“But that’s the glory of foreign travel… Suddenly you are five years old again. You can’t read anything, you have only the most rudimentary sense of how things work, you can’t even reliably cross a street without endangering your life. Your whole existence becomes a series of interesting guesses.”
Though we have seen (and slept in) shepherd’s huts before here in Turkey, the dozens of small stone huts all clumped together like villages really got my attention throughout this vast and desolate area. Though we have seen a few of these nomadic “villages” near the road during the past few days, today we were able to stop and sleep in one of these huts as they provide a wonderful wind shelter. After ditching our bikes we walked for half an hour up the nearest hill and what we saw on the other side amazed me – village after village of these makeshift stone huts scattered throughout the area. Though the (predominately) Kurdish people who inhabit this area are no longer full time nomads as they once were, they still travel for months on end with their sheep, a few donkeys, and their large sheep dogs for protection.
We met this guy and his four packed donkeys as we were setting up camp. He loved our tent, especially our foldable tent poles, and we enjoyed showing him our gear because he too understands how useful it all is seeing as he lives out in nature 24/7 as well.
Here are his sheep from afar.
Home sweet home.
Here are a few of the huts which were around us.
Many of the huts had fire places, some of which had chimneys (not ours though). There were also enclosures for animals which were virtually the same though on the ground there was dried dung instead of grass or rocks. Both the human and animal houses were kept impressively clean, unlike many of the ones we saw in India.
And the toilet!
As we cycled away all I could think about was selling my bike, packing my bag, and joining him and his crew as they walk hundreds of kilometers through the rolling desert hills with their sheep. It would be fascinating to spent a season with these shepherds in order to experience their nomadic way of life which is different, yet similar to our own. That night as we started to set up camp we were greeted by another friendly shepherd who lived around the area and was just taking his sheep out for the day.
He saw me taking pictures of the river and invited me to take pictures of him, his donkey, and his sheep as he passed.
Here is another shepard’s huts we stayed in a few days later.
As we progressed farther into Turkey we dropped down a considerable amount into the dry and much warmer area that boarders Armenia. The landscape was still pretty desolate, though we did run into our first few oasis’ which were beautiful!
I love reading your blog. I have a question, how do you keep warm in the evenings? Does it not get very cold sleeping on the ground every night?
We have really warm down jackets, and hats and mits, so we are pretty prepared for the cold, plus we have great thermarests which we sleep on as to avoid the cold ground.
That is really beautiful
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