Going East towards Erzincan
Today was a long driving day from Göreme into the east of Turkey. We were supposed to be by the truck at 7:45am to load our bags into the back-locker of the truck to be ready to leave by 8am. I woke up at 7:30am by someone signing his morning song in the corridor in front of our room. The three ladies around me were still sleeping which surprised me since usually they get up two hours before me. I even gave up to set an alarm clock since they wake me up anyhow. This morning it seemed vice versa thus me waking up everybody else. Before I kicked the other ladies out of their bed I went for a quick shower to clean my teeth and body from last night’s drinking event. Although I had quite some of the Raki I was feeling great this morning without any signs of a hangover.
After everybody managed to get up and have some quick breakfast we left Göreme at some point after 8am. Our first stop was a supermarket in the first town after Göreme since we will be camping tonight and therefore need to prepare our own food. Since Göreme is a touristy town the prices in the supermarket there are quite high why we decided not shop there but in any other place. The seven travelers in our group were paired-up into three cook groups of two. Chris is the only one who will not be cooking since he really don’t like it. Instead he will take over an additional job on the truck. I was paired-up with Andrew, a fellow traveler from the UK, and our group was the first one who was up for preparing the upcoming lunch, dinner and breakfast. Andrew and I quickly came to an agreement what to cook and on which ingredients to spend our money. We even managed to stay under the budget provided while the second cook group, shopping here as well, spent nearly 200% of what they were supposed to spend.
It basically took us all day to travel approx. 500km east. The landscape was quite hilly and we passed many snow covered mountains what I didn’t expect to see in Turkey in spring. Probably it’s the altitude in this area and the fact we going east which makes it a bit chilly.
We arrived in the area of Erzincan in the afternoon and started to look for a place to camp. The original plan was to bush camp but our leader Jason thought it’s better to find a campsite due to security reasons and also to have a bit of comfort in our first night of camping. We actually managed to find a campsite in a less scenic spot behind a petrol station. I personally prefer to bush camp, thus sleeping in nature without any kind of facilities, than in a dirty spot behind a petrol station but sometimes you have no choice.
While Jason and Sam gave a demonstration on how to set up the tents provided by Dragoman I was happy to have brought my own tent which is easier to set up and provides me with some private space. Afterwards I started to prepare dinner which was rice with stir-fried vegetables and chicken. Andrew wasn’t well but luckily there were many other helpful hands around. After dinner I was hanging out for two more hours chatting to some of my fellow travelers which I enjoyed very much.