Welcome again to the story about when I travelled overland to India with a band, funding all our expenses with music. A journey that took 1 year and 8 months, through 32 countries!
In this 6th part we are still in Iraq, catch up on the previous parts:
In the last part I wrote about how we met the Iraqi TV team who followed us for a week, where we were living like stars, with paid hotel and food, getting driven around to various places and interviewed.
In this part, we say goodbye to the TV team and once again find ourselves on the road.
Me on the road out of Erbil
It was one of those roller coaster rides. From one moment in luxury and in the next looking for rides and places to sleep. I enjoyed the thrill of it though, the contrast of the different ways life can be felt.
It was also nice to be back on the road. The time with the TV team and the hotels and restaurant were fun but strangely unreal.
Sometimes life is just felt most intensely right down in the dirt and the soil!
Hitchhiking, we passed by some beautiful rural villages..
Where we were also a big center of attention for the villagers..!
By the end of that day we arrived to Duhok in the North of Kurdistan Iraq. It was already dark and we were tired and had to find a place to sleep for the night.
We found a nice looking bar with young student people and sat down for cup of Kurdish tea.
There was a nice atmosphere at the place and we hoped they could help us find a place to stay. It wouldn't be the first time, if we got invited to sleep in the café or with some of the young people. The Kurdish people in Turkey were always excited to help and get to know us!
Sparrow and me in the laser light of the bar
But we weren't as lucky in Iraq, no one could help us, but we found a house that looked empty and decided to try to camp out in the garden.
The garden was protected with a nice big wall and we felt safe in there. But suddenly a beam of light hit us, with a policeman in the other end! Someone must have seen us climb in and called the police.
The policeman said that we could not stay there, it was too dangerous for us (...) so they told us to come with them to the police station. To sleep there..!
The accommodation at the police station were not in any way better or felt any safer that in the nice garden! Basucally they just let us stay in the parking lot! Me and sparrow had a tent we put up, while the other 3 slept out on their mats.
Next morning we got invited into the station for tea and selfies! All the police wanted a picture with us, while they let us use their top secret police computer to check our emails and facebook ;)
They were all super friendly. Yet another bizarre encounter and visit at the police station!
Then we spend the day walking around in Duhok, at markets, second hand shops and drinking tea with all the Iraqi grandpa's.
We didn't see many women on the street and those we saw, were covered up. In Erbil we had met and talked with more women, also without head scarfs, but Duhok seemed like a much more conservative city.
trying to fit in...!
And last an encounter with Batman, before leaving Iraq and returning to Batman in Turkey - yes they have a city and region called Batman and that's exactly where we were going next! What a sign..!
We left for Turkey the same day
Iraqi and Kurdish flag
The border over the Tigris River
Us walking over the border together with the trucks
And that was it for iraq!
It was a very interesting visit to a country officially in war, that we had heard many scary stories about, but never actually seen through other lenses than the TV.
We were met with amazingly kind people and many surprises and powerful stories. A people and land traumatised with so much war and injustice, but still positive and peaceful, with people living normal everyday lives everywhere.
Thank you for stopping by and please leave a comment, upvote, resteem <3