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The road down from the mountainridge to the village of Akalan takes me near to an informal  dumpsite along the road. It’s a place where wild dogs usually gather. Turkish dogs are quite big but also quite friendly in comparison to Serbian and Bulgarian dogs who are smaller but much more aggressive. The dogs at the dumpsite though are large and aggressive and they are many, some 15. The two leaders close in on me and I feel they are really dangerous, ferocious. I threaten them with my stick but I know I can’t use it. It ends in a way too thrilling stand-off. I am shaking on my legs, relieving my tension. Now I really was afraid. In Akalan they let me camp on the picknick grounds. It’s windy and cool at the end of the day and there’s a lot of garbage on the ground. I find the cleanest spot. At the local shop they let me charge my phone. They also sell big pots of local honey but I can’t explain to them that I would want to have it sent to my address in Istanbul.

TeThere is a full moon tonight. She sits big and round in the southern sky. Clouds float in on a west wind, that earlier today was north east. Some of them sweep over the moon, sometimes they create a circle that looks like a rainbow. Later that night it does rain a bit on my tent. The view changes constantly, no 5 minutes are the same. It makes me uneasy and restless. A drink doesn’t help. It is a moon that gives me a feeling of turbulence and quick changes, changes that are not all going to be good.

On my map I see that tomorrow the first part of my walk is taking me back to the dogs. I am not willing to do that again, I am too scared. In the morning I take the bus to circumvent that meeting. It means taking the bus to the city of Çatalpa and take another bus to go to Dagjenice. All in all 50 kilometres for a 10 kilometres distance to avoid dogs. It gives me a feeling of estrangement, I would have had to walk two days to cover that distance. Also the reason for doing this, could that have been easier?  Now it gives me a feeling of defeat.

DThe situation with the moon and the dogs brings The Moon from the Tarot to mind. A card with a full moon and a dog and a wolf. I am unsure yet as to its meaning for me, still too fresh in my mind

I find that I need to say something about the blog ‘things to leave behind”. I can only leave behind what’s mine; my projections, my paradoxes and my own unsolvable situations.

VFrom up a hill I ca  see the skyline of Istanbul. Two more days of walking.

    2 Comments

  1. I have been following your blogs rather like a thriller novel – real page turners. I sense this part of your journey has been particularly challenging, both emotionally and physically and it is a fantastic achievement to have kept on keeping on. I also have had a bad experience of those large Turkish dogs – they scared the hell out of me one early morning when no-one else seemed to be around. Worth the extra distance every time I reckon. I remember thinking of them as half wolf half dog – on the edge of domesticity but too unpredictable to fully control. Opens the way to some dark metaphors.
    On a brighter note I hope that you will find an appropriate way to mark your arrival in Istanbul – are there common rituals as on the Camino or have too few people achieved it to establish traditions? In any case I’m looking forward to hearing about your adventures in more detail over a few pints in The Fox in Felpham. Travel well and safely

    • Oh boy. Rituals. Hadn’t thought about that yet but it is a good thing to explore. Will let you know at the Fox. You know that I came across a pub by the same name in Bulgaria!? Brought back some good memories, ready to repeat and enlarge. See you soon!

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