Once crossed the border from Georgia to Turkey I entered a dolmus (small bus). When I said I had to go to Hopa, they told me to take the taxi instead. Although I’m almost sure the dolmus goes there as well for much cheaper price. But I believe there is some agreement between the dolmus drivers and taxi drivers. [Needs to be verified]
Anyway, my taxi driver brought me to the busstation of Hopa. Where I bought a ticket for the bus to Artvin.
In Artvin I stayed at the busstation where I bought some food and had tea before taking the dolmus to Yusufeli.
Yusufeli is a vibrant town and can be seen as a gateway to the Kackar Mountains. The town will probably be flooded after the construction of the Çoruh dam will be completed.
I got myself delicous kebab and was offered lots of Turkish tea by some men playing ‘OK’ in one of the larger tea houses of Yusufeli. This game is played on almost all tables of the tea house and looks like it’s the national game of Turkey.
Two hours later I got a dolmus to Barhal. A very small town with just a few houses along the river and about two pensions for visitors of the Kaçkar Mountains. The small shop is also very useful to stack supplies for some days.
I stayed a Barhal until 5.30pm setting up a plan for the next days. Then I left on foot following a hike described in my book of the Kaçkar Mountains.
I ruched a little bit as I wanted to make so progress already before it would be dark and I still needed a flat place for my tent. After 1 hour I reached the ruined of the old church overlooking the village of Barhal. Next to the ruins was a grass field where I could camp but I decided to walk to the next grass field. It was still a steep one hour climb but the view and setting was so great!
I had never imagined I would get this far on my first day in Turkey. Knowing that this morning at 2am I was still in Tbilisi, Georgia!