Ok ok. So I haven’t actually walked every single step of St Paul’s Trail so far.
Yesterday’s experience has left me a tad chastened and wary of entering something called Candir Canyon(wild, untamed)
Plus it was bloody hot today. Easily above 35
I walked a good 5 km along a road shadowing the canyon before I resorted to thumbing a lift. If its been easy before it wasn’t today.
The 1st van had chickens on the flat bed. The driver stated at me and drove on
Then 2 young Turks ( ha ha) in a Dodge pick up. They waved. And drove on.
Then a great logging vehicle towing some sort of cutting contraption.
The 2 guys in the cab shrugged their shoulders and drove by
The 4th vehicle ( 2 hours later) was driven by Ismet. You know i sad i could have made a fatal error yesterday?
Well getting into Ismets car rivalled that
He flew down the road, the wrong side of blind bends, skidded sideways across gravel and thundered across potholes a yard wide
The road was so lonely that each passing vehicle merited a honk of recognition.
God he drove fast
Foolishly I asked to take his picture.
He said ok and turned to pose for me.
“Don’t look at me keep your eyes on road!!!” I shouted as he almost ended up in a ditch
He over took that logging vehicle on a blind bend. I put my hat of the window in recognition ..and removed it to reveal my middle finger pointing skywards
But bless him. He got me to Sutculer where I am having a Tuborg beer in a pension run by another smiley chap called Ibrahim
The only downside is the presence if Ismael. He’s a burly bloke. Chain smokes and is clearly pissed.
Hardly a word of English and he keeps on repeating the same Turkish words slowly and more loudly until he thinks (wrongly) I understand.
A bit like most English tourists I suppose
He is unshaven, wearing bottle bottom glasses and is how shall we this , not quite the full Lira.
For a start he keeps stoking his stubble, pointing at my own beard..touching my biceps and saying “Good, good, strong strong”
Them he pointed at his ring finger and said “wife?”
“Yes” I replied rather too quickly and loudly than was strictly necessary.
“Me no wife, He said
Now don’t ask me how I eventually fathomed this but I know why he is not all there
He was shot.
In the head. And arm. And face
He used to be a policeman. You can still see the bullet scars
He keeps mentioning Erdogan who is the Prime Minister here. But I don’t think he shot Ismael.
And I think Ismael WAS a policeman. Unless he was shot BY the police
He also claims to be karate black belt
After 10 mins of karate impressions and repeated mentions of someone called “Shon Klud Fun Dum” I figured out his hero was John-Claude Van Damme.
You should have seen his smiling eyes (spectacularly magnified behind those bottle glasses) when I mentioned Bruce Lee, And Steven Seagal
A reference to the master- chuck Norris – inspired him to even greater heights ..before he tripped over, fell flat in his face and sent his glasses skittering across the floor.
Tuborg will do that to you Ismael.
He gave me his prayer beads though
I do hope that doesn’t mean we are married.
Here he is