“I dunno where we’ve been and Ive just been there.”
So said Butch Cassidy as they tried to escape the avenging posse.
I would have welcomed a posse on my heels today. Or anything to be honest.
Today was the only time I can remember when I thought I had made a potentially life threatening mistake.
It started well at the Pinargozu fish farm. Waking in a room of my own on a soft bed with a blue sky and a breeze blowing through the windows.
Last night I ate here. The waiter asking me what I wanted. I raised my eyebrows, looked out over the balcony where tens of thousands of fish were swimming in their tanks
“Fish is good here ,” he said.
And it only cost me £8 for the night
But things went downhill (or rather mind-numbingly, lung-bustingly UPHILL ) after I said farewell
The red and white flags took me uphill without a break. I think in 3 hours I covered less than 3km
I arrived in another tumbledown village where an elderly farmer showed me the way along a path behind the homes.
He must have been 80 , with bandy legs and he had to keep stopping for me…
The real fun began in the afternoon as I made for yergil.
I decided to follow a forest road for most of the way in the hope of scrounging a lift from a trucker or logger. Fat bloody chance
I saw no-one else all day. Nowt. Nada. Zilch. F..k all
For most of the way I was ok with the GPS app and there were plenty of streams gushing from the mountain side (and they ARE mountains)
Things got sticky as the markers took me off the road along boulder fields and through scrubland
The marks disappeared just as the thunder and lightening began to do what comes naturally to them
Dismissing the idea of sleeping in a filthy cow shed ,I scrambled back towards the road. Taking shelter beneath a tree (yeah I know, in an electrical storm..) I heard a car pass. I scrambled to the road just in time see it disappear round a corner.
“Bollocks!!” I screamed in the silence
I felt I had no option but to follow the road to a point where it crossed the St Paul Trail. So after 2km I found the junction but no trace of the markers – although the GPS indicated I was bang on track.
I was stuck
Then a miracle on the Saint Paul Trail.
A pick up truck on the road above me. This time I screamed at full throttle waving my tick as I raced back through the boulders
It was driven by a saint called Usman a man who looked like he had lived his life in the fields. And his 2 daughters in law in the back. Well one was in the front but made room for me.
After my frankly panic stricken appeal for directions he offered to take me Candir which was a good 5 km beyond my originally destination , which anyway turned out to be another village of around 5 tumbledown homes and nothing else.
These forest tracks it must be said are just that. Tracks. But Usman flew down them like Webber on steroids
We stopped as Usman had some business in the village. I assumed he was selling apples or figs or some such…but was taken aback when he got back in the car and hid his wedge of notes in a compartment. It must have been hundreds of pounds.
On the way he pointed out some bee hives which he owned adding to my suspicion he was a farmer
He told me there was a restaurant in Candir. Turned out to be HIS restaurant
It was in another fish farm. HIS fish farm
And by the look of the 4x4s and sports cars owned by his sons, there’s money in fish.
A thousand tonnes they produce here. Rainbow trout. And I can tell you it’s the best I’ve ever had.
And I’m staying here tonight after a long chat with his accounts man Arwan who speaks good English
After 3 days of no conversation I couldn’t shut my gob.
So what was becoming one of the worst days I’ve known on my travels it’s turning out to be one of the best.
View from my balcony day 5