On Saturday 2nd October I woke up at 7.30am to photos of mushrooms from Captain Caveman in Phong Nha, he had continued to tend to the embryos and more had grown so he was looking forward to his breakfast tomorrow. He’d been to the Phong Nha Farmstay to buy eggs from Sau today but unfortunately her ducks had stopped laying so he couldn’t get any. I had cornflakes for breakfast and started watching Line of Duty on Netflix before I set off for my appointment. I had booked in at Mimi’s for my eyebrows threading, a pedicure and reflexology because my good foot had terribly dry cracked skin and my bad foot could really do with being massaged in the hope that the swelling and aching in my ankle would be better. I had the reflexology first and it was really good, just 20 minutes but it felt so much better and all my toes popped, not bad for £15. My eyebrow threading was quick and only £5 then I had a very thorough pedicure where they now use power tools to sand off the hard skin, finishing with a moisturising massage and some nice nail varnish for a total of £15.

In the square next to Mimi’s there had been some changes since I was last there and my favourite gluten free No 10 Bakery was no longer. The shop next door was now a restaurant, called 2 Charlies, that I had seen discussed on Dalyan Facebook pages and I had wanted to try their fish and chips so I decided to go there for lunch. As I didn’t get to have fish and chips last night I thought I’d splash out for lunch and I ordered a fish and chips with a large beer. The beer was 25 lira (£2.12) for 50cl, the fish and chips was 75 lira (£6.36) so on the expensive side but it was a big piece of fish. It came served on a big white plate with a fancy brush stroke of what I hoped was balsamic glaze and a portion of mushy peas which looked like the ones you would get in England (I don’t like them but they came in a separate dish and were easy to take off). The fish was cooked very nicely although the batter was a thin sort with herbs in that I didn’t think were needed as it made the fish a bit scenty. I wasn’t sure what the fish was but probably not cod or haddock, possibly Hake or even a Vietnamese Basa as it tasted more fishy. I suspect I was the first customer of the day to have something in the fryer as the batter was a bit moist on the inside and didn’t stick to the fish very well in some places. The fish comes with wedges rather than actual chips but there was a good portion of them and they soaked up the vinegar well, I’d have preferred not to have the seasoning already on them but they were still cooked really nicely and the tartar sauce was a good touch. It wasn’t a bad meal and I couldn’t manage it all as I was too full, there was a cat under my table hoping to get the leftovers. On the way home I called at the bakery to buy bread and saw a fresh tray of baklava which I just had to buy a couple of pieces of for later.

I realised that today was 14 days since I had my 2nd vaccine and so I could officially go out and about with confidence that I was fully protected and might not die should I get Corona. It said in the news that people coming to Turkey from the UK could now enter using their proof of vaccines instead of a PCR test so it looked like lots more tourists would be on their way, probably some of them unaware they were bringing the virus, which did worry me. That afternoon I spoke to Captain Caveman who was doing ok back in Phong Nha and we had a good chat before I had to go out.

Jax was flying home tonight so I’d arranged to meet her, and her mom, Ann, at Heybe’s for an early dinner and to say bye. I’d been keen to try a Turkish dish called işkender and to my delight they had it on the menu for 85 lira (£7.20) so I ordered it. I just had a couple of soda waters at first as we ate the complimentary lavaş, often described as balloon bread, olives and a yoghurt dip. We decided to pig out and order starters; Ann and I both had the stuffed mushrooms which were great, Jax had a Turkish version of a meat pastry which looked good. For mains Ann and Jax had the chicken casserole, I had my first işkender kebab and it was absolutely fantastic – not greasy and plenty of it! I ordered a red wine, Jax had a half measure of wine just to say cheers but the pair of them were still jaded after being out until 3am. I asked the waiter to box up my leftovers and we said our goodbyes, but would look forward to her next visit.
Back home it was still early so I had a marathon session of watching Line of Duty on Netflix. I got peckish after a couple of episodes and ate the left over işkender kebab.
I got confirmation from Melissa, who lived with her family in Vietnam until moving to Kaş in Turkey a couple of months ago, that they were going to come to visit me on their way to Pammukale. It was a bit strange that I’d come all this way from Vietnam to Turkey, hoping to meet up with people from the UK, only for my first visitors to be from friends who, this time last year, were living in Phong Nha.

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