which was under construction with difficulty and got to a good road. In a downhill road between Muradiye and Van, I let myself loose and moved freely. After the crossroad, I went a little further and then Van’s lake appeared which had spruced up the setting indescribably. I saw some child anglers but unluckily my camera was not charged to take photos of them. I request several people to show me a place like a shop or anywhere else where I could charge it. When I went further I saw a supermarket and put it there to get charged.
The shopkeeper had six children that played around him freely. It was humorous that the poor man couldn’t have anything else to sell when his own children used the store’s stuff more than costumers. I took their photos. They were so much funny. I said goodbye to them and carried on my way.
Talking to some shepherds and other people was a part of my amusements during this way. Once my water had run out and I was severely thirsty. I was looking for it that I heard sound of water from a place. There was a sandy hill that I could get myself to the top of it with difficulty but its water was not potable. It was a dangerous place as it was unstable and had potential of collapsing at any moment. I descended the hill, cleaned my shoes and resumed the way. There was a place which was somehow like a very spacious park that had faucet in it. I drank from it as much as I could and filled up my bottle as well. I talked to some children who were there. They all passionately liked to be a police officer in future. There was a big herd of caws in a place about 40 km to Van on the right side of the road. I went toward them and spoke with their shepherds. They were so warm and kind. They invited me and we had some tea together. They offered me their own special cheese that I can still taste to this day. We spent several hours together and they talked about the area.
At the back of their village was a camp allocated to tourists. I could go there and have a rest. Various animals were on the way there such as turtle, fish, snake and so on. It had a scenic nature. I spoke with some young guys and took picture together then went to the camp. A family was living in it. I talked with two daughters of the house’s owner. They call up their father who had gone to the village. When he returned, we talked a little about the price of the room then I got a room which had no curtain. I ate dinner and I went to my room to have a rest. It was night when one of my friends called me up and talked several hours about the dangers that could threaten me. When he totally scared me from the probable attack of PKK, he went to sleep while I was alone with a curtain less room and outside was full of frightening things such as dogs and so on. It was 3 AM that I telephoned police to ask about the security of that area. They searched that place and said that there hadn’t been any threatening problem there but I still was waiting for being attacked and taken with a gun on account of the things that my friend had told me. I hardly could sleep few hours at night. Had eaten breakfast at dawn, I left the area immediately and travelled as far as I could.