After a few hours spent in the trucks and cars of random people I get dropped off on the outskirts of Batman. My couchsurfing host is still working so I have some time to kill which is never a problem for a person with a big backpack in this part of the world as someone is always bound to invite you over for some tea. This time it’s two retired engineers who speak a fair bit of English due to the city being an oil town.
I’m only spending one night in the city as there’s nothing much to do. But a little further south lies the ancient citadel city of Hasankeyf. Though the citadel dates back thousands of years and has both significant historical value and immense tourist potential, it will soon be flooded when a new dam is constructed. That’s been the story for the past decade at least. Nothing seems to be happening at the moment, but the threat prevents the citadel from being maintained and it is now closed off after a tourist got hit by a piece of crumbling building last year.
As I make my way towards the entrance gate I’m set upon by a few touts who promise to show me around for some money. But they’re aggressiveness is off-putting so instead I go in search of a hole in the fence. Unfortunately the citadel proves hard to enter so instead I just explore the few historical sights outside the citadel proper and have some tea with a Kurdish family who invite me in and give me several handfuls of mint leaves for no apparent reason.