Saturday, July 09, 2011

Bathe, shave, dine and swim

Everyone on the ride had their favourite campsites, and the Bayramhaci camp at the lake was popular.  Ercihan, the outfitter and head horseman, told us we had no permission to swim in the dam but after a five-hour ride in the 30°C+ sun he couldn’t keep a number of us out.  The water was so cool and refreshing I felt reborn.

That evening Ercihan surprised us when his friend Tenzil, a barber in Avanos, arrived at the camp with his straight razor and strong hands.  Turkish barbers are also masseurs, and a Turkish barber experience is essential to know Turkey.  Everyone had a shoulder, neck and head rub and the blokes had a straight razor shave, all with fragrant oils and aftershave like mango and lemon.  Marc, the French Relief Riders photographer, was talked into shaving his head.

We had another beautiful dinner of fresh salads and barbecued lamb with beer and bottles of wine on a terrace with a view of the sunset over the valley lake.  Though it’s only a short walk up the hill from the camp, we were driven up in one of the support vehicles, a minivan.  The terrace sits above hot spring swimming pools, and after dinner we all went for a swim.

After towelling off and returning to the van we learned it wouldn’t start.  We strolled back to the camp in the dark.

It was the eve of Black Wednesday.


Dawn Walker said...

Wow! Was that really black Wed. that was a wonderful evening....the day ended magically despite the dark trek home! So loving your posts about our ride!!!

G. Wayne Meaney said...

That was the evening before Black Wednesday. Stay tuned...