Monday, July 14, 2008

Sunrise and another expedition

July 6
I woke up early this morning by chance. When I was coming back from the kitchen, I met Mahmud – who asked if I wanted to go see the sunrise with him. It was about 5:30 a.m. I said "sure."
So we did. It was a beautiful clear morning – although clouds lingered on the horizon. We walked. Talked. Photographed. Met up with some fishermen. Had some tea with them. Mahmud bought some fish from them. And headed back for breakfast.
I had plans to meet Afig – who works as a local manager for Transparency International – for a trip to the nearby national park – which was anti-climatic. It was basically a walk of about ¾ mile. But then we continued on to Astara – near the Iranian border, on to some sort of reservoir, and then finally to Lerik, in the mountains. I don't think we went very far into the mountains. I was snoozing for the last little bit of the trip – tired after waking up to see the sunrise with Malmud & then hiking around. Afig & I stopped in a pleasant restaurant by a river, had lunch & then hiked around. Very pleasant. Afig is a doctoral student in environmental geography – and so interested in crimes against nature. We stopped every so often to photograph an terrible example of littering, or else some illegal woodcutting. He was a good hiking companion, in fact. I was surprised that he managed to clamber up and down hills with me – and somehow keep his fancy clothes more or less clean.
Finally, we headed back – and I arrived in time for a true Lenkoran feast – of lavangi (not sure about the spelling.) Chicken stuffed with nuts and onion. Then a bunch of other dishes I can't remember. Stuffed eggplant. Patties made of nuts, eggs, and mushrooms. Salad. Plov (garnished rice).
Photos: sunrise and waterfall in the Talysh Mountains