Overland 1972 - Day 34

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March 16th 1972
Published: March 21st 2013
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Day 34 - Thursday 16th March

Still on the train from Istanbul but due to arrive in Erzurum mid afternoon. The events of the day were very much the same as yesterday - staring faces and salesmen. Our visitors included a young Turkish man and we walked with him to the restaurant car, which was at the far end of the train. Another man offered us some hash (this would be the most regular interruption to our days until we reached Malaysia!). We played cards and read to pass the time. The scenery changed as the train passed through the countryside against a backdrop of snowy mountain peaks - there was a lot of snow. The villages looked much poorer and it was noticeable how many were mud huts rather than brick. There was also a number of army barracks. After 41 hours for our £1 fare, the train arrived at Erzurum at 3pm.

Clearly we were travelling along a well trodden route as a coach was waiting at the station to take us to a hotel (6TL) and entice us to book with Mihar Tours for the bus journey to Teheran for £3.50 - there were five of us in our party. Hotel Aras was very handily situated next door to the coach station. Our dormitory had 5 beds, cold water and grubby sheets ( thank goodness for the warm clean personal sleeping bag) and everywhere felt damp. We went for a walk and bought some food for Friday's journey. Michael had decided to sell some of his excess clothes especially the inner lining from a outdoor casual jacket and this led to some amusing conversations. One attempted sale was in a hotel - we were provided with some free tea and enjoyed a friendly chat before the owner touched Heather's leg and so we quickly moved on. Dinner was kebab and soup but alas the meat was not too good a quality. Tired, cold and damp it was time for an early night ready for the 5.30am start of tomorrow's coach trip.


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