On Friday 4th October I started the weekend with a breakfast of champions – I had 2 slices of gluten free toast with homemade bolognese and it tasted really good. I caught up on learning some Turkish online and wrote a blog post as well as eating a healthy lunch of chicken with veg and a slice of cheddar.
In the evening I had booked in at Lukka bar for fish and chip Friday where they were going to do me gluten free batter. Our Aussie friends were already in Istanbul and would be arriving here in Dalyan in a couple of days and so I was helping them to organise an itinerary while they were here, including booking an overnight trip to Rhodes. Ma and Pa live near to a fish and chip shop back home so they didn’t fancy joining me, whereas the last time I had fish and chips was in Tasmania, December 2018 and wasn’t as good as the UK one I’d had in Sheffield a few months before that.
When I arrived at Lukka bar I was told by the chef that they hadn’t been able to get the cod from Marmaris and so the fish and chips were not available this week. Instead, I joined my parents at one of their old favourites, Çağrı, where I ate chicken shish. Afterwards we had a nightcap in Jiks bar before heading home to bed – Saturday was going to be a busy one!
On Saturday 5th October it rained! By 7am a storm was starting – the sky turned grey, the clouds hid the limestone mountains and I managed to work out where some leaks needed fixing. I did some organising ready for our Aussie friends arriving the next day, including a full itinerary for their 7 day stay in Dalyan.
I had bolognese with pancakes for brunch and even made enough gluten free pancake mixture for the next day which I poured in to a jar to store in the fridge. Dad had gone to watch the rugby but had turned up at the wrong time after me and mom apparently told him the wrong time when we googled the fixtures the night before. Mom and I went shopping as I needed a raincoat and some suitable footwear for my forthcoming trip to Cappadocia in a week’s time. I bought a fake North Face waterproof and warm raincoat, an outfit and ordered some new leather shoes! Mom bought a lovely towel/blanket and I got a present for our friend who’s birthday we were all invited to that night. We stopped by Amy’s bar for a couple of ciders and bumped in to dad who was watching football. Back at home I arranged to go to my parents place for a pre dinner drink at theirs but unfortunately my mom had let me know that dad, who had gone to the barbers, had still not come home. When I went round about 7:30pm he was home and he was in a tangle because he’d had a bit of a pub crawl before and after the barbers and now mom had the face on because we were all due at Maxine’s birthday party for dinner and drinks at Dalyance.
Dad was in trouble but we still went and it was a good night but after the meal mom made dad go home and, as they headed off, I went to town where it got a bit messy – two of the fellas ended up pole dancing in Rodrigo’s bar. On the way home I called in to Lukka for another wine with friends and made friends with a couple of other customers, drinking until the early hours! Nobody would have guessed I had the Aussie friends arriving soon as I stumbled home.
The sun was back again on Sunday 6th October and I was up at 7am having pancakes with rose jam for breakfast.
That evening our Aussie friends and I had gin and tonic on the balcony before my parents came round to meet ready for our first trip on the itinerary.
We had a private boat trip booked with Captain Turgay to take us to Köyceğiz lake and then the Sultaniye mudbaths with a BBQ buffet dinner. It was a great start to the Aussie’s Dalyan holiday and a lovely ending to the week. The mud bath was so good and we were 3 of just 6 in there, while my mom had her feet nibbled by fish and my dad sat with a beer in the bar area. The hot pool was busier but interesting to mingle with the locals and simply relax. I’d not been in the dome-like building before and there were just 3 of us and the ‘lifeguard’ in there, making echoing sounds and loving the feeling of complete relaxation.
The last day of the month, Monday 30th September, started with a trip to the bank to pick up my new bank card which had arrived. I also tried to change my phone number so that I could use the online app but couldn’t and even the woman working there couldn’t sort it out. I bumped in to several members of the number 2 club and I had a couple of ciders with them in Jiks after a quick stop off at the supermarket.
In the evening it was my turn to pick where we ate so I chose off my list for one we hadn’t been before. We went for a cocktail at Dalyano first and I told ma and pa my choice was either Mai or Natural Paradise. Dad said he didn’t want to go to Mai because it wasn’t very busy and so we carried on to my second choice. When we got there Dad didn’t like the look of it and so we ended up going back to Firat’s, the place I got accidentally glutened.
He was happier there and I stuck to having a chicken shish with rice and salad and we shared a bottle of wine. After dinner we had a nightcap at Bistro Blue and I bought a new top from the clothes shop next door, where they had a sale on.
Tuesday 1st of October was my first visit to Itsuzu beach this year. I arranged to meet my parents at the bus station and we planned to take an early bus, walk along the beach and get a boat back. I’d ordered some gluten free bread to collect from Bakery No10 when I got back, too. The bus fare for one way was cheap and only takes about 15 minutes to get there however we hadn’t planned for it being the start of the new ‘winter’ timetable. We got to the beach and had a Turkish tea each then strolled along the water’s edge to the other end of the beach. We had an ice-cream and even though I normally avoid them, I had a Magnum. Mom was sure they didn’t have gluten in but it turned out the Turkish ones probably do. Ma and pa had pancakes and we eventually got a boat back at 1pm. By the time we got to Dalyan and picked up my loaf I was starving so we headed to Jiks for a drink and some lunch. I had a lovely prawn salad, a cherry juice and a cider followed by a gluten free savoury muffin back at home. Bakery No10 had excelled again as the ‘salty muffin’ was fantastic.
In the evening I stayed in and just had gluten free bread because I’d been glutened by the Magnum and felt rubbish.
I’d already planned for October to be a month for catching up with friends and so Wednesday 2nd October was one of those days. After a breakfast of gluten free toast and a few little jobs here and there I had arranged to meet a friend for lunch.
We met at Yummy’s and it looked like a lot of other people had the same idea as it was very busy. I had a lovely halloumi and roasted veg salad which was massive (I took half of it home) while my mate enjoyed a bit of quiche. We had a good catch up and spoke about me applying for residency here in Turkey so that I can spend more time here in the future.
In the evening it was back to Dad’s turn to choose where we went for dinner and he decided we would revisit the choice of the previous evening, Mai steak house, where we had avoided in favour of Firat’s. We all had steak and a bottle of wine and it turned out to be a good choice as the steak was excellent. It came served with veg which had sprouts in and even they were nice.
On the way home I bumped in to a couple of friends so I had a nightcap with them at Lukka bar and discovered that one of them does a good Elton John impression. They suggested more drinks but I decided I’d better not as I was on an early start with ma and pa the next day.
At 07:44am on Thursday 3rd October there was an earthquake in the area and I experienced the ‘earth move’ while in bed. It felt like I was on a water bed and only lasted a few seconds but the whole place moved and it felt very odd. That morning we decided to get the bus towards the beach and get off at Ekin restaurant for a Turkish breakfast. The place is lovely and beside a big lake where they serve fresh food in the gardens. It was really good and although we could have tried to work out what time the bus went back we got a taxi for only 40 lira.
For lunch I had the left over halloumi salad (from Yummy’s) with gluten free chocolate cake from Bakery No10, before popping out for some shopping. I bought a nice blanket/towel as a table cloth to cover the bright green balcony table and I decided to cook a chicken dinner and some bolognese so that I would have spare for the next day or so. A night in was had and I finished watching Unbelievable on Netflix before starting on the latest series of Designated Survivor.
On Friday 27th September it was a fairly ‘normal’ day. I ate beans on gluten free toast for brunch and in the evening I arranged to meet Ma and Pa at the Gin Bar for a pre-dinner drink. A couple of friends popped in to mine and we had a cheeky drink – a preloader which meant I was late to meet my parents. After a quick drink, we only had a short walk to Adilan’s for dinner, where I was going for the second time and it was just as good. We had been in Dalyan 3 weeks already and time was going by so quickly with lots of lovely food and outings to various different places. I had created a list from people’s posts on certain Facebook groups in Dalyan for all the restaurants to try – old and new, regular ones and ones I’d never tried. Given there are probably over 150 establishments it was going to keep us going until at least the end of the season. Some places I was deliberately saving for winter, knowing there would be less choice and that I would be here for quite a few more weeks yet.
Saturday 28th September was a bit mixed; I had water, tea and cheese on gluten free toast for brunch, followed by some sunflower seeds. I was meant to be having someone come to look at buying our double bed so I had cleaned up and stripped the beds, done all the washing and waited. They didn’t arrive and I saw later in the week that they had purchased a bed elsewhere but without letting me know. I ordered a gluten free pizza, from Yener’s Place, to take to dog sitting where one of the dogs quickly sussed out what was in my bag. The pizza (chicken, mushroom and pineapple) was pretty good and I checked the last time I had a gluten free pizza takeaway was 13.5 months ago. Pizza is one of the things I miss most and the gluten free versions just aren’t as nice.
I was home before midnight having fell asleep on the sofa while watching Unbelievable on Netflix and cuddling two puppies.
On Sunday 29th September I had my usual gluten free toast for breakfast and did a few chores before heading off to watch the Russian Grand Prix. My parents weren’t bothered about watching the race this time so I had arranged to watch it at Lukka bar while eating a gluten free beef dinner. I also had gluten free apple crumble with ice-cream and it was so good. A couple of friends joined me later on and so I didn’t see all of the race and I ended up drinking the equivalent of a bottle of wine that day. For dinner I met my parents and had a prawn dish at Bistro Blue, which made a nice change. After a day time session and too much food I was ready for bed and had an early night, watching more Unbelievable on Netflix.