The sun is warm on the morning we set foot on Ağrı Dağı. Now I realize it was a fooler.

We ascend past the camps of nomadic herders, past the children begging for our chocolate bars, and past the occasional shepherd with his flock. The trail, which had been cut with heavy equipment at some point in the past, quickly shook off all memory of the experience. Deep ruts demand a jump or even a full detour. Boulders litter the path. Serious water has torn the ground to pieces.

Where the Road Ends

The place where the road ends is the place where the trail begins. For us, that place is called Çevirme. Our top-heavy transport has not traveled far from Doğubeyazıt. I look at my watch. It has been less than an hour since leaving the soldiers of the gendarmerie and the security of the asphalt surface. In that time, we skirted the east side of the Şeyhli Marsh on a road of packed earth and rock. Uraz told us that we were fortunate this day to have a dry run. Rain can reduce this road to an impassable mudhole. No one doubted him.