Hayk and its birds

The bus was leaving at 6, but I partly obeyed the driver’s directives who’d asked me to be there at 5. I only turned up half an hour earlier only to wonder why they want people to be around the bus so ahead of time. We had one passenger more than allowed and at the frequent police checks this man had rush to the back and slide between the legs of two other passengers. We were never fined.

The ride started to the sound of religious music, then it was switched to loud pop that I put up with until it became really annoying and I asked for mercy. It all went smoothly, barring for the woman who was sick about every 20 minutes and made herself heard throughout the vehicle. If I had forgotten I was sitting on a bus, chances are I might have believed myself in a delivery room.

Another passenger was accompanying a lady who I initially thought was his mother, but on closer inspection realised she was more likely to be his wife. The poor woman was so frail she couldn’t even stand and had to be supported to get on and off the bus. The rest of the time, she spent leaning her head on the man’s lap. With a journey of several hours, I could only imagine how she must feel going to hospital in these conditions.

I arrived in Hayk, just as people streamed out of the mosque after Friday prayer. I got a room in a hotel on the main road, decidedly nicer when seen from the outside. After the hottest hours, I followed the road to the lake. Large birds with a white body and black wings crossed the sky from time to time. Later I came across a large flock resting on a field.

These large creatures and many other avians offered enough distraction for me, so that a visit to the monastery became superfluous. I had enough of my beautiful walk around the blue waters and I was ready to get back for dinner, for a delicious fish injera eaten in the darkness of a power cut.