As the flames took hold of the small pile of wood I had assembled I couldn’t shrug of an annoying sense of guilt nor the feeling that my fellow accomplices and I were desecrating an ancient and holy wonder.
Half and hour earlier, with twilight settling over the valley, seven exhausted and dirty travellers took to climbing a mountain track carrying an array of things that included; alcohol, food, more alcohol, kindling and a dead tree. One torch was considered sufficient for this expedition. Sense and reason had been intentionally left behind.
Scouting out a suitable location for our planned nights events was left up to a Dutch lad named Frank and myself. After an uphill trek and the inspecting of various suitable places we settled on the most precarious choice available. Together the seven of us then climbed, slipped, slid and tripped our way through the growing darkness to our final destination. The further we climbed the heavier the tree became – at least it seemed to for the poor saps carrying it.
Once we had all safely reached our sanctuary for the night we took a moment to appreciate the beauty surrounding us. Cappadocia. The valley of Goreme lay before us, the distant city lights and natural landscape was breathtaking. Our vantage point was courtesy of an ancient crumbling fairy chimney perched on the edge of a mountain. The fairy chimney was built out of the natural landscape of which Cappadocia is famous. The wall facing over the edge of the mountain and out to the distant city had collapsed some time in the past and as a result afforded us our spectacular view. Internally the fairy chimney was just as beautiful due to the soaring domed ceiling and incredibly well preserved wall and roof art. I was humbled. Then I lit a fire.
As the night progressed an exponential drunkenness curve asserted itself. For every extra year below thirty the loudness, slurring, swaying, inappropriate behaviour and accidental drooling of an individual increased rapidly. At thirty years of age I therefore held the titles of oldest and soberest. Although I believe that a lot of my sobriety could be attributed to years of intense alcoholic training rather than any lack of effort on my behalf to initiate bouts of accidental drooling.
It was around the time when everyone was competing for who could get their point across the best by talking the loudest that a lone dreadlock materialised from the gloom engulfing the entrance to our sanctuary. After the dreadlock had checked that it was safe, its owner, a fantastically stereotypical hippie, made his way into our midst. Moments later another three dreadlocked hippies joined our ragbag group of drunken travellers. The four hippies had seen our beacon fire from town and subsequently decided to make the pilgrimage out to the mountain to join our festive celebrations. Unfortunately at this point in time our festive celebrations didn’t involve any deep and meaningful discussions on the universe and our place within it, but instead were still revolving around who could talk the loudest on a topic that no one could remember.
The hippies, dumbstruck, quickly disappeared. I feared that they wouldn’t return, yet a few minutes later they reappeared with an assortment of musical instruments in tow. Aussie hippie started jamming on his guitar, which he’d only learnt in the last few months. English hippie rocked out on his accordion. Quiet hippie chick chilled on the ground while her fingers and mouth worked their magic on her Melodica and ‘well someone has to sing in this group’ hippie attempted to wear out the strings on his violin as he enthusiastically belt out the words to unknown verse. The result was an incredible mix of music that created the perfect background to a very special and memorable evening. Their repertoire of music extended to around three songs. Our unkempt musicians added in enough accidental variation to keep things interesting.
When our alcohol and wood stores were depleted we said our farewells to our guests as they set up camp in a nearby cave. Then, with the Goreme valley illumined via starlight our merry band meandered its way home. En-route we somehow lost Frank and via democractic vote promptly replaced him with a cute stray dog who proved exceptionally loyal for the small price of a little bit of love and attention.