Last night's late sun was countered by this morning's late sun. It didn't hit the camp site until after we had set off at 8.40am up the track past the cave.
Breakfast included 'borek' a calzone with cheese enclosed in the toasted dough. All of Adam's making and delicious. We have a good cook.
After an hour we reached the end of the jeep track by a spring and a flock of sheep guarded by dogs. A large flock of snow finches flitted from place to place in the neighbourhood. A nearby wheatear pecked away unconcernedly, scorning the antics of the finches.
From there, a good mountain path past St John's Wort and other Alpine flowers, many with fleshy leaves to retain moisture in the dry conditions, led all the way up to our destination - a high lake, seriously depleted at this time of year through evaporation, surrounded by a mountain cirque.
It took 4.5 hours to get there. We were down to 16 today as Dave had been ordered to rest and Carey had been encouraged to spend a day with Ramazan, our Jeep driver. This would enable him to enjoy an exploration of the nearby village and gain a better insight into the local culture.
The sun beat down from a dark blue sky all day. Sunglasses were worn. Lunch was taken beside the lake.
On the descent we were invited into a shepherd family's tent, where a twelve year old boy, Mohammed, laid out a selection of his mum's knitted socks and gloves, etc. There was much interest and after a little bargaining the Welsh Witches splashed out 50 New Turkish Lire on some snazzy footwear for their coven. The tent was fairly spacious, with a small kitchen area and a blue tarpaulin over a roof constructed of wooden slats and used as a sort of cupboard. A felt overcoat was produced and Mohammed delighted his audience by demonstrating its use as a sleeping bag. Like any respectable household, this one required guests to remove their shoes before entering.
On leaving the tent, some of us moved quickly down the valley on skittery scree, past a veritable garden of Autumn Crocuses. It wasn't as steep as the stuff that had yesterday claimed at least seven fallers and ripped Tessa's shorts.
Three tents were pitched near the next spring at 2500 metres, beyond which a steep gully led towards the peaks that the tents' owners were scaling. They were not walkers.
We waited here, and lower down above the Jeep track and sheep pasture, just in case Turan wanted us to pass the sheep as one group, to minimise dog risk. He did want that, and he single-handedly saved us from being ravaged by four 4-legged enforcers, using a mixture of Turkish swear words and two walking poles.
Soon we encountered our Jeep, with Ramazan and Carey, who grinned and hijacked Joanne and Tessa for an early shower. Most of the rest of us carried on down past spent spurge and asphodel for tea and Turkish Delight that took the entire cap off one of my teeth.
Meanwhile, Sue, Susan and Roy decided to explore the cave near the campsite. It turned out to be an overhang full of sheep droppings.
After another lovely sunset (pictured), we enjoyed more of Adam's cooking before a controversial suggestion from Turan sent most of the group scampering to bed.
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