Merhaba from Soghut 5/17/11

We returned to the mountains the next morning to find that the plants were Iris but were very high on the cliffs.  We climbed to a site that was accessible and were surprised to find I. suaveolens instead of I. purpureobracteata.  Because I. purpureobracteata was reported to occur in the area we surveyed the other clumps of Iris using binoculars and determined that all of the plants were indeed I. suaveolens.  We returned somewhat dejected to the main road and a small tea establishment.  After some discussion we decided to travel the eastern part of the Marmara region to the Sakarya district rather than continuing on to the Canakkale district in the west.  There were records from the Sakarya district for both I. purpureobracteata and I. attica.  At this point we had found I. suaveolens in each area that we expected either I. attica or I. purpureobracteata so there was no reason to travel to the known I. suaveolens area.  This was a disappointing moment in our travels because we had been searching for five days and had only seen one species.  We drove towards the east and found a hotel at dark in Soghut.  We decided to use that town as a base for our remaining one and a half days in order to save the time spent packing and searching for hotels. 


Soghut is an interesting town.  It is quite nice and we found a reasonably priced small hotel.  There is also a larger boutique hotel that is expensive.  The town is friendly but the restaurant options were limited.  The hotel had three young men working at the desk over the time we were there.  One played the guitar and was a good photographer.  His music was usually playing in the reception area.  The other two were students at the local University.  They unanimously voted the town as pretty but lacking in good restaurants and interesting activities.