Sunday, November 26, 2006

The Steppe

An Ocular Buffet for the offering:


Military Checkpoint Near Town

Steppe Mosque

High Steppe Rest Stop..."Bracingly Refreshing"

Dogubeyazit on the High Plains of Ararat

Visiting a Local Mosque

Friday, November 24, 2006

Dogubeyazit...Take 2

Chillin Out At 6500 Feet

We made it home 48 hours ago after a border to border run of 2200 miles. It looks like we have nailed down the apartment in Dogubeyazit, its not a "done deal" yet due to some foot dragging on our part to put off the move until after the holidays and the worst of the infamous steppe weather.
Dogubeyazit From Our Apartment



Downtown Dogubeyazit

Once again we were smitten with the nomads that wander the Central Asian steppes. Their affection, hospitality, and perseverance in the face of the extreme living conditions in these high mountain locales has captured our hearts. Our new base in eastern Turkey will give us great flexibility in wandering with these tribes throughout the next few years.
The Road To Ararat

The coming days will be spent resting, and then getting ready for a 3 week December run to the United Kingdom to gather supplies and equipment for the SRE07, and to celebrate Christmas in a 300 year old abandoned fisherman’s cottage in Wales.
This will be our second year to spend the holidays in this remote village that is hailed by the guide books as “suicidally desolate”. After our busy year, a Trans-Global relocation and our crisscrossings of Asia Minor, this is what this crew needs.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Chillin in Dogubeyazit

Mountain Mosque

Spent a good part of our day today in the villages on the Plains of Ararat and then headed up the mountains to see if the passes were still open. We were finally defeated by the icy incline of the road to So─čuksu. With no traction in our rental van and several large trucks laboring with chains on, we headed back to the plains. Early this morning and then again this evening we met with the family that owns the apartment we are considering. We are hoping to wrap up negotiations soon and be able to open the Dogubeyazit apartment in late January. Cold today...high of around 30 degrees with a stiff breeze.
Border Snows

Dogubeyazit 11-06

7500 Feet High in Eastern Turkey

We have made some tracks the last 33 hours. Our launch got off to a slow start when the apartment door was shut as we were loading up the truck. Since there was a set of keys in the lock on the inside of the house, my set of keys wouldn’t work on the outside of the door. All was solved by a passing window installer who removed a window so we could climb through.
989 miles later we pulled into Dogubeyazit. The Grand Derya was expecting us, and to our amazement, had water and electricity both going at the same time.! Life is good. Cold, clear and beautiful at 30 degrees and 5300 feet.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Border Run

My literary sap has gelled in light of a busy couple of weeks, so we are going to try and jump start it with an unplanned trip to the Iranian border this week…leaving tomorrow morning.
SRE 06...the Sequel, Returning to the Border

We are making a move from Istanbul to Dogubeyazit...if we can secure an apartment this week in “D”...we will split our time between Istanbul and the border for the next year or two flowing with the seasons, tribes, nomads and language school schedule. Yeah….it’ll be a mess.
So, while this is not officially a segment of the SRE’s…we are going to call it an “expeditionette” . The weather forecast is good for the next 48 hours, changing to snow and deep freeze upon our arrival in the mountains. I know it…we have the gift.
GPS Updates start tomorrow in our GLOBAL NOMADS LIVE window…stay tuned for the chilly updates.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Noel-itis

The traditional launch of The Steward Tribe Christmas Season has always been on Thanksgiving night. Back on the other side of the world we would spend the week prior to Thanksgiving decorating the outside of our San Diego home. Then after Thanksgiving Day was over, the food eaten, the table cleared, we would gather on the sidewalk and throw the switch for the lights to come on. It was quite a moment for our crew...and for the local electric grid.
White Wake-Up

Today we awoke to thunder and snow in Istanbul, and while it is not staying around it set the tone for an early Christmas launch. After hours of hints and pestering we finally capitulated and the holiday music and DVD’s came out. Since Christmas doesn’t get the airing here as it does in the West and there is a noticeable lack of Christmas spirit…maybe we need a few extra weeks to get the Christmas season warmed up and ready to go.
Hiding In "Habib's"

While we were out east on the Turkish border with Armenia I found Santa Claus tucked away in the back of "Habib's Market" in Kars. The owners proudly claim that he is the only Santa in the eastern region (at least one that sings and dances like Elvis).
Sorry to interrupt your Harvest candy fest...I gotta run...the popcorn balls, fudge and cookies are ready.

Living, Traveling, and Wandering on the Far Side of the World

Living, Traveling, and Wandering on the Far Side of the World