Something happened yesterday that really pissed me off! We got a frantic phone call from a frantic acquaintance who owns a small holiday apartment; two of her guests had gone off walking in the mountains and she had just had a call from them (fortunately they had taken their cep) to say that they were lost. She was beside herself and didn’t know what to do.
J and I felt some responsibility because they were using my latest walking and cycling guide book to find their way; we told our friend to come to our house where we had maps and could use our fairly intimate knowledge of the mountains to track down where they were. Once she joined us we called the ‘lost souls’ to learn which route they had decided to walk; once we had narrowed down the general area we began to ask some more specific questions about what was in their immediate vicinity and what they could see by way of landmarks. Pretty quickly we had a good idea of their location despite their babbling on about a ‘gypsy village’ (there is no village, gypsy or otherwise) and told them to stay where they were; that we would find them.
It was getting towards dusk as we drove up into the mountains along the forest tracks to where we were pretty certain we’d locate them; as we crested the last rise they came scurrying towards us, obviously relieved. So far, so good. I do not begrudge anyone in distress my time, the rocks grinding the bottom of my almost new and shiny car and the fuel involved. So, what pissed me off? They knew exactly where they were! They knew exactly which way their route went from the map and directions in the book. Why were they ‘lost’? Because instead of following the route they had been persuaded by some shepherds to follow a path that is admittedly shorter to the destination providing you know the way and can navigate a few goat tracks! The route that the book takes you on is clear and easy to follow. They had got lost in the labyrinth of rocks and goat tracks and after 2 hours of wandering under the heat of the sun, and more by chance than anything else, had found their way back onto the route at a point they recognised. It was from here that they phoned and here that we found them.
I don’t think that they realised that I was the author of the guide because they then admitted that after only 4kms they had run out of water! They had carried 2 small bottles between them. They blamed the book, claiming that it said there were villages where they could get water (it does not, it clearly advises to carry a day bag with snacks and plenty of water amongst other things). Oh! and they blamed the ‘gypsies’ for giving them false directions! As it became clear to me that they were not actually lost because they knew where they were – they actually pointed out to me the route that they should have taken; they could also have retraced their route back to the start point. At this point it dawned on me that they were just too bloody idle to walk back down. They had caused their host an enormous amount of anxiety; dragged J and me away from our very interesting company and dragged my car over ground it was not designed to cover. All this, plus we delivered them to a restaurant and not even an offer to buy us a beer!
father-less no, I’m going to say it, ‘bastards!’
There, that’s got that off my chest, thank you for letting me rant, I really needed it.
Alan Fenn, Okçular Köyü