Thursday 10th September
Quite thankful to get up, we set off good and early after a chi in Tabriz. Reached the Turkish border about 12:00, but with a 1 ½ hour time change we left it at 11:30. Magnificent view of Mt Ararat, which stands way above everything else, rather like Kilimanjaro, which makes it the logical place for the ark.
Stopped fairly soon for a first ambrosial taste of Turkish coffee and ended up having a full lunch. We were hoping to make Erzurum, but fell about 60 miles short. Camped in a deserted valley. I slept in the van, to try and stay warm. I’m not sure the others believed me, as they hunted wolves near here!
Friday 11th September onwards
The daily diary runs out here, so a brief summary of the remainder of the trip follows.
We spent a day or two in Istanbul, so George could pick up the meerschaum pipe he’d ordered and I could find a nice sheepskin coat.
We spent a pleasant evening in Zagreb. I’d finally been able to contact Gordana, but, as she had a boyfriend, we spent the evening mostly in the company of two friends of hers whom I also remembered from Cambridge.
We detoured, at Mike’s suggestion, to Bled (in Yugoslavia) – which was every bit as beautiful as he had promised. (Footnote – I returned there with Pat, this time by motorcycle, a few years ago – write-up here).
We called in on our moules-frites man in Ostend to present him with a little cup that we’d brought back with us, as requested, from India. He was utterly bowled over, and insisted we go back to his place to meet his wife.
Finally, we ended up back at Trottie’s. The odometer read just a few miles over 15,000 more than when we’d set out. I found the bed I’d been given too soft, and had to sleep instead on the floor – a lovely thick carpet, just the job!