Having not gone to bed until 2am on Tuesday 8th March, I was tired when I woke up at 8am. Strangely, I also found myself fully clothed, including 2 scarves, in the spare room. It had been so cold out last night that my reasoning for being in the spare room was because it’s warmer. Today was international Women’s Day, I was looking forward to attending the Zumba Gold class at midday and was pleased to manage a sandwich beforehand. Captain Caveman was already on his way to The Villas in Phong Nha to meet our friend, Valerie, before heading to his briefing. He would be back in the cave tomorrow for another 4 days.
Zumba was full of energy and I really enjoyed it but I was then in a bit of a rush to have a shower and get changed before cycling to my next appointment. The singing group is held at the Merhaba cafe, by the Mijo hotel, and this was my first cycle in Dalyan traffic. I manoeuvred chasing stray dogs, overtook a tractor and a mobility cart as well as avoiding 2 lorries, all on the short route.
At singing, Sheila was on accordian and Richard on guitar, both were excellent musicians too. I sat between Peter and Nanny Kay and shared Nanny Kay’s book of over 200 songs. Kate was sat on the other end as we were both initiated in to the group. For the first half of the session I knew very few songs and, as no sheet music is used, I wasn’t able to sight read as I’d expected. A book was passed around to write song choices in but I didn’t choose any this time round, I preferred to go with the flow for my first time. Kate chose a couple of songs including ‘Top of the World’ which was a good one to join in on. Regardless of the song choices, I really enjoyed the experience, it was friendly and easy going so I was definitely up for going again. We said our goodbyes and Kate and I set off back towards town on our bicycles. The sun had gone in and it was pretty chilly so, as we got near to mine, she asked me to pick her up a jumper and meet her at Okyanus. I took a back road detour and when I got in to mine I had a message from Mark asking if I had his phone because he had lost it last night at the Wonky’s quiz. I grabbed my Christmas jumper and a Vietnamese scarf for Kate, popped my coat on and walked over to Okyanus. When I joined Mark, Andy, Kaye and another lady, called Jo, things got a bit confusing.
Kate wasn’t with the others at Okyanus, as I’d expected. She had decided that a jumper wouldn’t be warm enough and had cycled home to get her big coat. I also found that I had Mark’s phone in my bag which I must have picked up when he left it in the bar last night. I forced a beer down but didn’t drink all of it, I shared some with Kate when she arrived. It was getting chilly and looked like it might rain so we drank up then went to nearby Lukka bar. While we were there, the rain came down heavily and a sodden Debbie (Darling) had a bit of a to-do when Socks chased a neighbour’s chicken and killed it. She now had to pay the owner for the dead chicken and was at her wits end with her street dogs. I had planned on going to get changed for tonight’s event at Dalyance but I no longer had time and it was raining heavily again, anyway. I chatted to Jo, who was really lovely with a cute dog called Charlie. I even invited her to join us on a boat trip which Vanessa was organising for when our friends and family arrived. The new menus at Lukka bar were out and the prices had gone up again, Mehmet was telling us to stock up on meat as the prices in the supermarket and butchers were set to rise further this week. I took a photo of the menu as the Sunday dinner had gone up by 50 lira to 210 lira. At the exchange rate today this was only around £11 however, for people who are living here and using Turkish money they deposited at 7 lira to the pound, it felt more like £30!
Kate and I left the rest of the gang in Lukka and headed up to Dalyance in the rain. When I arrived almost everyone was already there as I picked up my vodka based complimentary welcome cocktail. Sonuç had set us up a table for 20 ladies and the place looked lovely. I managed to say hello to most people before I sat down on the end next to Ann and Nanny Kay. I’d assumed that Debbie (Darling) wouldn’t make it but she surprised us all by turning up with a bag of chocolate, one for everyone. We all ordered food and a few of the remaining ladies joined us about 8pm. The Pad Thai was a popular meal choice, I had the steak fajitas and they were delicious. The chicken quesadillas which Nanny Kay ordered looked great too and I thoroughly enjoyed our meal and chat. I met new ladies in Dalyan which was lovely, especially another couple of fellow Sheffielders, as well as getting to chat with some of the oldies. After the meal, some of us left to go to Lukka for a nightcap. Kate and I got chatting to Richard from the singing group about song favourites but we just had the one drink before calling it a night. It had been a long day, so by 11pm I was on my way home. Rach was so surprised that I wasn’t the last to leave that she took a photo for proof!

Here’s a short video which Sonuç made:
8/3 ladies night
https://fb.watch/bErhr4fdud/

Photo/video credit – Hotel Dalyance, Sonuç Tezcan, Debbie (Darling).

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