Thursday, June 6, 2013

Mountains in the mist

Written while couchsurfing at Nesli's place.
The one ring is starting to leave a mark on my body. A greenish line of oxydized copper. This is the day we reach Trabzon, our compulsory destination. There, we will ask for our visa to Iran, our gateway to Asia. I really do hope we will get it. The only other alternative lies through Azerbaydjan and a very difficult boat hitch accross the caspian sea, towards Kazakhstan. Let's hope it doesn't come to that.
Trabzon, an industrial complex at the first glance, houses are built high into the mountains

We did half the ride to Tranzon with the police, half with a bus driver who got us there from free. The police part was because they wanted to bring us to a better place to camp and finally they chose us much worse than we had.
The iranian consulate was nice, way nicer than the one in Kazakhstan, I just hope the visa will follow. The Trabzon embassy is supposed to be the fastest one, a lot of people got their visa the same day. For us, it'll take 5 days to a week.
We met some random guys in a tea bar who gave us some tea and some internet. They told us to visit some monastery in Maçka a few kilometers from here. Trabzon was getting on our nerves anyway so we went. There are mountains there and maybe there will even be a shower. I still haven't had a proper bath, I'm starting to get desperate.
Bad luck though, we are caught in a storm. We hide as well as we can next to the highway.
The storm caught us right on the highway.

So we continued towards Maçka to see the mountains. We got there and for the first time in a long while we pitched our tent in a safe and pretty place in the mountains. I could sleep until late without Ilona worrying someone would discover us. Ilona worries too much and I don't worry enough. She wants to go fast, I like to go slow. Differences arise but so far our communication is good, we work them out.
We make our way towards the monastry, the place is quite touristic. My bag is heavy but nothing like before, I can manage. At the top, they want money for entrance.
We'll skip that one.
Old christian monastery in the neighbourhood of Maçka

A small path inside the bushes goes up the mountains. Ilona follows, I don't think she likes this way too much but I sense that she wants to keep an open mind. Her open mind starts to close as the path seems to go nowhere until it dissapears completly. We're lost in a mess of trees and leaves, completly covered with water from the leaves. Ilona wants to leave, her motivation hangs only by a thread: she doesn't want to be the one who gives up.
Luckily we quickly reached some more practicable path and stopped for a while. To rest our feet, admire the view. And I haven't lost face to Ilona with my ideas and that just might be the most important thing to date. Until now, I've tried to be reasonable but the time will come when I'll want to climb Mount Danavand or what's that mountains name so I better not screw up on the kindergarten playground.
Wet and tired, we contemplate the landscape

A little higher we find a great place to camp. About 2000 meters high, we see the snow.
An abandonned village is the perfect shelter
We're also low on food and very low on showers. It'll soon be a week. Luckily, there's a garden. Several salads and onions are there. Not much for a caloric intake but we only have bread and are glad to add some taste to this diet. So Ilona climbs inside accross the barbed wire while I collect some wood.
We're wet and cold, and the tomorrow's not going to be any hotter so we decide to make a fire and dry our things. We did try but we burned our things, despite my wonderful invention of a drying rope. Ilona burned both of her socks and a part of her shoe, I burned a part of my only pants. I sew them afterwards.
Drying our things

Just before we go to sleep we feel like in a horror movie. The place is confortable though.
However, we must get to that couchsurfing in Cayeli tomorrow otherwise we will just die of not showering and possibly hunger.