(Apologies for strange characters as a result of inexperience with Turkish keeboard. Sic.)
We met the horses at Hersek. Here is where the little ferries used to dock bringing horses across the Sea of Marmara from İstanbul.
Camp was picturesque with tents and horses and our support vehicle all hunkered down there waiting for rain which came on cue.
We camped overnight after meeting the muhtar and local people in the cafe (kahvehanesi) near the mosque built long before Our Man passed through here.
The next afternoon we set off in rain to reach Soğuk Su. Here the spring once upon a time brought water to the acqueduct at Hersek. We camped in a fıg grove next to the river.
We met farmers and a local landowner who told us there was buried treasure at the foot of the Shepherd’s Castle (Coban Kalesi) we would see tomorrow.
Next morning in brilliant sunshine we set off following the River Dracon of antiquitie.
The river dazzled it was so clear and shallow. Herons and egrets were fishing.
We rode in the river much of the time with Ercihan finding the way with no difficultie whatsoever.
The horses loved it. We splashed along happilie for two and a half hours with occasional deviatıons to the riverbank and road.
We had lunch at the Bagdad Restaurant which lies on the Ottoman ‘road to war’ but also the Silk Road – the road of trade and pilgrimage.
We camped at Kizderbent. The village welcomed us and the village scholar read from Our Man’s text in the main square. The children rode our horses around the square.
Then we were shown to the mera – the village commons grazing.
Our filmcrew the two Mehmets from Ajans21 will be interviewing us tomorrow about the next daıe’s ride from Kizderbent to İznik.
Watch this space!