What a day Saturday 23rd April was!
It started with me waking up with a strange woman in my hotel room and me asking who she was. I had half the bottle of red wine left but couldn’t find the cork, both Mark’s jumper and Kate’s jacket were on a chair and towels were strewn on the sofa having once been blankets. A bunch of keys and 2 sets of sunglasses were on the desk, Michelle and I were both fully clothed. I felt fairly ok though, as I was probably still drunk, and so Michelle and I went to meet everyone for breakfast. I was too delicate to eat much but I hammered the fresh juice and tea as everyone was recalling the awful events of last night. Matt was feeling better and grateful to have gone back to the hotel earlier last night whereas Vanessa was feeling bad for poor Steve. When we got back to the room Michelle checked her phone and had lots of messages and missed calls from Steve. He’d already had Julio visit him at the hospital and was waiting for a doctor after being told he’d broken his leg in more than one place. Michelle found Steve’s shoe which we had put on a shelf, she gave me some fresh lemon juice and left. I went back to bed for a bit but had to check out at noon. I could hear my parent’s kettle in the room next door so I knew I was going to get complaints for being noisy until about 4am. We all met back up at Address, a restaurant on the river, where Mark was the only one having a beer as no one else could manage alcohol. I started to feel unwell but we still all paid (30 lira) for our tokens for the ferry from Fethiye to Çalış – our next adventure was about to start.
I was sat on the ferry boat in Fethiye worried that I had started to feel very unwell and that I might not make the trip across to Çalış. I was sat between Matt and Mark and I could feel myself getting worse, there was no toilet on board so I contemplated getting off and getting the next boat in an hour. The plan in Çalış was to go to a restaurant called Charcoal Palace so I asked Mark for the directions from where the boat stops. I reminded everyone I don’t have a SIM card in my phone but I would come to meet them at the restaurant in 1 hour’s time – it sounded simple!
As I got off the boat I headed straight for the big Migros Supermarket nearby. I had a very strange feeling and felt like I needed to get some essential ‘lady items’. In Turkey I’ve found it quite difficult to buy tampons in a supermarket. They can be found in the pharmacy and some of the bigger supermarkets and I was in luck. I picked up what I needed and then noticed the massive check-out queues and started to have a cold sweat. A young lad noticed me, he opened up another till and hurried through the process. I made it to a cafe but only just and I was not well at all.
After a cup of sweet tea and a 45 minute sit down I had to force myself to go back to the ferry. I had a map of where Charcoal Palace was meant to be, in case Mark’s directions weren’t clear enough, and on I got. I felt like death, I was deeply regretting Tequila and extra red wine last night now and was not confident I would make the bus journey back to Dalyan later, either.
As I got off the boat I obviously went the wrong way but asked several people for directions, most had never heard of it but the ones who did ‘know’ sent me in the opposite direction. After walking for far too long in heat and having finished my water I decided to jump in a taxi. It was meant to be 5 minutes walk from the boat but the taxi was heading down a dual carriageway and back to Fethiye when I stopped him and got out on the central reservation without paying.
No one had heard of Charcoal Palace; some were convinced they knew and each bar, shop, travel agent or taxi rank I asked didn’t know. I knew that out of everyone already at the restaurant, Mark would be the least likely to have left to look for me so I found a bar, logged on to their WiFi and messaged him to say I was lost. I knew my parents didn’t have a working phone so didn’t bother them and I eventually found a taxi rank who knew where it was and said it was walking distance. I had just started to walk when I saw Kate on the street, who’d come to find me. We also saw the man who had given me the first lot of incorrect directions when I was 2 minutes walk from where I needed to be!!
Of course I had missed out on having fish and chips with everyone so I had a pint of shandy. I was hot, sweaty and cheesed off already when Kate informed me that Mark isn’t good at directions and not to listen to him! His phone was in his pocket and he hadn’t noticed my message either so it was good that I had finally been found. most of the group who live in Turkey full time were so happy to have eaten good food and I gathered I’d missed out on amazing fish and chips or battered sausages. They said the chicken shish was also amazing, and portion sizes were generous meaning great value. I was disappointed to miss out but I couldn’t eat anything now and would save it for another time. Kate came up with a wonderful idea that, instead of getting the buses back, we get taxis and I was very happy with that suggestion. It was slightly unfortunate that Kate and I had to listen to Mark, the most chatty bloke I have ever met, talk to the taxi driver for the entire journey back to Dalyan. The cost of the taxi from Çalış to Dalyan was 600 lira (just over £30 per taxi). My parents, Vanessa and Matt went in one taxi, Mark, Kate and I in another. It was probably the best tenner I have spent, as I was feeling very queasy all the way back. That night I had an early night as we had another big day planned for tomorrow and it looked to be a good one.