Saturday, November 22, 2014


We missed the road to Little Ararat and ended up at the Iranian border. Three kilometres of trucks were halted in line waiting to pass, the drivers barbecuing in little groups, praying, shaving themselves, or sipping tea. Occasionally, I saw women climbing out of the trucks or negotiating with the drivers, then climbing into the trucks.

According to the directions we got from a carpet salesman, the road to Little Ararat was to the left of the border as you are driving towards it, but we didn't see any promising roads until we were just upon it. Suddenly we found ourselves at a checkpoint, with two very goofy and friendly soldiers. They told us we were way off, that there wasn't a road to Little Ararat at all— but there was a nearby crater we should see. Why not, we thought, and started to head towards this crater before the soldiers stopped us, and demanded our passports and car registration. They would keep them for us until we returned from the crater.

This made me uneasy, but for some reason, we handed over our documents and soon found ourselves at a medium-sized hole in the ground with a rusty blue sign that read "Krater" next to it.

"That's not a crater!" Pedro chuckled. "I don't know what that is."
I had visions in my mind of a crew of moustached men with a bulldozer impressed with themselves for having the best idea ever.

Disappointed, yet ever so slightly amused, we turned back towards the checkpoint, where the soldiers were smiling from ear to ear and giggling. They gave us our passports and registration, and welcomed us to Turkey.

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