Up and down in Turkey

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It was time for a new country and therefore we felt it was time for a new blog. We have arrived just today in Georgia and we have to say that the warm feelings aren’t there yet. It doesn’t help either that it has been raining, and still is raining. Everyone speaks about what a magical place Georgia must be, but we still have to figure that out and start feeling that in a couple of days. Now we still have to ‘land’ as we call it. For my mom it was one of the first times that she had a difficult time to let go the country we were coming from: Turkey. We had a good time in Turkey and Turkey was treating us well.

One great example of how great the Turkish people were for us, was when we planned to drive to the Georgian boarder and we were stopped by a Turkish woman. She asked us if we were heading towards Trabzon and we had to disappoint her. Also we thought in our heads that we have no room for passengers in our car. If we take someone with us, one of us should stay with me in the back of the car. And it is not going to be the passenger, because they are always afraid of me and my wiggling tail and wet nose.
My boss noticed it was the lady that tried to sell a shawl to my mom yesterday, but then in neat clothing. We told the lady that we were heading to a place called Of instead of Trabzon. She made clear that she needed to go to Trabzon, but she wanted a ride to Of. We decided that mom was going to join me in the back and the lady was joining in the front seat. We have done this before in Estonia as well, so we knew that it would work. As soon as the lady told us that she was Fatima/Fatma and told her story in Turkish we understood that something was wrong. She was said and even crying. Someone in her family had died, but we couldn’t figure out who. We felt so sorry for her that we decided we would drive back to Trabzon, which was 100km further, but then at least this woman didn’t have to search all day for proper transportation.
During the car drive we understood she had four kids from who at least two daughters lived in Trabzon. What we didn’t understand was that she was visiting the village, we had just camped, for holiday and she lived in Trabzon herself as well. We later understood that her brother or cousin had died (someone close to her) and that she wanted to go there. She invited us for coffee or thee at her daughters place. Once we arrived in Trabzon we went to the house of her daughter. There we saw that she had prepared us an amazing Turkish lunch and we felt almost shy for the amount of work that had been put in. With the daughters and google translate we could share our stories and we talked and ate from the lunch table. We felt welcome and warm from the love we received, only because we provided their mom a ride to Trabzon. We made some pictures together and brought one daughter and her mom to the square in Trabzon and then headed off to the boarder with Georgia. What an incredible experience this has been for us. So warm, inviting and generous these people have been for us.

Almost the same thing happened to my parents a week before. We searched for a good wild camping spot and it wasn’t easy. We noticed that at 19:30 it was dark outside, so we were in quite a hurry. Finding camping spots in Turkey is not easy as all land is a steep hill, owned by people etc. We found an abandoned field in a village near an abandoned school and set up camp. We could not imagine anyone living here so we thought it was alright. Not a really nice place, but good enough for one night. In the middle of the night we heard a man screaming as hard as he could. And we had a drunken man at our tent with his car that wanted my boss to come out of the tent. After these events we had some rest and we went back to sleep. In the morning my boss met a man with his cows and was invited for Turkish tea at his house. Once we packed our stuff in a hurry , after we have been reminded once again to come drink some tea, we saw there was a house next to the abandoned school. We sat down in the garden with the man and then his wife came outside with a huge bowl with Turkish breakfast and tea. We didn’t know what to say, because we didn’t expect this at all. We enjoyed the breakfast together and had a look at the little cow that had been born and the vegetables that are in the garden. We talked to each other with pen and paper and understood they had three adult children, two boys and a girl, who lived in Istanbul and they have 7 grandchildren altogether. We showed our home and our family and work with the little book that we have made, in order to show our life as well. This was great and so special! This place that was quite sh*t in our opinion became a wonderful place all of a sudden! Super!!

During our trip in Turkey my mom had some downs after some events that triggered her fears. We met a man with his sheep and wanted to ask for directions. The man didn’t understand us and couldn’t read the map. He wanted to have my bosses shoes, instead of his own shoes and became very demanding to get the shoes. He grabbed my moms’ arm and said all kinds of things in Turkish. At the moment nothing was wrong and I didn’t interfere because my mom didn’t struggle or anything. Later my mom noticed that she got scared and her fears were triggered. This always leads to nightmares the nights afterwards, but at least we now know what the trigger was.
The same fear was triggered when she was locked in a bathroom in a restaurant and couldn’t get out. When the owner forced the lock, she was out and had to cry a lot. It triggered fears and was followed by nightmares, but at least we know why. Not really nice, but a lesson learned!

A happy place for my boss was driving the dangerous road D915. We thought we couldn’t drive it because of our trailer. The road could not be bad enough for our car not to go. Well maybe if there was only a trail for motorcyclists, then we couldn’t go, but that wasn’t the case. We knew our car could handle the road, but we didn’t know if we could drive the hairpins with our combination trailer and car. We asked around and got a negative advise twice. Both groups of people said it was not possible for us to go! Disappointed and unsure that we wouldn’t go we went for a drink. We decided to ask one more group of men about the road. This group said that they had driven the road with their Audi. My boss and mom decided that if they could drive it by car, we would drive it by our car and trailer. And it appeared to be not such a dangerous road. The road was gravel and in good condition, the road was wide enough for cars to pass each other, the road edges were clear and well visible… so not dangerous at all. We have been on roads much worse than this road. So my boss was happy that we could drive the MOST DANGEROUD ROAD IN THE WORLD!

Yesterday we had a bad night sleep in a valley on our way to the boarder with Georgia. It was raining hard and the thunder was hard. In the middle of the night at 02:30 hr the lightning stroke just near us and caused an enormous explosion. My mom was shivering because she was scared. I know because she puts her feat underneath me, when sleeping and asking me to come lay down with her. All her muscles are tightened during the lightning. My boss is worried because of the rain. He is worried that the tent is not keeping things dry. Also he is worried if we should go sit in the car because the lightning is too close to the car. I, nevertheless, was not worried or stressed at all. I slept easily through and supported my mom and dad in their difficult night. All and all, we had a busy night just before coming to Georgia.

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