Sunday, 4 September 2011
Saturday 3 September 2011 - Demirka
The journey from Reading, where Ian kindly put us up last night before dashing off to Leysin himself, started with a 3.30am taxi ride and ended after a two and a half hour bus ride from Kayseri, via another bus ride and two Turkish Airlines flights - Heathrow to Kayseri via Istanbul.
It was quite a smooth journey for most of us, but Carey had a bit of an epic yesterday in Istanbul - due to 'disappearing' luggage, passport and hotel...
All is now well though, and all 16 of us plus guides and cook are happily installed in a flotilla of tents, and have enjoyed an excellent dinner.
We flew over arid looking terrain, to Kayseri, which is famous for sofas, sunflower, sausages and potatoes. It's a thriving metropolis whose inhabitants live mainly in ugly blocks of flats.
Beyond there, the bus ride took us past fields of golden stubble, potatoes and sweetcorn, in an area that looks much more fertile from the ground than from above.
We rose from about 1100 metres to this plateau at 1600 metres, and finished about 4km from the home of Touran, KE Adventure Travel's local guide - our 'leader' for the next ten days.
Whilst settling into the tents, we enjoyed watching the late sunlight on the mountains to our east. They tower over 2000 metres above us. From here they look like barren Alpine peaks, a bit like certain of the Dolomites. We'll get a closer look tomorrow, when I'll also find time to say a few more words about the cast of sixteen who are embarking on this TGO Magazine '2011 Readers Trek'.
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