Dalyan – 16th & 17th October

Dalyan – 16th & 17th October

We woke up on Sunday 16th October after a cracking storm and were looking forward to an easy day. Captain Caveman went to the bakery for a fresh loaf and a simit, which we had for breakfast with cheese and jams. I popped a sausage casserole in to the slow cooker and checked we had enough potatoes and flour to do roast potatoes and Yorkshire puddings with it.
A lady who was interested in Amanda and Greg’s table, but had not showed up last night because she had mistakenly gone to Ruby rooms during the storm, was going to try again and come today.
When she arrived with her Turkish boyfriend, who still had his pyjamas on (which were inside out) she had a broken arm and the table was too big. They ended up stood in our kitchen for ages chatting and it transpired that Greg had not put the measurements of the table on the advertising post. Captain Caveman measured it and sent him the details to amend his post to include measurements which should have been included.
During all this, my parents had woken up with no power and were trying to get sorted out. It had turned out that their power supply had been struck by lightning in last night’s storm and they may be without electricity for some time. My mom said they would manage without but I was having none of it and insisted they pack some things and come to stay with us. Luckily the spare room was prepared for guests and they like sausage casserole.
It turned out to be another good night with rather too much wine and they brought rum too. My Yorkshire puddings didn’t rise as much as I wanted them too so I was disappointed but we ate them all. I even saved some mixture in the fridge for tomorrow. As we were in bed, about to go to sleep, I got a message asking about the table and could we sell it for less, I said no and went to sleep.

On Monday 17th October Captain Caveman was pleased as we got to have pancakes for breakfast. My parents were going to go home but they wouldn’t even be able to have a cup of tea with their electric being off. Dad had plain pancakes with honey, the rest of us had savoury pancakes with mushroom, spinach and cheese.
After breakfast, we got all the washing done and pottered about a bit while my parents went home to check what was happening with the power. Someone was coming to replace the transformer today, which was rather prompt and they would have power back on today. For lunch we had dips and veggies with olives in an effort to be a bit healthier.
While I got involved with another potential table buyer, Captain Caveman booked a flight back to the UK for 12th November. I got a message from a random man to tell me he was at Lukka bar, sent by the woman who wanted the table for less money, and was trying to find our apartments. I went to Lukka bar and he wasn’t there but I also got calls from a Turkish man saying he was there too. Appo, at Lukka bar, said no one had been and they definitely weren’t there but when I finally worked it out they were in Çalış, not Dalyan. Really?!!!
Captain Caveman made pasta for dinner and we had a night in front of the TV for the first time since Captain Caveman had got to Dalyan. We started to watcher ‘Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story’.

Babadağ, Fethiye and Çalış – 26th September

Babadağ, Fethiye and Çalış – 26th September

Monday 26th September was quite a day! Kate, in her capacity of Miss Guided Tours or Miss Adventure, had organised a day trip. Captain Caveman and I called for Amanda & Greg to walk to the bakery opposite Özalp’s to meet the rest of the party; Adam, Kath, Mark, Kate, Daisy, John, Andrea, Janet, Kev, and Gaz. We departed on the minibus towards Fethiye as we were off for a day out at Babadağ, the place where paragliding is a popular sport. We left Dalyan at 10am, by 11.30am I had already had my first nervous wee and had my cable car ticket in my hand. The cost was 170 lira (£8 approx) each so not expensive for tourists. It became apparent that Gay Gaz, Amanda, Daisy and I were not looking forward to the cable car, at all. I’m not scared of heights but I have trouble trusting anything that looks precarious.
As people dallied about waiting for Gay Gaz before getting in to a cable car, Captain Caveman and I were already at the front of the queue. We got told by staff to get in and the maximum allowed per car was 8, I hurried in and sat down as it moved along the platform. No one else had got in with us and the car behind us had a guy with a parachute in. I was terrified and it felt like the longest journey ever as it climbed up to the first station. It was definitely the highest cable car I’d ever been on but Captain Caveman thought it was amusing to see me so scared.

We all reconvened at the restaurant which involved a walk over a bridge with a glass floor down the middle. Ordinarily I wouldn’t have stood on the glass floor but compared to the cable car it was far less worrying and people were standing in the way on each of the sides. There wasn’t enough room at the restaurant for all of us to sit together so, while the rest of the group sat in the sun, Captain Caveman, Amanda, Greg and I sat at a separate table in the shade. Captain Caveman and I ordered burgers and a beer which we really enjoyed and it wasn’t too expensive. Greg had a beef wrap, also good, and Amanda shared her chicken salad with a  wasps.

The next part of ascending the mountain involved a chair lift, which I have been on before when I went skiing a long time ago. Both Amanda and I didn’t want to go on it but I kind of talked her in to it, only to regret it. I had a complete meltdown on this one and hated every second. Obviously Captain Caveman and Greg were fine with it but Amanda and I were not and were extremely emotional when we got off. Poor Greg had a migraine coming on but luckily I had medication with me so he was able to prevent it. Captain Caveman took himself off for a laugh and couldn’t believe how scared I had been.
As the guys decided to carry on right to the top of the mountain, Amanda and I decided we would walk down to the cable car station – there was no way we would get on the chair lift again. We managed to watch lots of mental paragliders jumping off the mountainside but we couldn’t get our head round the 5 year old child doing it with an adult.

Video of the chair lift we went on

By 3pm we were back at the 1700m cable car height and about to go back down. Kate had lost Mark, who had wandered up to the mountain top, with John, later than everyone else so she felt like she was herding cats. On the way up I had sat with my back to the sea but on the way down I thought it might be better to face the drop – it wasn’t. Daisy, Greg and I were facing forward while Captain Caveman and Amanda were going backwards. Halfway down both Daisy and I spotted the same fraying rope above us, at exactly the same time. Captain Caveman tried to reassure us by saying it would still be safe but managed to make it worse. I felt like I was hyperventilating for most of the cable car journey and, although the views were amazing, all I could concentrate on was getting out.

The next part of our day involved a drive in to Fethiye, where there was a quick pit stop at Address restaurant and bar where we managed to smash some crockery moving tables. Amanda, Greg and Captain Caveman tootled off to the Turkish delight shop, Kate collected the water taxi tokens for us all to go to Çalış.
Of course no trip is complete without a visit to Charcoal Palace for fish and chips, the draft Becks beer was now 40 lira (£1.95) per pint so some people took advantage of that and most had the fish and chips. Some had battered sausage and onion rings. It was great, as always, and I felt very full and sleepy on the journey back home.
It had been a great day out and now Captain Caveman fancied doing a tandem paraglide jump from the top of Babadağ. I think I will be busy that day!

Photo Credit – Captain Caveman

Rhodes to Fethiye & Çalış – 16th September

Rhodes to Fethiye & Çalış – 16th September

We were up and packed super early on Friday 16th September as we were off back to Turkey. We were booked on the 9am ferry from Rhodes to Fethiye with Sky Marine ferries. They run only during the holiday season, until the end of October, and when we arrived at the port it was busy. The walk from our hotel to the port wasn’t too far but it started to get a bit warm carrying the rucksack, on the way we saw a massive cruise ship too. At the port, I had a sit down and some water after carrying my bag which was about 10kg, Captain Caveman’s was heavier as he was carrying the booze. We noticed the ferry queue for Marmaris was quite long but the one to Fethiye was very short, we were at the front and we didn’t have to wait long to pick up our tickets. The crossing takes a couple of hours and cost around €50, Captain Caveman had the good idea to get me a sea sickness pill. When I took it the ginger and size of it made it difficult, but I got it down.
The ferry was empty so we sat at the front where we could stretch our legs out. Strangely, the next passengers to get on sat right behind us, despite having the whole ferry to choose from. I fell asleep almost immediately and we think it was the seasickness tablet as I’ve experienced that before.

We had planned to spend a bit of time in Fethiye when we arrived and had even asked Mark, Kate and Daisy if they fancied a trip to Çalış but they were already busy. Captain Caveman decided we would stay an extra night in Fethiye and booked us in at the Downtown Fethiye Suites. With it being a weekend we had trouble finding a place to stay so we got lucky with this little apartment. We arrived early expecting to drop bags but we were allowed to check-in. After unpacking our stuff and putting the cheese in the fridge we decided to go to The Mulberry Tree for brunch. Its a popular little cafe with great food, I had a bacon sandwich and a cup of tea while Captain Caveman had pide and coffee. We even bought some crumpets to take away with us for the freezer.

We decided to get the 5.30pm water taxi from Fethiye to Çalış so that Captain Caveman could experience the delights of Charcoal Palace. The ride takes about 20 minutes and costs 40 lira each way and on the way there it was a full boat. When we got to Charcoal Palace it was quiet so we sat outside and ordered a pint of Beck’s draft beer each. It was 35 lira (£1.68) which is a lot cheaper than what we had been used to. I noticed that the menu had gluten free batter for the fish so I decided I would try it, for research purposes more than anything. We both had fish and chips which come with tartare sauce and mushy peas. I don’t eat either so I gave mine to Captain Caveman. If you didn’t know the gluten free was served, you wouldn’t have been able to tell as it was very good. The colour was slightly different and the price was the same as the regular one.

After dinner we walked to the seafront to see the sunset and had an Efes at Summer Breeze bar, they were out of Beck’s draft.
We were ready to go back to Fethiye for an early night when we got a message from Julio. He was at Terras bar in Fethiye with friends and invited us to join them. We had a great night, a few more drinks and a good laugh before we walked back to our apartment and the others carried on their night.

Çalış – 19th May

Çalış – 19th May

I met Ma, Pa, Mark, Kate, Vanessa and Matt at the Dalyan bus station at 10.20am on Thursday 19th May and we were off on another adventure! I’d luckily managed to change my breakfast arrangement to Friday and therefore I had not eaten when we got on the bus to Ortaca. At Ortaca we changed to the bus to Fethiye, as there isn’t a direct bus to Çalış. Mark and Kate were going to Fethiye first and the rest of us were going straight to Çalış where we would meet Steve and Michelle for lunch. When we got off the bus at the Citroen garage, ready to walk a few kilometres in to Çalış, a bus arrived which we got on to. I don’t have a Kent card, which is used for transport, so the regular cost was 14 lira (72p) from Dalyan to Ortaca, 28 lira (£1.44) from Ortaca to near Çalış, then 10 lira (51p) in to Çalış itself. The total journey was just over an hour and a half and was quite pleasant. When we arrived at Summer Breeze, a lovely restaurant and bar on the sea front which Julio recommended, most of us had a soft drink and then decided to order a breakfast. The prices were very reasonable and much cheaper than most places in Dalyan so we were quite happy to stay there until Steve, Michelle, Julio, Serem, Mark and Kate were going to join us later. By that time we were well and truly on it with the drinks and were having a lovely time. A guy in white shorts, and no shirt had skated past us showing off his muscles so we, and another table of ‘Brits abroad’ couldn’t help but show their appreciation. He then came back, stopped his skate board in front of us and thanked us for making his day. I didn’t even get my camera out, I was so surprised – you can’t take us anywhere. The rest of the party arrived and we continued to have more drinks, Steve had received positive news from the hospital that his leg was doing well. He didn’t drink but they did have a breakfast and propped up his leg on a spare chair. About 3.30pm Can, the man who sells sunglasses, came round and we all proceeded to try several pairs on. I treated myself to some fake Ray-Ban’s for 250 lira (£12.82) and a couple of others bought a pair.

At 5.15pm we decided to move locations, Julio and Serem had their car so this was useful to get Steve to Charcoal Palace. The rest of us walked, this time I didn’t get lost, and I was able to enjoy the fish and chips I’d missed out on last time. Steve, Michelle and I even ordered an extra battered sausage and chips to share and I thought the food was amazing. I don’t eat peas, tartar sauce or curry sauce but my friends loved the accompaniments. I tried one of Kate’s onion rings and they were very good too but I was conscious of a batter overload. My Dad had said he had not liked the fish and chips last time so I was surprised to see him order them again. This time he said they were better, but still not as good as Tony’s chip shop, back in Mosborough, Sheffield. My Mom and Vanessa decided to order the chicken fajitas and they looked incredible, as did Julio’s chicken shish which he had eaten there before. I couldn’t finish my small portion of fish and chips so I asked to have a doggy bag, unfortunately they forgot and must have thrown it away. Steve and Michelle of course were sensible and went home at a reasonable hour. It had been so good to have a Deep Blue Leg-Ends reunion and of course there were plans for another one next month. Vanessa, Matt and my parents also decided that getting a taxi back from Çalış to Dalyan for 600 lira (£30.77) would be a good option and for the 4 of them it worked out £15 per couple – well worth it!

I could tell that Kate was on her way to getting merry as she had started to speak more Turkish to Serem, at first we were exchanging idioms but we were slowly getting off track and had to resort to speaking English. Mark had considered going home at a decent time too, but Kate was out out – we were also expecting another couple of their friends to arrive. I decided I would share the taxi back with Mark and Kate as even 200 lira each would be a reasonable amount. I joined Mark, Kate, Julio, Serem, Adam & Damla for a drink in Motto bar which turned in to a few more for some of the contingent. We eventually got a taxi after Kate negotiated the bar man down to an excellent price of 500 lira. The journey back started with Kate being chatty but then she fell asleep, Mark said almost nothing the whole way back and the Fethiye shopping made it back to Dalyan. I got dropped off at home and gave 200 lira to Kate regardless of the taxi price. It was midnight when we got in and it had been a long day with lots of laughter, great food and a fair bit to drink. It was worth it to see Steve and Michelle again but I was a bit sad when it suddenly dawned on me that I wouldn’t be in Turkey for the next Deep Blue Leg-Ends get-togethers!

Fethiye and Çalış – 23rd April

Fethiye and Çalış – 23rd April

What a day Saturday 23rd April was!
It started with me waking up with a strange woman in my hotel room and me asking who she was. I had half the bottle of red wine left but couldn’t find the cork, both Mark’s jumper and Kate’s jacket were on a chair and towels were strewn on the sofa having once been blankets. A bunch of keys and 2 sets of sunglasses were on the desk, Michelle and I were both fully clothed. I felt fairly ok though, as I was probably still drunk, and so Michelle and I went to meet everyone for breakfast. I was too delicate to eat much but I hammered the fresh juice and tea as everyone was recalling the awful events of last night. Matt was feeling better and grateful to have gone back to the hotel earlier last night whereas Vanessa was feeling bad for poor Steve. When we got back to the room Michelle checked her phone and had lots of messages and missed calls from Steve. He’d already had Julio visit him at the hospital and was waiting for a doctor after being told he’d broken his leg in more than one place. Michelle found Steve’s shoe which we had put on a shelf, she gave me some fresh lemon juice and left. I went back to bed for a bit but had to check out at noon. I could hear my parent’s kettle in the room next door so I knew I was going to get complaints for being noisy until about 4am. We all met back up at Address, a restaurant on the river, where Mark was the only one having a beer as no one else could manage alcohol. I started to feel unwell but we still all paid (30 lira) for our tokens for the ferry from Fethiye to Çalış – our next adventure was about to start.
I was sat on the ferry boat in Fethiye worried that I had started to feel very unwell and that I might not make the trip across to Çalış. I was sat between Matt and Mark and I could feel myself getting worse, there was no toilet on board so I contemplated getting off and getting the next boat in an hour. The plan in Çalış was to go to a restaurant called Charcoal Palace so I asked Mark for the directions from where the boat stops. I reminded everyone I don’t have a SIM card in my phone but I would come to meet them at the restaurant in 1 hour’s time – it sounded simple!

As I got off the boat I headed straight for the big Migros Supermarket nearby. I had a very strange feeling and felt like I needed to get some essential ‘lady items’. In Turkey I’ve found it quite difficult to buy tampons in a supermarket. They can be found in the pharmacy and some of the bigger supermarkets and I was in luck. I picked up what I needed and then noticed the massive check-out queues and started to have a cold sweat. A young lad noticed me, he opened up another till and hurried through the process. I made it to a cafe but only just and I was not well at all.
After a cup of sweet tea and a 45 minute sit down I had to force myself to go back to the ferry. I had a map of where Charcoal Palace was meant to be, in case Mark’s directions weren’t clear enough, and on I got. I felt like death, I was deeply regretting Tequila and extra red wine last night now and was not confident I would make the bus journey back to Dalyan later, either.
As I got off the boat I obviously went the wrong way but asked several people for directions, most had never heard of it but the ones who did ‘know’ sent me in the opposite direction. After walking for far too long in heat and having finished my water I decided to jump in a taxi. It was meant to be 5 minutes walk from the boat but the taxi was heading down a dual carriageway and back to Fethiye when I stopped him and got out on the central reservation without paying.
No one had heard of Charcoal Palace; some were convinced they knew and each bar, shop, travel agent or taxi rank I asked didn’t know. I knew that out of everyone already at the restaurant, Mark would be the least likely to have left to look for me so I found a bar, logged on to their WiFi and messaged him to say I was lost. I knew my parents didn’t have a working phone so didn’t bother them and I eventually found a taxi rank who knew where it was and said it was walking distance. I had just started to walk when I saw Kate on the street, who’d come to find me. We also saw the man who had given me the first lot of incorrect directions when I was 2 minutes walk from where I needed to be!!
Of course I had missed out on having fish and chips with everyone so I had a pint of shandy. I was hot, sweaty and cheesed off already when Kate informed me that Mark isn’t good at directions and not to listen to him! His phone was in his pocket and he hadn’t noticed my message either so it was good that I had finally been found. most of the group who live in Turkey full time were so happy to have eaten good food and I gathered I’d missed out on amazing fish and chips or battered sausages. They said the chicken shish was also amazing, and portion sizes were generous meaning great value. I was disappointed to miss out but I couldn’t eat anything now and would save it for another time. Kate came up with a wonderful idea that, instead of getting the buses back, we get taxis and I was very happy with that suggestion. It was slightly unfortunate that Kate and I had to listen to Mark, the most chatty bloke I have ever met, talk to the taxi driver for the entire journey back to Dalyan. The cost of the taxi from Çalış to Dalyan was 600 lira (just over £30 per taxi). My parents, Vanessa and Matt went in one taxi, Mark, Kate and I in another. It was probably the best tenner I have spent, as I was feeling very queasy all the way back. That night I had an early night as we had another big day planned for tomorrow and it looked to be a good one.