After 34 days of eating all the things I thought I could be allergic to, without much reaction, I thought I was safe to go on a full day trip on Sunday 24th October – I would be very wrong!
When I woke up I saw some news from Vietnam and was glad to hear from Captain Caveman that everyone in Phong Nha was safe, unfortunately people in Tam Ky hadn’t been so lucky – here’s the article:
https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/society/20211024/vietnamese-province-evacuates-2500-residents-due-to-floods-landslides/63742.html.
In Dalyan we were very lucky as the weather was dry and it was meant to be hot later in the day but at 8am it was pretty chilly, as I got ready for my pick up for the Mediterranean Highlights trip with Volkan Adventures. Our friend, Murat, picked me up and there was already a couple in the minibus. The next stop was to pick up ma & pa who were also very excited for this trip as it included a visit to Patara, where none of us had been before, and was also the last one of this particular trip for the year. We continued to pick up the rest of the customers which included a family of 7, a single lady and our friend, John. Then we were off for our short drive to the first stop which was for a hearty Turkish breakfast in a nice little spot. When we arrived Murat explained that we were early and the staff were getting our breakfast ready so we had a bit of time to take some photos. The sun wasn’t out yet and so we were all a bit cold, this was the coldest I’d been for a while and I had to put dad’s jumper on over my hoody, while John got out his travel towel and a buff. We sat at the breakfast table and we all got a hot drink just to warm our hands up and then the food started to come, there was a lot of it. I had a precautionary Gastropulgite sachet in case anything gave me a bad reaction then I tried a spinach filo pastry, a small amount of cheese, honey, jams, bread, chips and a savoury doughnut type of thing and it was all very lovely. Unfortunately my stomach decided this was the time to not accept such a feast of a breakfast and I was feeling a bit out of sorts after 2 toilet visits before we left for our next stop.

Unfortunately, the main highlight of the Mediterranean Highlights trip was closed. Murat explained that we were no longer able to visit Patara ancient town or beach and so our next stop was going to be Kalkan. I’d not been before and it had been some years since ma & pa had visited the town so we were a little disappointed but still fine as we know Murat and Volkan’s tours are usually really good. We hadn’t been travelling long when Murat stopped the minibus and went to a small shop to get waters and a sweet treat for everyone. I followed him for an impromptu toilet visit in the staff squat toilet which I was very grateful for, my bad leg wasn’t such a fan though. I felt a bit better and took one of mom’s imodium instant tablets, even though I’d already had one of my normal ones. A bit further along the journey we had a quick stop at the roadside to admire a view, by which time my mom said I looked grey and I felt terrible. I got off as I thought I might be sick and wasn’t sure whether I should ask to stay there and get a taxi to come to take me home while the others continued on. Murat reassured me that it wouldn’t be a problem to continue on and they would stop at any (or every) services they could for if I needed the toilet. The next couple of stops had very good western style facilities which I took full advantage of, all had toilet paper and soap, one even had toilet seat liners, but I wasn’t feeling any better. As everyone had a complimentary choc-ice I had to head back in to the toilets and this time I was vomitting. On the bus I put my mask on, had my hoody on and tried to sleep for a bit, but I felt cold even though the temperature was warm.

When we got to Kalkan it was a picture postcard type of town with very steep winding streets and a harbour, the beach was pebbled and it was nice and sunny as we headed to a restaurant called Gusto for our (included) lunch. Obviously, I could barely look at the menu so I had just a soda water and no lunch while my parents ordered a beer each and chicken wraps for their’s. Next to me were the grandparents of the family, who both had a mussel casserole (that didn’t help my sickly feeling one bit) and the mother of the family sat opposite me, had calamari. Others ate halloumi salad, pasta, noodles and generally everything I thought best to avoid. Although lunch was included the drinks were not and so when my mom went to pay for the beers and soda I was astonished that the beer was 45 lira (£3.44) and the soda 20 lira!!!  This was almost twice the price of Dalyan and so rather than go somewhere else for drinks we decided to walk to the beach. Because both me and mom have bad legs we found it hard to walk on the pebbles so we decided not to go in the sea, Dad was going to but then he changed his mind and left the beach. I’d popped my shorts on and so had to hurry to catch up, then we walked back to where we started and bumped in to John. We had a little saunter along the harbour front, John got an ice-cream, I felt ill still but now there wasn’t really any going back and I didn’t want to ruin the day for my parents so we decided to carry on. I had more toilet visits and imodium, thinking I’d not be able to go for a week after this but they just weren’t working. One of the ladies on the trip said it could be the Norovirus which had been going round and I thought she might be right at first, or food poisoning but everyone ate the same and they were all fine.

I managed to get to Kaş where Murat lead us on some steep streets and we had a little tour of the lovely town. He also pointed out a meeting spot for later and gave us free time to do what we liked. I thought I’d try to check out some ideas for a girls weekend away as everyone was up for a visit to Kaş but I didn’t get very far as I found it harder on my leg than I thought I would. I found it difficult to concentrate on finding a place to go for a drink because I was trying to will myself to feel better too. My Dad’s eyesight was ok but he wasn’t forthcoming with suggestions and my Mom just said it’s up to us – all I wanted was to lay down and sleep! A lot of the places on the front were very pricey so we decided to go down the back streets but lots of places weren’t serving alcohol. Eventually I spotted a gorgeous little place called Frida’s and we plonked ourselves down.
My parents had a couple of beers at a more reasonable price of 32 lira each and I avoided alcohol again. From there we had a short walk to the meeting point and then we walked to the bus as a group, we drove about 10 minutes to where everyone (but me) would eat our evening meal.

When we arrived it was clear that there would have been time better spent if we had got there an hour or so earlier as the sun was just setting and it was a lovely alcove beach with a nice spot for swimming. Some of the family on the trip still went in the sea but it was too dark to see where we were going for me and Dad. I had started to feel like I could probably eat but I had a word with Murat to ask if it would be possible to get my dinner (also included in the trip) to takeaway, which of course was fine. It was like torture for me when I had to dish out food to the others on the table and I really wanted to eat the garlic prawns but of course it wasn’t worth the risk – I had a 3 hour drive back to survive yet. As the evening was drawing to a close Volkan and his dance partner did us a few dances and  they were pretty impressive. I drank only soda water (a bargain 5 lira) and willed myself to be able to make the minibus ride home without incident. At this last place, which was 10 minutes outside of Kaş, the drinks were normal prices and the food looked delicious, by this time I was looking forward to eating some of my doggy bag when I got home. The drive home was uneventful and we arrived back in Dalyan just before midnight – I was so ready for bed but I ate 2 small cubes of chicken shish, a slice of bread and some salad before bed. The cost of the day trip was £75 but it was a shame I had been too poorly to really enjoy it and I was disappointed that we didn’t get to see Patara. We even joked that instead of a Mediterranean Highlights blog, I would be writing a bog blog about this day!
I looked forward to next season when we could enjoy some more of Volkan Adventures trips and be in better health.

Murat made a video of the day trip which he posted on Facebook, here:
https://www.facebook.com/100023646856780/posts/1052759472188938/

Photo credit – Murat at Volkan’s Adventures

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