Taurus Mountains (2)

The following morning we had two students who were clearly unwell and the taxing trek up the Maden Valley was going to be too much for them. I was determined, however, not to give in to them too easily as there was a dirt road taking an easier route to the next camp. The advantage of this route was that if rescue was needed it could be applied much more easily as our two support vehicles would be transporting kit throughout the morning. Louisa and I set off with the two students while the rest of the group went to trek up the harder and more interesting Maden Valley. On our dirt road we were soon overtaken by one of our vehicles taking our kit. It would soon be returning for a second load. Soon after the vehicle passed one of the students began to feel faint and was clearly struggling to put one foot in front of another. We were only about forty minutes out of camp with several hours ahead if us. There was absolutely no shelter but by using Louisa’s sarong, a prickly bush and two walking poles we managed to create a shelter in which to put the two casualties. My umbrella came to good use again. Keeping the girls hydrated we waited for the vehicle to return, but it never came. Unbeknown to us it had broken down on its journey to the next camp. After some time I sent Louisa back to camp to summon help but none came. Louisa, having returned to camp discovered that the second vehicle had gone to a nearby town for supplies. The crew would not allow her to return where we waited as it meant passing the nomad camp with the potentially vicious dogs. So I waited, the students taking advantage of the makeshift shelter and dozing, while I took the full force of the sun. It was while waiting here that my thermometer registered 47C. After four hours, Louisa arrived with the second vehicle, now returned from its resupply trip, to rescue us and take us up to camp at Comce Lake, a lake with an amphitheatre of rocky mountains surrounding it. The rest of the group arrived at camp about an hour later having had a challenging and interesting full day of trekking. Most of them took the opportunity to cool off in the icy waters of Comce Lake.
That night we had some fun in camp. Each day we have nominations for the ‘Muppet of the Day’ award. The winner has to look after an 18 inch stuffed Kermit for 24 hours. Failure to look after him properly can lead to a forfeit being imposed. On this particular day Louisa was the custodian but while some of the group distracted her, others took advantage and kidnapped Kermit. Soon Louisa found a note slipped into her tent threatening that if she wanted to see Kermit alive again she had to ‘play the game’. During the course of the evening a series of instructions relating to the Seven Deadly Sins were posted to her. There were various acts or tasks that she had to perform in order to get Kermit back. Louisa thoroughly entered into the spirit of it as Johnny and James used all of their creative talents in devising the tasks. It caused much hilarity throughout the evening and Louisa’s performance ensured the safe return of Kermit and a deserved round of applause from the group. Needless to say she had suffered enough and did not have to face a forfeit as well.

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