Dalyan – 18th & 19th November

Dalyan – 18th & 19th November

I had a bad hangover on Thursday 18th November so decided to go back to bed after my breakfast of buttered toast. On my phone was a photo of the growing bougainvillea bush at Fire Opal, taken at 2.22am, I’d obviously come in a bit drunk and decided to take a photo of the growth (as you do)! In my handbag was a rather large can of fly spray which I had put in there for Debbie (Darling) and forgotten to give it her back. Captain Caveman had sent me a photo of Eric the Bee, who was still visiting him at Elements in Phong Nha, he’s a lovely bee. In the Vietnam news there was a report of one positive case at the Hanoi football stadium but a more concerning article caught my eye. Also in Hanoi, some babies had been vaccinated with Pfizer by mistake, here it is:
https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/society/20211117/mistakenly-injected-with-covid19-vaccine-18-hanoi-infants-in-good-health-2-weeks-on/64202.html
In Dalyan there were more Facebook posts and photos of the road being ripped up and how much of a mess they were making was getting people’s goat. I thought of going to the Spice Garden for their curry buffet night later, and was going to see if anyone else fancied joining, but it was no longer on and they were now doing a winter menu which was available every day, plus it was available for delivery too. I shelved that idea and started reading Mike Tyson’s autobiography which I’ve been meaning to read for quite some time. For lunch I just had sandwiches, earl grey tea and some Turkish delight. That night I was tempted to order a takeaway but I decided to use the wraps I bought and make some ‘healthier’ pizzas – it turned out really well. I watched Netflix and started on the Winter Tea that I’d bought in Fethiye – it was a really good recommendation from Vanessa.

As expected my weekly weigh-in on Friday 19th November went well, but it wasn’t the miracle I could have done with. I lost 0.5kg which was good to see I hadn’t put anything on and it was probably as a result of staying in more now that my parents had been gone for a week already. Although I missed them, I was definitely making the most of having time to myself again and the first half of my day was pretty healthy; cornflakes for breakfast and a chicken, onion, and red pepper wrap (homemade so no fatty or mystery sauces) for my lunch, but it wouldn’t finish that way. In the news it was announced that from the 1st December in the UK there would be no need for fully vaccinated people to isolate for 10 days if they came in to contact with a Corona positive person, but I wasn’t sure how comfortable I was about that – it did mean I wouldn’t have to isolate in London if it happened to me on the weekend of my arrival, though. I’d advertised a rug on Facebook and I was expecting a woman to come and look at it, she said she would call me after her return from a boat trip, Debbie (Darling) and Sarah had invited me to join them at Sofra bar to try out their new upstairs, winterproof restaurant but, as I was waiting for the rug buyer, I missed out on eating dinner with them. When I got there they were with Sue and they had almost finished their spag bol. I joined their table and had a red wine, the place looked really cosy and nice so Sarah and I decided it would be a great place to ‘work from home’ on a Friday afternoon. By the time that I had got outside with Sarah and Sue, Debbie (Darling) had already left for Lukka bar with Sarah’s dogs. Sue was doing her best to insist on a taxi to go less than a kilometer but I helped carry her bags and got her to walk to Lukka where the music bingo was about to start. We all had a rather random evening, I still had not had dinner so I ordered a BBQ chicken pizza which was amazing and I had leftovers to take home too, the bingo song choices for me were great, but this is the only place I’ve ever been out where I’m considered to be young, some of the older clientele objected to the 90s songs which they didn’t know – not that it matters as Mehmet gives the answer after 30 seconds of playing the song, anyway! Due to some of our contingent being rather too drunk, it was an interesting night ending in Sue accidentally throwing her gin and tonic about. While Debbie (Darling) kindly made sure Sue got a taxi home, I got persuaded to have another glass of wine in Jazz Bar with Sarah. I really don’t like to frequent the Jazz Bar on account of me living nearby and me rarely getting any sleep on a weekend due to their music being so loud – I swear it sounds louder in our apartment than it does when I’m in the actual bar! I managed one glass of wine but then it was time for me to go home to bed, I really struggle to make it past midnight these days and the music had surprisingly finished by midnight!

Dalyan – 17th November

Dalyan – 17th November

Wednesday 17th November was a totally surprising day for me; I’d had cornflakes for breakfast and after doing a few chores I thought I’d call at the supermarket for a few bits. On my way to Migros I saw that Debbie (Darling) and her friends were in Jiks having a drink and they waved me over. I gestured that I would be there after I’d been in to the shop. I made my purchases as follows (price in lira);

3 onions 0.59
1 fresh loaf 2.00
2 red peppers 2.99
2 cans of grapefruit drink 6.50
1 pack of hummus 7.95
1 pack of wraps 14.45

Total spend 34.48 lira (£2.38).

I joined Debbie (Darling)’s gang just as Ann was getting off for her nail appointment but the rest were having another drink so I had a beer with Debbie (Darling), Sue, Fiona and then Brian joined us for a quick coke. Brian is a very interesting man and we had a little chat about Coeliac, gluten intolerance and dermatitis herpetiformis. Brian left and, as Debbie (Darling) had to leave to attend a funeral send off, Sue, Fiona, and I decided our next stop off would be Tez bar, I was dressed for summer and still had my shopping, so wasn’t planning on staying long. After 1 glass of wine I went home with my valid excuse ‘to put my shopping away and get dressed’ for my evening out. Of course I didn’t leave the tipsy ladies by themselves and, once the funeral was over and I was dressed in winter-wear, we had one more at Tez bar before we all went to Lukka bar. It had definitely been an interesting day so far and next I joined Angela, Nick and Ann for a meal and wine at Heybe’s where I just had to have the Işkender kebab (again) as I love it and hadn’t had one for a while. Nick goes mad for one of Donny’s chicken curries which did look good, while Angela and Ann had the chicken schnitzel, also a firm favourite. The food was ace, the live music from Onur was fab and the wine flowed – a bit too much, as it happens! By midnight I had murdered some songs and was well on my way to pointing out how much of an overlooked genius Frank Zappa was while Ann was advocating the more refined Leonard Cohen. I felt sorry for the staff having to listen to us waxing lyrical about how much we loved these artists, but I’m sure they secretly loved Doreen, one of Frank’s finest tracks which I made them listen to. As we left, I forced Ann to come to mine where I was trying to force biscuits and earl grey tea down her – she was not impressed with the hot beverage selection!

Dalyan – 14th to 16th November

Dalyan – 14th to 16th November

Sunday 14th November was a really good day for me, I’d stopped being ill and managed a probiotic drink and toast for breakfast. I decided I would make a beef stew in the slow cooker and I finished off my parents’ laundry ready to take it over to their’s the next time I was passing. My eczema was really quite bad again, even though I had been remembering to put cream on from Maizie Moo’s and I could only put it down to eating normally for the last few weeks. Captain Caveman had returned from Tu Lan but was too tired for a chat today and I read that Austria had introduced a type of lockdown for all unvaccinated people, more here:
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-59283128
On the building site the concrete floor got poured and the workers clocked off. I had some of the beef stew for lunch and it was so delicious that I hardly wanted to save any. That afternoon I noticed that the number of Corona cases in the province of Balikesir, further north in Turkey, was having a surge, despite 81% of their population being fully vaccinated and I wondered if planning a trip up there might be a bit hasty, so near to us needing to travel back to the UK.
For dinner I reheated the Mac & Cheese I had in the freezer and finished off the last of the plums. My finger was hurting and so I left the plaster off of the cut to try to get some air to it, watched Start Up on Netflix, then had an early night.

I woke up on Monday 15th November to some interesting news; Cambodia had opened the country to vaccinated people, read about it here:
https://www.khmertimeskh.com/50971077/cambodia-throws-the-gauntlet-at-asean-as-it-obliterates-entry-restrictions/?fbclid=IwAR01Gplpv86AOPTcKE99WqT9xlIXutKql4fSzS7Jim8sk0Nrh2d6Ntt_dlM
Meanwhile, in Saigon this monkey was causing concern:
https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/society/20211115/onefooted-monkey-attacks-residents-in-ho-chi-minh-city/64149.html
In Vietnam they had allowed certain tourists in and had reached only 34% of the population being vaccinated, Dong Hoi had cases which had resulted in new lockdowns, but there was talk of vaccinating children so that more schools could reopen.
In Turkey the lira had hit 14 to the pound and I was also concerned that I still needed to book and pay for my flight from Dalaman to Istanbul but was waiting for nearer the time in case there was any lockdown here or in the UK. I ate all my meals at home today as I was trying to save a bit of money, ready for my trip back at Christmas as England was probably going to be expensive compared to what I’m used to. I was also trying to keep track of what I was eating more. I went to the supermarket for some provisions and stopped off at the chemist for plasters that I no longer needed but were good to have.
The shopping from Migros with prices in lira:

1 pack of pasta 3.36
1 pack of salami 4.15
1 Bounty 4.95
1 pack of cheese triangles 6.25
1 bag of crisps 8.00
1 litre of milk 8.75
4 probiotic drinks 17.00
1 chicken 19.36
1 bottle of HP BBQ sauce 21.95
3 chicken breasts 26.11

Total spend 115.63 lira (£8.26)

It was a bit expensive for a Bounty but I was really craving a chocolate bar, especially an English one. My absolute favourite is a Double Decker which they don’t have here.

The builders next door were receiving the latest concrete pours for the columns on the next floor of the structure. I had a call from Captain Caveman, he was well but he said he was feeling the cold a bit now as Phong Nha had definitely cooled down. When I checked that the housekeeping staff had put his duvet back on he replied that he only had a sheet so he was cold in bed without me. As soon as we finished talking I had a group chat with the Elements Collection staff, in my terrible Vietnamese, to ask that the duvet be put on. For dinner I had some Lancashire hotpot which I’d made a while ago and put in the freezer – it’s also gluten free because instead of thickening it with flour I used red lentils.

I had another easy going day on Tuesday 16th November and made a big batch of chicken noodle soup in the slow cooker, while catching up on a few things. The Dalyan main bar street and the walk way by the river were about to get a make over which many people on Facebook were taking umbrage over. I saved a couple of the photos and didn’t bother going to see for myself as it looked a bit uneven for someone with a dodgy leg anyway. I had planned to take my parents’ washing back and return Vanessa’s suitcase so I thought I could do them all at the same time, but then I forgot and it got too chilly to venture out. I had a couple of red wines, my first alcohol since Friday, with my gorgeous chicken noodle soup, then finished watching the rest of Start Up on Netflix. Tomorrow I had nothing planned but sometimes Dalyan has a way of changing that!

İçmeler and Dalyan – 13th November

İçmeler and Dalyan – 13th November


I’d been having probiotics every morning for just over a week and, although there were some improvements, I definitely wasn’t ‘cured’ as I was well and truly about to find out on Saturday 13th November. Vanessa had very kindly invited me on a trip to İçmeler today and, as this was a road trip, I was conscious that I certainly didn’t need a repeat performance of what happened on the Mediterranean Highlights trip only 3 weeks ago. I made the decision to only have the probiotic drink but no breakfast and then I had no chance of having a dodgy stomach, even though I felt absolutely fine.
I knew another 5 of the other trip goers already (Michaela, Janet & Kevin, Martin & Wendy) and the minibus was full so it was only 50 lira each for the return fare. On the way there I started to have the rumblings in my tummy so when we were asked if we would like to stop off at a cafe made from an actual aeroplane I jumped at the chance. I’d been past it many times, although I had never had the chance to visit, but this one wasn’t about to go well!

We’d arrived at the aeroplane cafe and I desperately needed the toilet now but the cafe was closed, fortunately for everyone a man came and opened up for us. The toilets didn’t have the water turned on in the Western style toilets but there were containers of water in the squat ones so I went and was definitely not well. As I opened the door to get out of the cubicle I cut my finger on the lock and then had quite a bit of blood which wouldn’t stop. I joined Vanessa and a couple I had not met before (Andy & Julie), Vanessa had got me a Turkish tea but as I sat down the chair had a puddle of water on it and my top and trousers were soaked. Great! Vanessa and I paid the 10 lira (less than a pound) to go in the plane and it was very strange but interesting so I’d definitely recommend it! I needed the loo again before we left and I felt exactly like I did on the last road trip!

On the bus I found out that when we got to İçmeler we were all booked in for either fish and chips or pie and chips at the Fryer Tuck restaurant which everyone who had been before said was amazing. I was beginning to think I’d have been better off staying at home because of my stomach but when we arrived we had a walk along the beach and the town looked like it was closed, there was nothing going on. A lot of the ladies on the trip had a look around the shops and Vanessa picked up some bargains. I had a soda water while others had beer or wine in the pub and I was feeling really hungry but was worried about eating in case I was ill again, I had already had 3 imodium but they didn’t work at all.

The fish and chips were absolutely fantastic and easily the best I’ve ever tried in Turkey, I didn’t eat most of the batter (which was perfect) even though I wasn’t allergic to it but was trying to avoid what I thought had previously made me ill, just incase. There was also mushy peas and curry sauce available which my fellow diners said were good, but I just don’t like either, some people on the other tables had pie and that also looked really good but I couldn’t chance it. They had one of my favourites, treacle sponge, but I also avoided it because of my stomach and the journey back, while the others really enjoyed it and I drank my pot of tea like a proper Brit abroad. The whole bill for the 4 of us, including all the drinks, came to 500 lira (so less than £9 per person) and it was very good value for money and we were all stuffed!

After lunch I found that there were no pharmacies open in the area to buy more plasters as mine was letting the blood through still and was too big for a little finger. We did find a shoe shop which had some bargains and I bought a pair of sheepskin slippers and a pair of trainers for a total of just less than £15.
On the way home I was still ill and we had to stop off for me to use the services again – I was beginning to wonder if my allergy was actually travel sickness! Back home I had a quiet night between sofa and toilet but by 8pm I was so hungry that I had to make myself some beans on toast.
As I went to bed I saw that there was a post on Facebook showing that Thailand was now back to normal, with lots of people out drinking on the Khao San road, in Bangkok.

Photo credit at Fryer Tuck’s – Michaela Murray

Dalyan – 12th November

Dalyan – 12th November

We were going to have a last breakfast together on Friday 12th November but my parents had a surprise visit from the door fitting workmen who were back with doors that were the right length this time. The plan was for my parents to come to mine and then we would go for food but my mom messaged to say they were waiting for the workmen to finish and then they would leave. With my parents leaving Dalyan were my updates over the next few weeks were unlikely to contain as much going out and Bailey’s in them! Eventually my parents arrived at my place, we were surprisingly not hungover and we marked the end of their holiday with a visit to Jiks for our last lunch together. I had the prawn skewers with chips, mom had a sandwich and chips and Dad had chicken shish with with chips. It was all really tasty and, because of too much booze last night, only Dad had a beer.
This time when we said our goodbyes I wasn’t too emotional as I would be going back to the UK next month for a short visit. We were so lucky that we had all been able to go to Turkey which had been a risk we had been willing to take and it had paid off for us.

My parents had some of their left over washing that they brought to mine so I’d already got the first lot on because bad weather was meant to be due soon. As a treat I had a takeaway afternoon tea from Sara at River Terrace which I divided up and put some in the fridge for the rest of the weekend. I did have the sandwiches and a jam and cream scone with a cup of earl grey tea about 5pm which was so good and I thought that would be enough for the rest of the day. It wasn’t, so before I went out that night I had fish fingers and beans – I had really missed eating fish fingers!
It was music bingo night at Lukka bar so I joined Debbie (Darling) and Sarah who didn’t seem to mind that this fairweather friend hadn’t been sitting with them for the last 4 weeks – and Sarah’s canine companions seemed pleased to see me, too. Even though the nights were colder now there was the awning up to shelter us so it didn’t feel cold where we were sat. Katrina also joined us and I thought that her chicken casserole dinner looked and smelled fantastic, I must try that dish. I had a good time, I didn’t win but a couple of us were sweating, and it is a bonus that the wine is only 20 lira a glass on special for Friday nights. I did need to cut back on the spending, especially with the lira to pound rate almost halving my money, but at that discount it was totally worth having 3 glasses of red!

Dalyan – 11th November

Dalyan – 11th November

On Thursday 11th November it was already time for my parents to submit their PLF, a requirement to return to the UK, and from what we had been reading online it might be a bit of a chore. As none of us have a printer our initial plan was to complete it and then go to the stationers, who would print everything for a very small fee, but it would still mean Mom having access to her emails, which she didn’t always have. Our Plan B was even better, Vanessa and Matt had a printer and offered to help us which also meant if we did anything wrong we could easily rectify the situation. I went over to my parents’ so that I could do the 2 PLFs on my phone and Mom had already got all the required documents to hand. Dad was putting me off slightly by pacing up and down next to where we were sitting and my Mom had to tell him to find something to do. The only information needed on the forms are as follows;
Name, uk address, email address,
UK phone number, flight number, flight date, flight seat number, flight landing time, passport number and expiry date, vaccine status, dates arrived abroad and PCR test reference number (for day 2).
I’d worked in insurance and Mom had worked in accounts so we weren’t bad at form filling in, I’d also had experience of completing the Turkish one when I came here, however, the UK one was pretty badly laid out and was over 4 pages when it could have been 1. It was in an illogical order with lots of repetition and took far longer than it should have, but we managed it. We checked each one 3 times before submission and then sent it to our friends ready for them to print later and bring it when we met them for drinks later on. My Mom already had all her other documents printed as we had heard that the check-in queues were sometimes long because of passengers trying to find missing docs on their phone. With that all done, I was hungry as I hadn’t had any breakfast and I suggested somewhere we hadn’t tried this visit yet, somewhere I had avoided eating in the past because of my ‘food allergies’. We took the long walk via the river and walked all the way along to Kaunos tea gardens near the turtle statue. It was lovely and sunny, Dad had coffee and we had Turkish tea which was very nice. It was already 12.45pm so we ordered food, they weren’t doing pancakes so Mom ordered calamari, Dad had a cheese, tomato and sausage toasted sandwich and I had the cheese and sausage one. It’s Turkish sausage so more like a salami but is made from beef and is delicious in a toastie. The food was great and the waitress was super keen and quite good with her English, I tried a little bit of Turkish too. The prices were really good value and Dad noted the beer was about the cheapest in Dalyan (for next time).
We were meant to be meeting friends in the afternoon but I got a message from them to say they were unable to make it today. It might have been a good thing as by the time we had walked back in to town, having tried to find a shop that was open to get some Turkish Delight for my sister, I needed the toilet so urgently that I had to leave my parents and get home quickly.

After having an immediate reaction to my cheese and Turkish sausage sandwich, from the tea garden, I was at home resting up when I got a message from Selahı, asking where I was as he was at Bistro Blue and would be there until 4pm for me to go and purchase some of the lovely wine he had. I went as soon as I could as I really loved the Leona Cabernet Sauvignon which I was going to buy at a reduced price and hoped to buy a bottle of prosecco too. When I got there I was immediately offered a drink, a nice glass of red wine as I joined 3 others plus Selahı. We had a bit of a chat and then as I had almost finished my wine the Turkish men left to go to the barbers and left me with the English chap who’d come to collect some cushions. When Selahı returned he insisted on a top up and then I was almost late to meet the evening gang but had enjoyed the surprise Sunday club.
After dropping off my 4 bottles of wine at home, I arrived at the 2 Charlies bar where my parents, Vanessa and Matt were already drinking and I ordered a wine. I was a bit put out that the print outs had the wrong passport expiry date on for my Mom, even though I read it back to her 3 times, and couldn’t understand how that had even happened but she didn’t seem too worried and said she would chance it. We had another drink then my parents and I said our farewells to Vanessa, Matt and Alan (who had now joined us) as we were heading off for my last Turkish meal with my parents before they left Dalyan. Dad was up for trying a place that had been one of my favourites the last time that Captain Caveman and I were here in winter, River House. There was an outdoor fire so we sat at a table near to that and ordered glasses of wine. The menu is extensive but I found it easy to decide on the chicken casserole, Dad ordered liver and onions, while Mom went with the most unexpected dish from the menu – Singapore noodles! I should have realised she was acting out of sorts at this point but it wasn’t until a couple of hours later that we noticed Mom was acting out of character. Throughout all of their month here Mom had been keeping an eye on Dad and telling him he couldn’t go mad on the drinking and he often wanted to stay out longer but tonight Mom was the one to suggest we go on for a nightcap somewhere else. We ended the night in Lukka bar giving the proverbial ball a right old kick, we even made the bar staff join in with our private party until another couple joined in. We knew we were drunk as I had 3 Bailey’s but my Dad was in utter disbelief as my Mom had twice that amount and kept complaining her’s had evaporated. At one point she started to complain it must not be real Bailey’s, but it was, and she didn’t even care when we got the rather large bill at the end of the night. It was an unexpected end to their month long holiday but it was such a laugh – I suspected both Mom and I would suffer from hangovers and leg twinges from all the dancing when we got up tomorrow!

Dalyan – 10th November

Dalyan – 10th November

It was the first day after being told I had no food allergies on Wednesday 10th November and I was about to take full advantage of eating and drinking whatever I fancied without thinking about it. Of course I decided to keep on with the probiotic drinks every morning as that can only be a good thing. I also had 2 slices of buttered toast for my breakfast and I knew we would be out for lunch and dinner today. Captain Caveman had replied while I had been asleep to say he still thinks I’m allergic to chillies, gluten and eggs and that I should probably try ruling them out to see what happens. The building site next door was particularly noisy this morning as the acro poles were being put up for support and the concrete staircase was going in. The lira had gone past 13.5 lira to the pound which was great for tourists but not so good for the Turks or people who lived here and had money in the bank here. I went over to my parents’ place and gave my Mom a letter for my English bank to request a new card, as it had expired during the pandemic and I couldn’t do anything about it from Vietnam. Mom was booked in for her hair cutting with my hairdresser, Emrah, who is fantastic, at 1.30pm so we walked round together while Dad waited in for the workmen to come, who didn’t arrive. I’d decided I needed another pedicure so popped to Mimi’s but unfortunately they were not available for a walk-in appointment (I should have booked). Instead, I went in to a shop on the main road and found some sunglasses for 90 lira (£6.65) as I’d inadvertently left mine in Phong Nha. I’d just got home when Mom messaged to say they were off for lunch in Jiks so to meet there in 5 minutes. I had a beer while I waited for them and then when they got there Dad was off the booze because he’d not felt so great. Mom ordered a tuna sandwich and chips, Dad had an omelette and I decided to go for it with a chicken burger. It was really good and came with 2 pieces of chicken breast on my bread, served with chips and salad too. As it was a nice, sunny day we decided to have a walk to a place by the river, Okyanus, where we had a beer and I got to put my new sunglasses on. My stomach started to swell right up like I was about to give birth but I had no other stomach issues. In the evening we decided to go to an old favourite that we hadn’t been to yet, Kordon. Mom ordered a spring roll and some fresh fish, Dad went for cheese rolls and a casserole and I decided to have prawns then risk the steak with gorgonzola cheese sauce. We all had wine and it was a lovely warm night, sat by the indoor fire, as the temperatures outside were quite cold now. The meal was lovely, we all enjoyed what we chose to eat and I had no noticeable reaction to the cheese sauce. As we left to walk home the temperature outside was quite cold and it was nice to get home and under the duvet that night.

Fethiye and Dalyan – 9th November

Fethiye and Dalyan – 9th November

I was finally going to get tested for food allergies on Tuesday 9th November. I had arranged for Sonuç to accompany Vanessa and I to get the blood tests at the Esnaf hospital in Fethiye. My parents were also coming along and we intended on making it a bit of a day trip, with it being about 1 hour away. We left mine at 9.30am, with Sonuç and Engin our driver, in the comfort of the 6 seater. I was confident that I had eaten enough of the gluten and dairy, which I thought I was intolerant to, for the test to pick those out – I’d only eaten pizza so that I could put it to the test. I also had a dodgy stomach that morning as well as on arrival at the hospital. Sonuç was great as when we got to the international department area there was a big queue so we went to the locals section and got sorted there. I was surprised to see that the hospital was not only big but very busy for a Tuesday morning and I was slightly nervous. Even on the way there and before, Vanessa and I had been trying to predict what the results would say. I’m a fainter so obviously I was worried I might faint but they don’t mess about in the blood taking room. Vanessa was in less than a minute and went first as they shouted her first, then I went in. I shouldn’t have looked at one of the other ‘customers’ because then I saw the needle in him and nearly couldn’t stand up. Sonuç and Vanessa were great and got me out of a side exit before I could faint and then we had to come back at 5pm for the results. The cost of the blood test was 550 lira (about £40 at the time) and we weren’t sure exactly what foods they were testing for. I was still feeling woozy when we got dropped off in the town centre of Fethiye and so we went straight to a cafe for a Turkish tea for me and Vanessa, coffees for my parents.

We had a bit of impromptu shopping in the Turkish delight and tea shop where we all got a bit of something. Next we had a wander down the umbrella precinct area and found it to be almost empty everywhere so decided to go down by the harbour area for a drink. I didn’t fancy wine so I had a beer and, of course, I had a bad stomach so when we decided on having lunch at nearby Address I chose a safe option. Everyone else had pides which looked fantastic but I stuck to a chicken shish because I knew I still had to travel back again after we got the results. After lunch we had wine at a bar, Mom nipped in to Migros for some provisions and then we all walked back to the harbour to meet Sonuç and Engin for a short trip back to the hospital for the results. Vanessa and I were nervous but looking forward to finding out exactly what foods we would have to give up, we even joked about how bad it might be.

While we were enjoying our day in Fethiye our blood was being tested for food allergies. Below is a list of all the things that they tested us for (in Turkish and English) so you can do what Vanessa and I were doing – guessing which ones would be the likely culprits!

Yumurta akı – egg white
Yumurta sarısı – egg yolk
İnek sütü – cow’s milk
İnek sütü UHT – UHT milk
Kazein – casein (protein in dairy)
Buğday unu – wheat flour
Gluten – gluten
Pirinç – rice
Soya fasulyesi – soya bean
Susam – sesame
Yer fıstığı – peanut
Fındık – hazlenut
Antep fıstığı – pistachio
Ayçekirdegi – sunflower seed
Kabak çekirdeği – pumpkin seed
Kakao – cocoa
Portakal – orange
Çilek – strawberry
Elma – apple
Muz – banana
Kivi – kiwi
Dut – mulberry
İncir – fig
Domates – tomatoes
Havuç – carrot
Patates – potatoes
Soğan – onion
Şeftali – peach
Kiraz – cherries
Zeytin – olive
Yeşil fasülye – green beans
Balık karışımı – fish (mixed)
Deniz kabukluları – shellfish
Et karışımı – meat (mixed)
Tavuk eti – chicken

I thought it would be eggs, dairy, wheat, gluten and perhaps onion, tomatoes or banana that I was intolerant or allergic to. Captain Caveman thought I was allergic to gluten, dairy/lactose, sulphites, eggs and possibly banana. Vanessa knew there were certain fruits and vegetables that set her off, in addition to custard.


While we were still in Fethiye I got a call to tell me that my residency card was in Dalyan, so that was quicker than expected – I was happy with that as the official timeframe was 8 weeks, the Muğla immigration officer said 4 weeks and it had been 2 weeks and 3 days.
When we arrived back at the Esnaf hospital in Fethiye to collect the results of our food allergy tests it was about 5pm but when Sonuç went in, there was a delay of 10 minutes. Vanessa and I were really nervous but I knew whatever it was that my body was intolerant to, I would have to give it/them up. I was ready to do that (as long as it wasn’t all alcohol) because I was fed up of never knowing when I was going to be ill and I liked going on day trips to places other than a tour of the lavatories. Ever the joker, when Sonuç came out with our results he pretended to give us news that we were allergic to everything on the list, plus a few more besides! But the real results were shocking; as we sat in the back of the taxi, Vanessa’s were revealed first – she was not allergic or intolerant to any of the foods tested! We were taken aback but could understand that due to Vanessa’s recent health issues that perhaps her stomach problems were caused because of her surgery so it could be possible. She also knew she was allergic to apple and had not eaten one for more than 6 weeks so, again, would account for why apple was rated a ‘0’ on the ‘0-5’ scale. I was next and thought I’d at least get a ‘1’ or ‘2’ rating on some things, however we were all flabbergasted to find I had ‘0’ for every single thing on the list, the same as Vanessa. I was so relieved to find I have no food allergies but, of course, this didn’t detract from the fact that there is something wrong with me – or was I just imagining it!?
The ride back to Dalyan was easy going and when we got back to mine Vanessa went home but my parents and I decided to ‘celebrate’ in Lukka bar. I had a red wine, they had beers, Mom was too full to eat but Dad and I decided to order food. As I have no allergies to food, I ordered something I have not had in years; Mac & Cheese, Dad chose a garlic pizza bread. My food didn’t look like a classic Mac & Cheese but it tasted very good, after half of it I was stuffed and so took leftovers home and put it in the freezer.
I was very pleased to say I had no immediate or short term reaction to the food I’d eaten and so I went to bed thinking I could probably eat whatever I wanted from now on. That would be amazing!!! I messaged Captain Caveman to let him know as he’d not asked how I was getting on (he rarely thinks to ask me) but I got no reply, despite not hearing from him since Sunday. I also messaged my sister, who is Coeliac, she didn’t want to worry me but reminded me that it took her years to get an accurate diagnosis. I had been tested a few years ago and wasn’t Coeliac and I could at least rule that out. So, tomorrow I would be back to the drawing board – writing down every food and every reaction to find out what could be wrong.

Dalyan – 8th November

Dalyan – 8th November

We had an amazing day on Monday 8th November; my parents, Vanessa and I met at mine and walked to our meeting point for a boat trip with Captain Boris. Today we were joining Basrı and Rebecca with their guests Nanny Kay, Viv and Paul for a trip to Köyceğiz as Monday is their market day. Also on board were the owners of the Caretta Caretta restaurant in the square which was closed now so they were going to be helping out on the boat, which was great. To be honest I didn’t need to go to the market but I love a boat trip and Captain Boris is one of the best boat trips for food and service so I was in!

I didn’t check the Corona heat map which is an app that tells you how risky an area is but I later found out it had some red (high risk) areas where the market is – great! My Dad needed a pair of socks so, luckily for him, he had Mom, me and Vanessa all ‘helping’ him choose some. Then the parents went off and we said we would find them for a drink later after a look around the market and shops. I bought 3 things and spent just 100 lira (£7.50); a cheap ring to replace the one from Marble Mountain, 6 wine glasses and a pair of trousers for lounging in. We were masked up the whole time, even when we bumped in to Sabine and Ray, Dalyan friends who were at one of the restaurants at the water’s edge. We couldn’t find my parents so we had a glass of wine each at a place not far from the boat and then went back to show off the purchases.

We set back off once we were all back on the boat and went to a stunning place on the lake for our plentiful lunch. The food was so tasty and there was so much choice as well as a good selection of wines, I even went on to a blush which was surprisingly good. There was lots of time for swimming in the lake, taking in the amazing views, sharing stories with each other and drinking a little wine – Nanny Kay tried pomegranate wine! We also sent messages to Jamie to gloat that we (his friends) were all together having fun without him, we were also looking forward to seeing him again for more boat trips in the new year.

After the beautiful boat trip, I went to Jiks for one with Vanessa and my parents and I put my purchases on a chair behind me. Obviously, I forgot them and had to go and collect them later when I realised and then I decided to go to Pizza 48 to let them know about the missing chicken nuggets the last time we ordered from there. I accidentally got chatting to a couple who lived not far from Birmingham, they were eating at one of the tables outside and the lady was drinking a glass of red wine. I had not known we could’ve had wine there so I decided to have one, plus a takeaway pizza and we had a nice chat while it cooked.
Back home I ate half of the pizza, watched something on Netflix and then went to bed not realising how much of a shocker tomorrow was going to be!

Dalyan – 7th November

Dalyan – 7th November

The rest of my weekend was more relaxed, I woke up on Sunday 7th November grateful that there was no building work going off and with a mission to retrieve my Dad’s swimmers from our boat trip on Thursday. I met Hakan, the Captain, at Yusuf’s boat and he went to collect them, they were still tied to the back of the boat where Dad left them and were pretty damp. I felt like I needed a hangover breakfast so I decided to go to Lukka bar for a bit of breakfast but I think I ordered the wrong thing. I was debating whether to have a full English but thought it would be too much and ordered a bacon and sausage sandwich which I had imagined might come on soft fresh bread. When it arrived it was in a hot toasted panini with 2 slices of bacon and a small amount of sausage but was served with a basket of hot potato wedges, which I’m not really a fan of and didn’t realise that’s how it came. For 38 lira (£2.92) it would be a bargain for anyone wanting that meal but I should have gone for a full English instead. On the way back in to the apartment I noticed there were more signs of life on the bougainvillea too which had started to be growing on each of the 3 plants. Captain Caveman was at Chay Lap today and having a day off, meeting up with our friend Phuong and her young son. In Vietnam the pandemic was still very much having an affect on the people and they were still fighting it like they were at war with the virus. It was interesting to see that Cambodia was now allowing visitors with quarantine, Thailand was about to allow tourists under certain conditions and there were talks that Vietnam may trial a set tourist package in the near future.
My UK driving licence had expired 2 years ago and so I applied for a new one (at a cost of £14) then gave my Mom the old one to post back to the DVLA in Swansea, my new one would be delivered in a couple of weeks.
My parents and I ate at Kebapçı Yusuf again for dinner as it is one of our favourites and the food is a bargain. I just had a coke and a mixed pide, with left overs taken home of course, my parents had the chicken and lamb shish and all were very tasty. I was joining Vanessa on a trip to Köyceğiz tomorrow and my parents decided they would also come along as it would be our last Dalyan boat trip this year.

Dalyan – 6th November

Dalyan – 6th November

It was my parents’ last trip to the weekly market on Saturday 6th November and when I arrived at their apartment they had obviously been discussing what they needed to buy. My dad knew we would be making the most of their last week in Dalyan and that my mom isn’t too keen on cooking so he was saying they didn’t need to buy much, if anything. My mom was still keen to go because she thought they would need some salad stuff so that Dad could continue to make their lunch most days. I was out of olives and potatoes so I needed to get more, it was a lovely sunny day as we walked to the market and we bumped in to Onur, the musician. At the market I bought potatoes, mushrooms, olives, dried figs and dates for a total of 69 lira (about £5.50) so I had an eclectic mix for breakfast which was more like lunch time and I sat outside to watch the building work activities for today.

The columns next door were being poured today and a concrete machine was pouring it in from above while the workmen gave instructions and tried to steer the pouring arm in the right direction. Later, I had a trip to Migros supermarket for a few provisions and more Tupperware, here’s what was in my shopping basket;

1 pack of Turkey ham 3.65
1 can of pink grapefruit drink 3.95
1 pack of smoked chicken 5.50
Bin bags 7.90
1 can of chopped tomatoes 8.25
1 pack of cheese slices 8.50
2 probiotic drinks 8.50
1 sliced loaf 9.95
1 hair conditioner 19.25
2 Tupperware boxes 23.66
1 pack of frozen fish fingers 29.60

Total spent 128.71 lira (£9.50)

I had a 2nd lunch/snack of a turkey ham salad sandwich with pickled red cabbage and I opened a bottle of red wine. I only had a couple of small glasses because tonight the 3 of us had a special night planned.

I decided to wear my poppy dress for our night out, mainly because I didn’t know if Remembrance Sunday was this week or next but also because it is the warmest dress I have and the nights were quite chilly these days. The 3 of us walked up the main street of Dalyan and decided to have a drink at Aşkin’s where we bumped in to a few of the Dalyaners, including Rebecca and Nanny Kay, who I would be seeing on another boat trip next week. We just had the one drink there and then we walked back to Bistro Blue where I had booked a table for the 3 of us. We had a choice of inside or outside but we plumped for inside where it was all cosy with just 3 tables. Annie and Selahı welcomed us as usual and we took our seats ready to peruse the menu. Selahı recommended we have some red wine which he would normally have on the menu at a more expensive price than Tılsım but because this was their last weekend of being open he did us a good deal and only charged us 120 lira (£9) and it was very nice.

Dad and I shared a bottle of it while Mom had a glass (or two) of white wine, Dad ordered liver and onions with bacon but Mom and I had to go for steaks seeing as it would be our last night here this year! Unbelievably, while we were between starters and mains a couple came in and sat down and the man asked Selahı where he gets his meat from, not a usual question but it put the idea in my head that I knew this man from somewhere. It turned out that he was also from Sheffield and had been at a Leo Houlding talk at The Foundry in Sheffield, 8 years ago. He was surprised I remembered but he was a keen climber and we got chatting a bit and they ordered food. Another couple who had quietly been enjoying their meal got chatting too and we were surprised to hear that they had been coming to Dalyan for a long time but this was their first meal at Bistro Blue. The food was incredible, we were really looked after and we ended up having another bottle of wine, then Dad went on to the brandy and lemonades. Işmail, the flower man, came to say hello and Dad asked to buy 2 roses for Mom and I. Mom then had to pay for them as Dad doesn’t have money on him – and they say romance is dead. We had a great night and were pretty drunk when we eventually left Bistro Blue with arrangements made to meet up with Annie and Selahı soon.

Dalyan – 5th November

Dalyan – 5th November

On Friday 5th November I started the day with my weekly weigh-in and took my measurements, even though I knew it was a bit pointless as I was really not watching what I ate at all. It was just a habit I’d got in to tracking and it did help me to see where I should be doing better and highlighted where I think my food intolerances are. I had stayed the same weight as last week, surprisingly, my measurements were pretty good but it did mean that there were differences in my legs of 1cm for thighs and 0.5cm for calves, which ideally I needed to rectify. I’d been doing much more walking in Dalyan compared to back in Phong Nha but I couldn’t go very far and was still very slow because of the pain in my ankle.
The building site next door was still making for interesting viewing as the preparation for the concrete posts continued with the erecting of the metal casings for the ground floor columns.
I had my daily probiotic drink followed by bread, cheese spread and olives for breakfast and as it was my parents’ last week we were off out to make the most of the river views with a lunch time treat. I’d been to Alegria once before and was really looking forward to going again, this time for my parents’ first visit there. We got a lovely shady spot overlooking the tombs and the river, the sun was shining on such a lovely day. Mom ordered octopus and a portion of chips, Dad chose the quiche with salad and I went mad with a goats cheese, beetroot and walnut salad. Of course there was a nice bottle of white wine to wash it all down with as the very nice waiter pointed out a turtle swimming in the river. We also watched as the cormorants swam and showed us their diving skills while we enjoyed the tranquil ambience. The food was fantastic but I was a bit greedy and we all decided to have a dessert. I knew Dad would have the apple pie and ice cream, Mom had ice-cream which was meant to be lemon and something else but she ended up with vanilla. I ordered a mosaic cake as I’d never had it before but I still haven’t because they didnt have any and I ended up with a fig cake which was very nice but rather sickly with that ‘fake’ cream stuff on the top. My stomach was fine after the cheese and the cake and we took a stroll down to check out another new place by the river, Le Bohème.

Previously this place was Casa Nova but had been renovated and was now looking mighty posh. I’d heard extremely mixed reviews and so we decided to check it out for a drink so we could see what the menu looked like, perhaps for another time. We had a table by the river again and this was the first (and only) place we had been where all the staff were masked up, we realised this is because there were tour groups arriving by boat from other areas of Turkey and it was good to see the staff being careful. The prices were definitely higher but not ridiculous compared to the UK, Dad had a beer, me and mom had a glass of house white wine which was very nice and the bill came to 112 lira (about £10 at the exchange rate that day). I browsed the menu which is huge and it did look a little out of our price range but would perhaps be good for a special occasion.

That night, as is our usual Friday night haunt, we went to Lukka bar for the music bingo quiz and had a good laugh and a sing song. Mom got lucky as she won the 2nd round of the bingo and got a beautiful Maizie Moo prize of a scented candle and a kiss from Mehmet! We had a great Friday and it was a wonderful start to the last full weekend for my ma & pa!

Dalyan – 4th November

Dalyan – 4th November

I had a day trip planned on Thursday 4th November with Vanessa, Matt and my parents so I had my probiotic drink and then some cornflakes with milk for breakfast. I made sure I had some chicken stroganoff at the ready for when I got back from today’s boat trip out to sea with Yusuf from Amy’s Bar. Yusuf was busy renovating a 6 bedroom villa which he would rent out from next year but he still had time for boat trips while the weather was nice. We all met near Tez bar just before 10am, we were the first on to Yusuf’s boat where Yusuf, Hakan and Murat were preparing for the day ahead. A Turkish mom and her son joined, followed by a well-dressed Polish couple, so 9 customers in total. As we set off down the river and towards the beach there was Turkish tea and homemade cake for everyone, I was conscious that the cake might not suit my stomach so I didn’t have any but I did have 2 cups of Turkish tea. Before we could get to the sea we had to navigate the shallow sandbanks where lots of boats get stuck every day so we were all asked to go to the very front of the boat and sit on the floor. That was easier said than done for quite a few of us and once down I wondered if I would be able to get back up. Hakan is a good boat captain so he got us through without too much fuss and we were on our way along the coastline towards Devil’s Bay. Vanessa and I noticed that there were border patrol boats at sea and these were because of the trouble between Greece and Turkey with migrants trying to get to Europe via Turkey, this was the first time we had seen these and there were quite a few massive boats on the horizon. When we got to our spot at the little Devil’s Bay it was time for swimming. Everyone but me and the Polish couple went in, they were disappointed as they didn’t know the itinerary for the day and thought they were just going on a river trip for an hour or two, so didn’t bring swimwear. I still couldn’t get my healed wound wet so I decided to take photos and then test the beer out, it certainly passed the test for coldness! There was a gorgeous BBQ lunch and we all had a drink before heading back towards Dalyan, where we almost got stuck on a sandbank on the way past the beach. I was sunbathing on the front of the boat and chatting to Vanessa thinking we were finished for the day but then we went to Çandır lake for another stop, we were definitely getting our money’s worth on this trip.

When we got back to land Dad was sad that the day had ended and wanted to be out out, even though we had said we weren’t going out tonight, I’d got a stroganoff to eat and mom was doing tea for them at home tonight. I called at Şok supermarket for some essentials;

1 plastic bag 0.25 (I had forgotten my bag)
Bread 2.00
3 carrots 2.38
1 packet of crisps 4.50
1 pack of ‘lady’ items 14.50
4 probiotic drinks 17.00
1 box of mini magnums 27.50

Total spent 68.58 (£5)

I’d just took my bra off and got comfy when I got a message from Mom to say that Dad had left his swimming shorts tied to the back of the boat, she didn’t want to give Dad an excuse to go back out for more drinking so asked me if I would be able to get them back for him. I messaged Yusuf and Hakan but there was no reply as they were probably settling down for dinner with their families. After eating an ice-cream after dinner, I had a stomach ache and then was ill, this was a good test as I needed to eat more of what I might be allergic to before my testing, although it could be due to the 2 beers I had drank on the boat.

Dalyan – 3rd November

Dalyan – 3rd November

On Wednesday 3rd November, after leftover pizza for breakfast, ma & pa came over around 12.30pm as we were booked in to Bistro Blue for lunch. I’d invited Ann along too, as we all enjoy it there, the weather was nice again so we decided to sit outside and we all ordered drinks and food. I decided just to have a main course but my parents shared some cheese rolls and Ann ordered onion bhajis as a side dish to the main. My Dad and Ann both had the chicken and bacon salad, Mom had a prawn salad and I had a rather filling beef wrap with chips. It was absolutely delicious and I couldn’t finish it all so I took 1 of the beef wraps home for later. It was our last Bistro Blue lunch of this season and we had a great meal with excellent company.

Unfortunately my parents had to go at 3.30pm because they were having some doors replaced and the workman was coming to do the fitting. Ann and I decided to call for a drink at Tez bar on our way home and then ended up having 2, as you do, sat in the sunshine. While we were there two lots of friends arrived who had not been introduced before so we left the 4 of them getting acquainted. I had the rest of my beef wrap leftovers for dinner and then decided I needed another early night, while my parents found that the doors were too short and had gone to Jiks for their dinner. I was asleep by 8.30pm but then the Jazz bar started their live music and I was awake at 10.30pm until 1.30am! Just typical when I had to be up relatively early tomorrow as we had plans.

Dalyan – 2nd November

Dalyan – 2nd November

The building work next door woke me up earlier than I would have liked on Tuesday 2nd November, the lovely sound of hardcore being dumped. My hangover was pretty bad as I’d drank 6 large glasses of wine last night, which is the most I’ve drunk in a long while. It was now officially the winter season here in Dalyan so our pool and garden man had drained the pool, he still hadn’t tidied any of the debris and litter left in the garden borders I noticed, when I went out for lunch with my parents. Dad had decided we would go to Yener’s Place who might be closing soon and the sun was shining again so we could sit out with a river view. We sat outside even though the leaves were falling from the trees quite a lot now but we were catching the sunshine while we still could. My parents went for one of their favourite lunchtime meals, tuna sandwiches and I decided to see how an İskender kebab would go down with this hangover I had, especially as quite a few people had recommended I try the one at Yener’s. It was good but gave me a bad stomach after eating only half so I took the rest home then ate the rest of it once I felt better in the afternoon.

Mom and I went to Migros supermarket for some essentials while Dad had already gone home. At the shop I bought the following items, priced in lira:

1 tub of quark 6.90
2 bottles of Activia probiotic drinks 7.50
1 pack of sanitary towels 10.00
24 toilet rolls 29.92
1 box or washing capsules 47.50

Total spent 101.82 lira (£7.60)

Vanessa had mentioned that she has probiotics every morning to try to help with her dodgy tum so I thought I’d have a go too. That evening Vanessa came over with a bottle of wine and we decided to get a Pizza 48 takeaway. We ordered a salami and mushroom one and a beef, onion, and peppers one on the deal that comes with chips and a can of pop. I also decided to try the chicken nuggets and we paid half each for the takeaway. When we got home they hadn’t given us the chicken nuggets we ordered and paid for but I didn’t have any credit on my phone to message them to let them know. The pizza was good but we couldn’t manage it all and I couldn’t manage much wine either as I’d had too much the previous night. Vanessa and I did have a good laugh putting the world to rights and planning to have some fun while both her and her husband, Matt, are in Dalyan.