Retire Mechanical engineer. Student at California State university Channel Island studiyingAbout Me

July 26, 2015

Visit to My Village - Part Five

After spending an hour at the summit, Hakan decided it was time to start back down. It was late afternoon and dark clouds had begun to close in.

Although Hakan said the wind could disperse the clouds, one can never knew the capricious mind of the weather.  He told us there were four choices to take.

The first was to go back down the way we had climbed up.

The second was to descend on the right of the mountain, but on that route, there were sheep grazing below, which meant that we would be at the mercy of the shepherds.

We did not want to mess with their powerful watchdogs, who could be vicious unless the shepherds called them away. We decided we did not want tangle with them.

The third choice was to go straight down on the backside of the mountain and meet the dirt road that would take us back around to the village. That meant a much longer route, and there was the possibility of getting caught in heavy rain.

The last choice was to take the route to the left of the summit. We would have to cross a dense jungle, and again, there would be the danger of the bears, but it was the shortest distance to clear that danger.

Without even consulting us, Hakan chose that way and began to descend.

Ali and I were in no mood to question his decision. I began to follow him, but quickly found that I was having difficulty catching up with him.

I thought to myself, this man rides on wind.

At one point I called out to Hakan to stop.

Ali was somewhere behind me, but I could not see or hear him anymore. To keep my body weight from accelerating downward, I was grabbing any tree branch I could find, until I could grab the next.

Downhill was so steep that without the tree branches to hold on to, I would have fallen. By the time I caught up with Hakan, I was shaking so badly that my knees gave way. I could not believe it was more difficult to descend than to climb up.

Where was Ali?

"Ahoooooooyyy!" I shouted.

Hakan also did his whistling with two fingers in his mouth, but there were no sign of Ali. We waited several minutes, but still no sign of him.

Hakan fired his gun, reloaded and fired again, in case Ali was in trouble with the bears. We started yelling again.

Finally, I heard noises in the bush and we sighted Ali at the far end of the trail. Or, at least it used to be a hiking trail, but now, we could not tell because of the overgrowth.

Ali finally caught up with us, admitted that he had been relieving himself and that was why he was so far behind us.

"Look, Hakan. You must slow down. We cannot keep up with you."

"Hah, I am years older than both of you. You need to hurry up. We must clear this jungle."

We finally cleared the first part of the jungle and come to a wide open area which used to be tarla (land that is cultivated) and owned by one of the villagers.

At one time it had been a rye field, but now the overgrown grass was so high it reached our knees.

After crossing the field, we crossed another short dense jungle and came to the place where we had stopped on the way to the summit.

I laid on my back and ate some of the sandwich Mother had made and which I did not have the appetite for when we were on the summit. I felt a little relieved that we had cleared the danger. While I was resting, my companions took the time to pray their daily afternoon prayers.

When they were finished, Hakan gathered some wood, started a fire, and went to find a kettle that he kept hidden.

"We must have tea while we are here."

"That sounds good, but shouldn't we be going?"

"Why? Do you have date? We must enjoy this while we can. You city boys do not know how to appreciate life; enjoy the moment."

Our guide was not only a mountain man and survivor, but also a wise man.

I enjoyed the hot tea with sugar and ate more of Kete, a flat bread cooked in butter that tasted so delicious.

From here down we could see the village.

This was the place where the water flowed down and around the silvery stream, the trees were much bigger.

We crisscrossed the stream in order to find a walkable route.

It still was not easy for me or for Ali and as before, Hakan was way ahead of us.

We came to another open space and Ali split from us. When I asked why, Hakan guessed that Ali must be picking up mushrooms. Hakan knew where the mushrooms grew and he was already filling his bag. I picked up a few, myself.

As we neared the village, Hakan called out, "Do not wait for me! I am going to check out other places for mushrooms!"

After that, I was on my own and followed the road from memory.  The threatening dark clouds delivered their promise and it began to pour.

I walked on and did not care where I stepped. There were places where I had to cross the stream and by the time I reached mother’s house, not only was I soaked, but my shoes were wet and muddy.

I was back, tired and hungry, but happy I had accomplished half of my goal.

Part Six