Nobody in Yakakent seemed to know Yenikent. Where are you going? they would ask me, and when they heard that I was planning to go to Yenikent, they would stare into space. Yenikent, right! There was a place by that name, somewhere.
Actually, Yenikent isn’t that far from Yakakent. If you go by car it’s a half hour drive, if you walk it takes a few hours. Yet nobody in Yakakent seems to have ever been to Yenikent, let alone have any friends there. This is bad news for me because I’ve been trying in advance to find someone to stay with. I just don’t feel like camping. Too cold. Too wet.
When I get on the road, I am none the wiser. Maybe that place called Yenikent is just a mirage, or maybe – even worse – it’s one of those empty summer home ghettoes? I am still pondering this question when I get on the highway.
The highway is broad and quiet. It seems to have been built for much more traffic than there actually is. I walk between the sea and the mountains. Sometimes there is a bit of forest, sometimes there are some cliffs, and sometimes there are little lakes that shine in dark green.
I spend a bit of time throwing rocks into the lakes, nice big fat rocks that make nice big fat splashes. The sounds of the splashes and the sight of the hundreds of tiny waves rippling across the water seem to have a good effect on my mood. I feel better after.
There are no houses on my way, only a few ruins. I walk until it gets dark, and when I reach the point where Yenikent is supposed to start, it greets me with a cruel uphill slope. Okay, I say to myself and to the Caboose, at least there are some lights up there, which means Yenikent exists, which means we might be able to find a place to sleep.
I walk uphill a bit, then I knock on a window. A man and two women appear. They offer me food, and when I ask them if they know anyone who could take me in, they think for a while and then point to the mosque up the road. I can sleep there. Are you sure there’s not going to be a problem? I ask them. “No problem!” They say, “The imam is not there, and the place is all yours!”