Friday, October 19, 2007

Rasafa A Pilgrimage Of Sorts

The med student that I was seated next too knew some English so we could talk. Half way through the trip the person in front of us went "gawk" then started convulsing and foaming from the mouth. I immediately used my medical training from fire fighting and stepped out of the way of the med student who wanted to get to him. Then I assumed my supervisor stance having a seat to lean against. The drivers assistant splashed water on him and he came around after a minute. He was fine for the rest of the trip up the Euphrates Valley. The Euphrates Valley is flat and filled with fields that looked nice in the sunset. Arriving in Monsoura I bought 3 litters of water and some flat bread. I started walking for Rasafa as it has no regular transportation. Trucks and cars kept coming up to drive me the 25k asked for 250-300SL. The guide describes this as extortion. It took a kilometer for one kid to stop following me while continually asking questions in Arabic. I believe my Arabic consist of three words currently. So my little interrogator got nothing from me. I was feeling good about a night walk as I had been traveling to Rasafa all day sitting. It was starting to feel like a pilgrimage , but no walking barefoot or crawling. At a sign at the edge of town showed Rasafa 21k and I was holding a good pace. Then a small truck pulled up. As I approached the cab filled with six people the driver yelled "bawala" and pointing to the back of the truck. I hoped in for the ride and they raced off. When we got to Rasafa the asked for payment which I gave them 60 SP that I had been presenting to the earlier ride offers. They had no complains about the payment and sped off. I walked past Rasafa castle and out into the desert for a quiet nights rest and dinner (yes just bread and water, sort of a penitence I guess, but not sure why).
Love and Kisses

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