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Basak took George, Heather, Helen, Monica, Pamela and Peter on a two hour drive to Sason, the start of the climb to find Iris Gatesii on Halkisdag.   A guide's nephews helped to carry the lunch and water.   Those who had no sticks used branches which helped with balance.    

Ian took the rest of the party to Boluk Yazi



Views across the valley as we climbed, the last one is the view from the picnic spot - below is a panoramic view form the same viewpoint.

Campanula reuterana

We were slow on the climb to above the tree line;  it took 3 hours in all.    We lost two members of the group on the journey and they made their way safely down to base camp.   We were hungry, but Basak kept us moving saying it was easier to climb on an empty stomach...      If we had stopped we would not have reached the Irises before the storm blew up.   It turned out that we had only 10 mins to admire and photograph the irises   BASAK IS ALWAYS RIGHT.   We exchanged ages at the irises and Peter had the honour of being the oldest.  

The storm was very fierce.   The wind rose, we were soaked and bombarded with hailstones.   We stood under a bush and waited for the storm to abate.   As soon as we could, we made our way down the mountain and by the time we reached our picnic place the rain had stopped and the sun was out.   We had lunch and soon after everyone had dried out.

We were encouraged not to waste time taking pictures on the climb, but a few crept in.

Campanula reuterana


Bee orchid found under a bush

Ophrys holoserica

Dog rose

Hypericum lydium?

Gentiana olivieri

Glanville Fritillary

Panoramic view from the picnic sight

Campanula rotundiflora

Legousia speculum-veneris

Packing up the picnic

We made our way down and it was a great deal harder on the knees than the climb.   We met the others at base camp and had some chai;  then the long journey home.   

Those who completed the climb were very proud of their achievement.

Below Iris Gatesii the flower we climbed so high to photograph

Iris Gatesii

Iris Gatesii in its habitat

Plants of Iris Gatesii destined for the Botanical Gardens.   Two with brown and two with purple colouration

The King of Irises


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