BLOWING HOT AND COLD
These last two stages seemed to come in phases. The mornings were mostly overcast and cool, the afternoons intense and hot with the sun beating down, and the evenings chilly in the wind.
Stage 10 brought us out of our gas-station hotel in Sebinkarahisar and down the mountain in the shadow of its impressive citadel perched way up on a rocky crag â€“ citadels perched on rocky crags seem to be the theme in these parts.
Everyone charged along at a good lick and with plenty of water troughs located along the way there was no need to repeat the mercy dash of yesterday (by three oâ€™clock it had got so hot the boys had no option but to load up with Cokes and head back along the road to â€˜waterâ€™ the troops). All the water from these taps is potable, even though the troughs are as often used for animals as humans.
We have had our first campfire and Graham was quick to reel out his ghost stories (only slightly better than Fredâ€™s jokes). The duck had been quiet for a couple of days but Dan managed to create his very own â€˜ship/duck in a bottleâ€™ conundrum. For two days it foiled everyone but this morning James â€˜magicedâ€™ it free from its prison â€“ donâ€™t worry James your secretâ€™s safe with me.
The roads have become windier and windier. Just a single lane now so no more trucks and in fact hardly any traffic. We are up high in the mountains and the scenery is incredible, as epitomized by Stage 11â€™s â€˜campâ€™: a barren hilltop (near Pazaryolu) amidst a panorama of gorges, valleys and rolling peaks.
Days to go: 98
Bee stings: 3 (all this countryside may mean no more trucks but a new foe has appeared in the form of buzzing black and yellow honey-producers â€“ almost every farm seems to supplement its income with apiary)