My failure to recognise the alarm resulted in a tardy start to our first day on the road. Experimental bulgar for breakfast and slow packing sees us on the road by 10:30.
Dull riding. Sprawling suburbia flanks both side of the carriageway. Lots of toots and waves keep us entertained. Turkey smashing all others in the Smile Game.
Huge meal for lunch at a hypermarket. 2.5 kgs of yoghurt - not our wisest purchase. We share tucker with the sparrows in the carpark and get back to it.
On the brink of dark we come to a burnt out building. The twisted tin roof seems to levitate above the ground. All support struts are bent and mangled dropping the roof down a few feet. It looks to provide shelter from the weather. We explore like children. Decide to setup and make a fire for some extra warmth.
The owner of the premises spots our flickering light and comes to investigate. Not a happy chappy. Puffed out chest and wide arms - a fine macho display. He asks us to put out the fire. We do. His friend is a little more understanding - seeing that we just want shelter from the rain. They try to tell us something with gestures of guns but we don’t understand. It didn't seem overly threatening. Chesty comes back a while later. We offer him chestnuts cooked on the embers of our (now extinguished) fire. I tell him I'm an electrician when I see him fixing a light - though he makes no use of my ever fading skills, it seems he's now "on side". I based this on the fact that he's now smiling with us as we talk.
He asks we follow him. We walk to his truck. Out of the passenger side he pulls a pump action shotgun. He motion we follow him. Still with no perceptible aggression in his manner. We walk a way down the road. He loads a round, cocks the gun, and fires into the air. The crack makes me jump. We turn off the road and head down a bank, down towards the water. On the way he points out the border of the land that he owns. Neither Stu or I have a great feeling about our current situation. I mull over whether or not it would hurt to be shot with said gun at very close range. Not really a feeling one can imagine. Our guide casually swings the gun backwards over his shoulder. From my vantage behind him every dip in his stride reveals the black hole of the gun barrel. Stu unsheaths his knife as I feel the tickle of fear within. We reach an old building with a dog chained up outside. "Pitbull" he says. Though it looks like no Pitbull I've seen - just some odd crossbreed.
He hands Stu the gun. Small sigh of relief...perhaps we shall not die tonight. We now wonder if the dog is going to get it - rather than us....Neither it seems. We walk back up. Into his cabin where his friend is waiting. Feast on the table. Have dinner together. Tasty fudge stuff called Eva. We talk about religion - now comfortable with the loaded weapon on the couch opposite. We say a chant together in Turkish/Arabic. Apparently we became brothers at the moment. Something akin to Blood Brothers I believe. Not a bad nights sleep. Smelly farts.
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