Dalyan – 26th November

Dalyan – 26th November

When I woke up on Friday 26th November the news was packed full of articles about Corona; a new variant had been discovered in South Africa, more here:
https://www.bbc.com/news/health-59418127
I saw a Facebook post to say that the UK were banning flights from South Africa. France had announced that a 3rd vaccine booster would be required for vaccine passes to be valid.
In the Vietnamese news there was reports that a total of 3 people had died after their vaccination in Vietnam, the investigation was ongoing, check it out here:
https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/society/20211126/following-two-deaths-one-more-dies-after-covid19-vaccination-in-vietnam/64368.html
Then later it was reported that there was a 4th death from the same batch of vaccines in Vietnam, see below:
https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/society/20211126/vietnam-seals-vero-cell-covid19-vaccine-batch-following-4th-postvaccination-death/64382.html
My arm was aching today, 2 days after my vaccine and I felt incredibly tired so I decided that I was going to have a day of chilling out and I was going to have a night in tonight.
My delivery of meat pies and sausage rolls from Emma was delivered by her husband, Yusuf, and I put some in the freezer before I was tempted to eat them all – I did have 2 sausage rolls for my breakfast though!
For lunch I made a bit of a strange concoction of köfte, rice and mushrooms which tasted really good.
I went to meet a friend at the tea gardens in the afternoon and when I got there it was a mess because of the improvements the council were attempting to make. The cafe was now next to the toilets, on the grass, so no longer overlooking the river and the rock tombs. After several Turkish teas and a chat I walked back home, just as the sun was setting and I called in to the stationers to buy a notebook, I spotted they had some good 2022 diaries there too so I purchased a nice one.
That night I ordered a takeaway from Spice Garden and got enough for tonight and tomorrow’s lunch. I had poppadoms, chicken tikka masala with chips and nan, I even had a couple of glasses of red wine to wash it down and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I went to bed really tired but I couldn’t get to sleep.

Dalyan – 22nd & 23rd November

Dalyan – 22nd & 23rd November

I had a busy day at the start of the week on Monday 22nd November. The lira was at 15 to the English pound so my money was now at half the value of when I put it in the bank, which was disconcerting. I was too busy checking all the up to date rules for my forthcoming trip to England that I completely forgot to have any breakfast. I found that I was going to need all of the addresses of where I would be going in the first 10 days of my stay so that I could put them on the PLF, I also needed to decide on at least 1 address to stay at, for the first 2 days – this was going to be tricky as I didn’t really have a plan as yet, but I needed one before I left Turkey. I decided to have a bit of a clear out so that I could donate any bric-a-brac to the white elephant stall at the Christmas fayre this year and I came across a lamp without a working bulb. I had a walk to the Millennium shop to buy a replacement to see if it worked and the weather outside looked like it might rain at any time. The forecast had said to expect a lot of rain this week and so I decided to go to the new A101 supermarket on the high street and Migros to stock up on essentials.
Here’s what I purchased, I will let you decide what was actually essential:

A101 Supermarket
1 packet of chicken noodles 2.20
2 bottles of soda water 2.70
1 pack of sigara böreği 6.90
2 packs of crisps 10.40

Total spent 22.20 lira (£1.48)

Migros Supermarket
1 plastic bag 0.25
1 pack of biscuits 2.50
2 simit 4.50
1 Bounty 4.95
1 packet of bechamel sauce mix 6.45
1 toastie loaf 9.95
1 jar of tomato paste 9.95
1 pack mushrooms 11.49
3 probiotic drinks 12.75
1 pack lasagne sheets 13.95
1 can baked beans 17.95
1 jar of pesto 22.95
1 pack of beetroot 24.90
1 bag of chestnuts 24.95

Total spent 167.49 lira (£11.17)

While I was packing my shopping I saw Maria from Askins estate agents and we had a little chat, then I paid and left to go home.

The lamp bulb was replaced, it worked so I decided to keep it and, after dropping off the shopping and eating a simit for a quick lunch, I decided to go for a walk to the doctor’s. I got a message from Maria to say I had left my Migros card at the supermarket but she had it at work and I could stop by to collect it, which I did – it was really kind of her to do that. My app said I could go for my 2nd Pfizer jab now so I thought I’d make sure that I was still booked in, especially as I needed to have 14 days clear before I landed in England. It was a nice walk along the river but the streets where the road was being taken up was a mess. The doctor confirmed I should come at 9.45am on Wednesday for my next Corona vaccine so that was good as it gave me 2 days spare. On my walk around town I bumped in to Viv who had just been to Alp’s Balıkcim for sausages, which made me want some. Alp has a section of English stuff so I made a few purchases as a treat:

Alp’s shop
1 bottle of HP brown sauce
1 can of baked beans
1 jar of tandoori paste
6 pork sausages
1 Cumberland sausage wheel

This came to a total of 150 lira (£10) but the beans were on offer at 12.50 lira so I couldn’t resist buying another for 5 lira cheaper than in the supermarket.

While I was out, Ann had messaged to ask if I fancied meeting at Heybe’s for an early dinner so I did. She had wine, I had tea and when she ordered her usual chicken schnitzel I decided to go with the potato skin starter. When it came it had a jacket potato with it and was gorgeous but I couldn’t eat it all so I took the jacket potato part home to have with my leftover Sunday dinner tomorrow.
By the time I got home it was dark, had gone quite a bit colder and I saw that the Vietnamese Corona cases were on the rise again.

It was probably the coldest day so far on Tuesday 23rd November and I was wearing a fleece indoors as I ate my simit, cheese and olives for breakfast. I decided I still needed provisions for the massive week of rain that was forecast so I togged up and ventured out to the shops again;

Şok Supermarket
3 red onions 3.22
1 packet of roast chicken bags 4.15
4 carrots 7.16
4 probiotic drinks 19.80

Total spent 34.33 lira (£2.29)

Migros Supermarket
Bread 2.00
Flour 6.35
Quark 6.90
2 cans of grapefruit drink 7.90
Milk 8.75
Eggs 9.95
Chicken pieces 12.95
Cornflakes 12.95
Cheese slices 16.70
2 Glass containers 19.74
Red cheddar 37.95

Total spent 142.14 lira (£9.48)

Selçuk Market
Washing powder 21.50
4 Efes beers 56.00

Total spent 77.50 lira (£5.17)

I also picked up a bottle of wine from Tolga’s wine shop for 45 lira (£3), never mind the rain I was ready for a blizzard!

I had a late lunch which consisted of my leftover Sunday dinner and yesterday’s leftover jacket potato (both from Heybe’s) which was absolutely gorgeous. My next mission was to make a lasagne from the bolognese that I had bubbling away in the slow cooker and could use my new glass containers for batch freezing some of it. I got peckish while it was cooking and ate a Bounty and then some chicken pieces with BBQ sauce. When the lasagne was ready I had to taste some so I cut off the ends and ate those, it was really good and I would look forward to more of it in the next couple of days. I’d been watching a series on Netflix called Cuckoo, with comedian Greg Davies in, and was finding it quite entertaining so I watched more before bed and set the alarm so that I didn’t overlay for my important appointment tomorrow.

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 – 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 – 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 – 28th October

Dalyan – 28th October

Debbie (Darling) had arranged a private boat trip for a few friends, including us, on Thursday 28th October with Captain Turgay. His boat is certainly one of the livelier ones and is renowned for having more of a party atmosphere, than a relaxing scenic day out.
My arm really ached this morning from the jab but I had no other side effects at all and my parents arrived at mine early and excited for the boat trip. We were very lucky to have gorgeous weather and it looked to be a lovely day out with friends.
The attendees were Debbie (Darling), Ann, me, Mom, Dad, Sue, Pamela and Mark, 2 of them had been drinking until the small hours this morning and were either still drunk or hungover. Debbie (Darling) had called for a beer on the way and had one as soon as she got on the boat – she’s hardcore!

We went down the river to the back of the beach where my parents and I got off the boat and went for a short walk to the sea. Dad had a bit of a dip but we didn’t and we saw friends Ray and Phil who were with the Riverbums, clearing litter from the area. I missed joining them this year but my leg still wasn’t good enough to be able to walk far or get on and off the boat for litter collecting, I’d even needed help to get off of Turgay’s boat to go on to the beach. We spotted 2 pairs of children’s shoes and wondered what had happened to the owners, had they forgotten the shoes or was there a more sinister reason for the shoes being left?

I hadn’t bothered with breakfast and my first drink of the day was bang on midday – a glass of white wine and soda back on the boat. Mark and Turgay had a crab which looked like it was smiling, there was a big turtle in the water and I struggled to get a good photo of it but it was swimming really near to the boat and my Mom once she got in, luckily it didn’t try to bite her bum. We had a boozy day, a great lunch and some good tunes to dance to. The buffet lunch consisted of meatballs, chicken, cornbread, broccoli, amazing garlic mushrooms, salads and great chips – it was as delicious as always. Turgay even caught fish with his bare hands but he let them go by throwing them at Debbie (Darling). Pamela was getting a flight back that night (and wasn’t drinking) so when we returned to Dalyan for us to get off there was an option to stay on the boat to go to the lake. We had already agreed to leave to meet friends that night for dinner and my mom was worried that my dad would be too drunk and injure himself so we left all the rest of them heading up to the lake to get right on it.

We decided to stop off for 1 more drink at Tez bar where people were coming out for a pre-dinner drink and it was pretty clear we were already sozzled and would be going nowhere later. We saw Penny and Phil who were with friends and arranged to join them tomorrow for music bingo at Lukka which was now a regular hobby! Having realised we were too drunk to do anything else with the evening we ended up changing our plans and getting a pizza at Pizza 48 instead. The pizzas were great and I took some of mine home so I could have the rest for breakfast tomorrow.

Dalyan – 26th October

Dalyan – 26th October

When I woke up on Tuesday 26th October I knew it was going to be a good day, my shoulder was much better and the cyst was only producing a very small amount of clear liquid. The building site next door was at the concrete floor pouring stage today which was interesting to watch. I had my breakfast outside in the sun on the balcony and read in the news that the Vietnamese daily Corona cases were down to 3,600 per day and 65 deaths – much better than before.

My stomach was still not great but I was able to function and went to meet Ann, Ali and Sharon (all Jamie’s friends) at Lukka bar. I just had a drink but they all ordered lunch which looked great. In the afternoon Debbie (Darling) came to meet me and we went to the Dalyan clinic to ask if we could have a Corona vaccination. The doctor told me that they only vaccinate in groups of 5 or 6 so I should come back tomorrow for the Pfizer vaccine at 9.30am but unfortunately she told Debbie (Darling) that she didn’t need a third one because here they are only vaccinating up to 2 jabs and no boosters yet so I was lucky to get booked in. This was all great news and it fitted with my plans for me to be classed as vaccinated in Vietnam, Turkey and the UK so all would be fine for my visit (and return) to England in December with 3 days spare after the 14 days since my 2nd Pfizer vaccine! I walked back along the river to Lukka bar for a wine, a last drink with Jamie’s mates as Ali and Sharon were heading home tomorrow, it was a nice civilised afternoon with a lovely evening out planned.

I had booked a table for 6 of us at Egehan Boutique hotel for dinner with Maddie, Angela and Nick and as an added bonus Onur was playing live music there. I’d not been before, I had heard good things about the food and it was one of Maddie’s favourite restaurants in Dalyan. The place itself is very lovely with an intimate fine dining kind of vibe going on and excellent toilets. The tables were by the pool and the menu was quite fancy but not particularly expensive, we all decided to have wine and most of us had starters. We got a cute little amuse bouche to get us going with some fancy bread crackers, I had prawns to start, Dad and Nick had chicken soup and Mom had what looked like an amazing octopus dish. Most of us went for the steak for mains except for Dad who fancied a spot of salmon. The wine and chat flowed easily, the music from Onur was delightful and really made the night special with some expertly chosen numbers which Onur knew were Dad’s favourites. Maddie amazed us with her rendition of Valerie as she’s got a lovely singing voice. As the night cooled down and Dad tried the crème brûlée for dessert I got one of the blankets with toddles on, which I absolutely loved as they were so cosy. My stomach wasn’t too good still so I had to limit the amount of wine I had to just a couple of glasses but I really enjoyed the evening and I definitely would like to eat there again. We walked home with a stray dog following us, as is often the case on the streets of Dalyan. He was such a cutie and when he picked up a discarded disposable mask off the street I told him to drop it and he did – he was probably a pet that had been dumped.

Dalyan, Kalkan & Kaş – 24th October

Dalyan, Kalkan & Kaş – 24th October

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

Dalyan – 20th October

Dalyan – 20th October

Wednesday 20th October was a wonderful day, spent with my parents and some friends. The first exciting thing that happened that morning was that I got a message from our friend, the filmmaker, who came to Vietnam to make a documentary about Phong Nha. He gave me some tentative dates for the film festivals where his film would hopefully be screened in 2022 and I made a note of them – how amazing it would be to go to see something like this! It might also be a chance for me to meet up with Captain Caveman and watch him, his colleagues and our friends in what I was sure would be a work of art.
I didnt bother with any breakfast as I was faffing about with the left over hotpot mixture and more layering of potatoes, this time with butter on, so I could pop it on while we were out. The suitcase lady had asked to meet me to have a look at it so I took it round to Lukka bar and ordered myself a tea. The nice lady turned up on a bicycle, with a dog and was unsure if she wanted to buy the case, even though she needed one to go back to England with, in the end I managed to sell it to her but it was quite funny watching her try to figure out how to get it back to her hotel, with a bicycle and a dog, but I couldn’t help as I was cutting it fine for my next adventure. I’d arranged for us to go on an afternoon boat trip with Captain Boris (aka Basrı) and his wife, Rebecca. Sarah had also taken the afternoon off work, at the last minute, so that she could come too and my parents came round to mine dead on time as they were looking forward to our boat trip. We arrived at the boat early, Sarah was already there and we were joined by a really nice bunch of people, who were friends of the boat owners and Sarah. The order of the day was to eat, drink and relax and the Captain Boris trips sure know how to treat their customers well. I wasn’t even too upset that I wouldn’t be able to swim because of not being able to get my cyst wet (apart from showering, obviously). We went to Çandır lake first and the sun was out as we nibbled on snacks and sipped an alcoholic beverage.

Quite a few people got in the water for a swim, including ma & pa who were larking about like a couple of teenagers. Next, Basrı took the boat to the sheltered side of the beach where Andrea got a few of us dancing on the sand at the waters edge.

I had started on white wine with my parents and later went on to red as Rebecca filled the table with the most amazing spread I’d seen on a boat – I was in cheese heaven! There was so many different cheeses, fruit, including fresh figs and dates, crackers and bread and I my stomach handled it all absolutely fine. Quite a few boats had got themselves stuck on a sandbank and Basrı had to help out, we even rescued a damsel in distress who had been left stranded on the beach. On the way back we had such a laugh, Andrea even taught me the meringue and it was such a lovely afternoon with plenty of wine.

When we got dropped off we should have gone home and stayed in however it was Open Mic night with Onur at Heybe’s which we had missed last week so we decided to meet back there after getting our warm clothing on. As it turned out one of the couples from the boat trip was having a drink at Heybe’s so I joined them while waiting for ma & pa to join us. After another couple of glasses of wine, on top of the 6 I’d already had with Captain Boris, I wasn’t shy at getting up for a singsong with Onur. This reminded the couple that they were meant to be somewhere else and they left. Debbie (Darling) did a quick cameo appearance singing ‘I’m leaving on a jet plane’, Sarah joined us and even she got up to sing with Debbie (Darling) or me. In the end Dad and I nailed House of the Rising Sun together, it was just a pity that all of the other customers had left! Onur even sat and did an acoustic version of Losing my Religion at our table and we ended up leaving Sarah there.
We’d had so much fun and when I got in, my hotpot was still warm in the slow cooker so I had some before bed.

Dalyan – 7th October

Dalyan – 7th October

It was a mix of a day on Thursday 7th October; news that Vietnam planned to open again in June 2022 were posted on the internet, the number of Corona cases in Vietnam had dropped considerably, the weather forecast for next week was looking cold and wet here in Turkey, and a few fully vaccinated friends in the UK were positive for the Corona virus. Before breakfast I went over to my parents’ place where I had arranged for my cleaner at Fire Opal to give their place a once over before their arrival next week. I did a small shopping trip too then Sonuç messaged to say he needed a copy of some paper work for my residency, again.

Here’s my shopping list and costs in lira:

Şok supermarket

1 plastic bag 0.25
2 lemons 0.77
Bread 2.00
3 carrots 3.28
1 packet of Turkey ham 3.50
1 packet of plain crisps 4.50
2 packet of biscuits 5.00
1 bottle of pomegranate sauce 5.50
Honey 5.90
Rock salt 12.45

Total 43.15 lira (£3.82).

I had arranged to meet Annie and Anne at Alegria for lunch, the owner of Yummy’s had taken over the old Safran restaurant and made Alegria her new eatery, right on the river, opposite the tombs. The place is lovely and they have a very large menu to choose from, which I’d not been used to having so much choice and it took me ages to decide. Eventually Annie and I ordered the steak salad, Ann had the crispy chicken and the food was absolutely lovely. I even had a pineapple and watermelon juice as I was conscious of not having eaten enough fruit of late and, although it’s not the cheapest place in town, it really is good value and the portions are large (I took home leftovers) and the location is gorgeous. In the afternoon I met Sonuç at the insurance company to ask about renewing my health insurance policy because I needed a 2 year policy for my residency application.
That night I decided to have a night in and, because I’d had a big lunch, I just had leftover steak salad and nibbles for dinner while watching a bit of Netflix. I’d had a productive and enjoyable day and I was ready for a relaxing weekend.

Photo credit – Annie

Dalyan – 4th October

Dalyan – 4th October

On Monday 4th October I woke up early and Captain Caveman had sent me a photo of Eric, the bee, who had stayed over at Elements last night. I didn’t bother with any breakfast because I’d arranged to meet Melissa and her family at 11.30am for an early lunch at River Terrace. It’s a lovely location right by the river and is a family oriented place with a small playground. It was nice to see the owners, Sara and Ali, who (like many business owners in Dalyan) had experienced a very hard year or 2 because of the pandemic and lack of tourism. They were still so happy and welcoming and the restaurant has had a toilet refurb since I last went there which has definitely made a massive difference. I decided to have a cider with ice, the sun was shining and I waited for the Wiringi family to arrive. Melissa had a big surprise; she was pregnant, they are expecting their 4th child in February. They all looked well and while mom and dad ordered food the 2 older kids, Noah and Aaliyah, had smoothies. Elijah, the youngest ordered a chicken wrap and wouldn’t eat it because it had peppers in. Rimaha and I ordered chicken wraps too and they were really tasty, Melissa had the nachos and then, the highlight of the day, we ordered 6 brownies. Sara is an excellent baker and her warm brownies with ice-cream went down a treat with everyone as they were so delicious.

As the family were only staying in Dalyan for 1 night it was difficult to fit anything in for them to do, they didn’t have the time for the boat trip to the beach or lake so were happy to have a simple stroll along the river where we looked out for turtles. The plan for the Wiringi family was to go to Akyaka tomorrow, then they were off to Ephesus, Pammukale and Cappadocia, they couldn’t fit all their luggage and 3 kids in the car so they had to go back to Kaş next week to pick up a suitcase then they were leaving Turkey – their 90 day stay was almost at an end already. It was unfortunate that they didn’t have longer to explore Dalyan but it was already time to say our goodbyes, they were going to stay in tonight as they had plans to leave early the next morning.

After running a couple of errands I went to Jiks, I was thirsty and desperately needed the toilet so I got a fanta and then could smell food. My favourite chef in Dalyan, the lady at Jiks, was cooking so I was very tempted to have dinner. I ordered the shrimp skewer and a white wine and soda, the food was so delicious and for just 65 lira (£5.50) for 3 skewers with chips and salad it was a new favourite. My total bill was 105 lira, which is less than an English ten pounds and I was really full, I’d definitely be coming here again. I had completely forgot that I had leftover Sunday dinner in the fridge, it would wait until tomorrow. When I got home I noticed my internet wasn’t working but it turned out that Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram were all down for the next 6 hours and it was worldwide!

Dalyan – 26th September

Dalyan – 26th September

I had an amazing day on Sunday 26th September; on the first night I had arrived I’d been invited to join friends on a day out. The boat trip was with Captain Boris Boats and they are really good, my last trip with them was a boxing day one which I thoroughly enjoyed and their food is always outstanding. The owners are such a good laugh as well as being extremely accommodating. Sarah came to call for me on her new tricycle with 2 giddy dogs and I checked if she realised we were going on a boat. She was going to leave her bike by the river and the dogs would make their way home, apparently. There was quite a party of us, the organiser wasn’t feeling too well but was determined to soldier on, another lady doesn’t like boats and was a bit unsure about going but was there, most of the rest were people I’d already met up with in the few days I’d been in Dalyan. Jamie was hungover as he’d been up drinking until 6.30am but he was still the first to get an alcoholic drink. There was an issue with the white wine so I had a rosé with Jax and Captain Boris made arrangements for a prompt restock of the white for our lunch. Once we stopped at Köyceğiz lake Nick and Annie bravely had a dip in the cold water, but I didn’t go for a swim – it felt a bit too chilly compared to the Vietnamese temperatures, even though it was a hot, sunny day. After the lake Captain Boris was having a quick wine pick up in Dalyan and then on to the area at the back of the beach for our lunch and an optional dip. More white wine was delivered but we lost one of the party as the lady who didn’t have her sea legs on got off, the rest of us stayed on and went to the beach. I enjoyed a white with soda water while I caught a bit of sun on the comfy seats at the front of the boat and admired the gorgeous scenery along the river. The buffet lunch was fantastic, there was lots of different dishes including chicken, köfte, prawns, salads and mezzes that were so delicious that I had to have more than one helping! More booze flowed for most of us, I’d moved on to the red wine, followed by some music from Onur, who had brought his guitar and is a great singer. In memory of Graeme, Jamie’s husband, we all were treated to a cocktail called Mr G and it went down well on the front of the boat with the sun shining. The day had gone so fast and had been such a relaxing trip, my first on a Dalyan boat in 1 year and 9 months. When we got back a few of us decided to have a nice cocktail in the Rum Bar, where I bumped into my next door neighbours, who’d just arrived in Dalyan.
That night I didn’t need any dinner that evening, I started watching Series 3 of The Fall on Netflix but I was having trouble staying awake.

If you want to read more about Captain Boris Boat trips, they have a Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Captain-Boris-Boat-Trips-222487618557269/

Photo credit – Captain Boris staff and guests