Dalyan – 12th October

Dalyan – 12th October

I woke up on Wednesday 12th October with a bit of a woolly head from trying to keep up drinking with the boys last night. I don’t know why we didn’t just get a taxi home and me come back for my bicycle this morning, but it seemed like a good idea at the time. Kate was already up tending to the cats when we saw the news of how bad the floods were in Vietnam. Hoi An was looking particularly bad this year but lots of central areas were affected. We were loaded up with produce from England for the house and cat sitting. Kate had brought us back some treats such as cheese, crumpets, malt loaf and bacon which Captain Caveman and I were very grateful for. I rode my bicycle back while Captain Caveman was going to get a lift on the double seated mobility scooter with Mark. I said bye, Mark and Kate said thank you and off I cycled with my rucksack. At the turtle roundabout, outside the bank, I was overtaken by Mark, Kate and Captain Caveman on the disability scooter and given some abuse for being a ‘slowy’!
At home we had diet pizzas for lunch and then I popped to Maisie Moo. Captain Caveman and I met my parents for a drink at Lukka bar as Captain Caveman had ordered a hire car from Dalaman, which was coming at 5pm. As a treat we had decided to dine a little out of town, in nearby Gokbel. This is where Tay and Angelique’s house was and she had recommended a small cafe called Olabilir. They couldn’t join us as they were busy so the 4 of us decided to try it. The views over the hills and a mosque there were lovely and the menu was definitely interesting. We ordered drinks first and, because they don’t sell alcohol, Mom and I ordered the surprise juice, Dad had a Coke and Captain Caveman a Turkish coffee. We loved the juice which I think contained fresh mulberries and Captain Caveman said the coffee was good. For dinner my parents’ first choice wasn’t available so they had a pasta arrabbiata. Captain Caveman and I chose Mantı, which is a kind of Turkish ravioli. This was the first time Captain Caveman had tried it and he enjoyed it, as did I. The place is really nice and we had a nice time, it was good to try somewhere different and out of town. It was also super cheap as our mantı dish was only 65 lira (£3.10). Unfortunately during our dinner Captain Caveman was involved in the WhatsApp group chat for our apartment complex where the pool and maintenance contact was calling me a liar and saying he hadn’t been able to do the garden because there was no electricity. It had been working in June, July, August and September so I wondered what the excuse was then. I was glad I wasn’t on WhatsApp and wished Captain Caveman could leave his phone alone while we were trying to have a nice meal out.
Out next stop, after Captain Caveman dropped the car back in Dalyan, was Retro bar for Quiz night. We had a good time and, although we didn’t win, we did win the draw for the round of free drinks. How that works is that you get the same as your last round again for up to 4 people for free. How fortuitous of us that Captain Caveman and I had ordered a bottle of red wine plus my parents had an Efes Malt beer each. That made our night and was funny because we had said we were having an easy one tonight. We had to be up bright-eyed and bushy tailed tomorrow, ready for a road trip.

Dalyan – 11th October

Dalyan – 11th October

Kate and Mark were due back later on Tuesday 11th October, I was up early and feeding the cats, watering the plants and generally tidying up ready for their return. I even gave the kitchen cupboard doors a clean, up to where I could reach, as the sun shining on them highlighted some smears. The weather forecast was looking good for my parents’ first day in Dalyan and Ma had messaged me late last night to say they had arrived safely. Captain Caveman and I cycled home for me to pick up my Turkish workbooks and had some breakfast there. We had fresh figs, plums, yoghurt and I had a drizzle of honey on mine. Turkish class at Casablanca hotel went well but it was definitely starting to get harder.
After class I took photos of the electric meters through the overgrown bougainvillea, meaning some photos were tricky to read, to try to sort out the communal electric situation for Captain Caveman.

Next, we met my parents at Okyanus as I had to be at another appointment at 2pm. It was great to see Ma & Pa, they were looking well and pleased to be back in Dalyan. Captain Caveman gave Ma her new phone from Vietnam and she was very giddy, especially with the face recognition unlock function. We had a beer, some lunch and a great laugh before Captain Caveman spotted Ramazan, the owner, had some secateurs. During our meal Captain Caveman had been getting messages on the communal WhatsApp group to ask what was happening with the electric, which was still off. We needed to be able to get in the electric meter cabinet a bit better, so Captain Caveman borrowed Ramazan’s cutters, hurried home to cut the overgrown bougainvillea so we could open the cupboard wider, then returned them.

I had to leave my parents and Captain Caveman at Okyanus while I went to Merhaba Cafe. The weekly singing group at the café in the Mico hotel was starting again for winter. I think I’m one of the youngest there which often means the song choices are ones I don’t know. A book is passed round for each person to write their requests in (from an already established list), most attendees pick their same favourites each week but I didn’t pick any this time. This week we sang quite a collection but there was a definite theme running through most of the lyrics. Here’s a list of the songs we sang today:

The Skye Boat Song
Swinging on a Star
Always on my Mind
Four Strong Winds
The Rose
Only Sixteen
I don’t know why I love you (but I do)
Meet Me on the Corner
You don’t know
Hallelujah
Halfway to Paradise
Annie’s Song
Blanket on the Ground
Wonderful Tonight
The Galway Shawl
Let it be Me
All Alone am I
Twighlight Time

Shiela, the accordion player, introduced us to a new song which we were given the lyrics to ready to give it a go next week. The group members are rather amusing and can say “it’s not a choir” or “it’s not karaoke” and, if you pick a song they don’t like, someone will let you know. Overall though, they are a nice group and I do enjoy a good warble.

After singing, Captain Caveman and I met at Rehab bar for a cheeky beer and then my parents came to join us. We ordered pizzas and a pide from Sosyete, next door, and had a good laugh until we had to get back to Mark and Kate’s for our last cat feed of our stay. The pizzas were lovely and we got a free salad with 2 dips which was appreciated.
Back at the house, all the cats were fed and waiting for their owners to return. We had packed up ready to leave and stay at our apartment tonight but we ended up staying one more night. We had a few welcome back drinks with Mark, Kate hadn’t been too well and was drinking water. Mark got us a cheese board with various nibbles out and we had a good time. We had quite a late night and I hoped Captain Caveman would be ok for tomorrow’s planned excitement.

Dalyan – 9th & 10th October

Dalyan – 9th & 10th October

I was up and feeding the cats around 7am on Sunday 9th October, the mornings were starting to get a little chilly now. Captain Caveman was still a sneezy mess despite 180mg of fexofenadine each day. The internet was still patchy too so we decided to cycle over to our apartment for breakfast. We left the cats out playing and had a lovely leisurely journey back in to town. We ate fresh bread, various spreads and I had yoghurt with jam.
The issue of the pool and garden maintenance raised it’s head again when we were told of complaints from some neighbour’s guests. The pool and garden was unkempt, the communal electric was off and the rentals in 2 apartments had complained to their Estate Agent. They had asked for a full refund and moved out, we couldn’t understand the issue with the electric though. Captain Caveman took over the communal payment of the electric for our complex, of 10 apartments several years ago. He had also had a notification from the bank that the payment would be taken tomorrow. As far as we were concerned there shouldn’t have been a problem but it was about to turn in to one.
We stayed home for lunch and had the Slimming World style pizzas with a glass of wine. When we got back to Mark and Kate’s house the sun was almost setting and the cats arrived early for feeding.
We had dinner of the leftover chicken and salad picnic, I had a glass or 2 of wine and Captain Caveman had a beer or 2 while stroking JC, the cat!

By 7.30am on Monday 10th October all the cats had been fed and were playing outside. Bebek and Bubble liked to pretend they were modelling for a photo shoot on top of the sex swing. By 9am Captain Caveman (still a sneezy mess) and I were at Migros picking up some breakfast and provisions. We bought 3 croissants and 1400g of chicken for 123.39 lira (£5.74). I took a photo of the prices of taxis in Dalyan and was getting excited at the arrival of my parents later tonight. They were due to land at 10.30pm at Dalaman airport and we were looking forward to spending lots of time with them.
Back home we shared the croissants and Captain Caveman went Dogging at the shelter. I got involved in pool and garden maintenance issues over messages about the contractor and the communal electric. There were complaints via our Aussie friends about the garden not being tended too and questions asked about if anyone had seen a gardener. I’m no Miss Marple but, by my account, no workman had been since about the end of May. My photo of my bicycle this morning showed the hose pipe and Rosemary bush had not been touched since I left for Vietnam on 3rd June. More back and forth comments went on with some owners about the state of the overhanging bushes and trees (including the ones I had cut down a year or so ago and had resulted in Bougainvillea-gate). I got annoyed, took the scissors down to the garden and started snipping away – I knew that failed hairdressing course would come in handy one day!
Once I’d done as much as I could reach, I sent photos to the affected neighbours, informed them it only took me 10 minutes and messaged Captain Caveman to tell him to pick up the spiky cuttings and bin them when he got back. I was getting a bit peeved with the whole situation! When Captain Caveman returned I made suggestions to get another maintenance company lined up for 2023. If he waited much longer to get someone to price for the job we would miss out as all the good ones get snapped up. My thumb remained numb for the rest of the day, from trimming a hedge with kitchen scissors.

I took a photo of the spare bedroom which now had a new bedside table. I’d bought it last year at IKEA and not put it up, so Captain Caveman had done it. We were ready for having guests now and there were a few due.
News of flash flood warnings in central Vietnam came and we were glad that we weren’t there at the moment. Our friends there were preparing for power outages and severe floods. Meanwhile my parents were at Manchester airport ready to come to Dalyan, after 3 months back in Sheffield. When Captain Caveman returned from Dogging he picked up all the sharp cuttings from the pathway, surveyed my handiwork, got annoyed at the garden situation and didn’t even thank me for trying to help.
That evening, after watering the plants, playing and feeding with the cats I got ready for a night out. Jamie came to pick up Captain Caveman and I at 7pm and we went to his villa. Drew had cooked us a lovely lasagne and we had quite a bit of red wine with it. We got to meet (again) Edna and Norman, Jamie’s dogs, who we would be looking after soon.
It was a lovely meal, Jamie dropped us back off and went to pick up his friend from the airport. Tomorrow was going to be a busy day!

Dalyan – 8th October

Dalyan – 8th October

While I cleaned and hoovered the lounge, kitchen, dining area and our bedroom on Saturday 8th October, Captain Caveman went to the market. I thought the idea of him getting up early and leaving was so that he could buy provisions and prepare us a nice brunch. There wasn’t any bread or milk in at Mark and Kate’s so by the time I had finished cleaning I was very hungry. Captain Caveman eventually rocked up at 2pm with a picnic lunch and a cooked chicken from the butcher’s. He wasn’t hungry as he’d had a gözleme at the market (because he was there too early). Captain Caveman had also taken himself off supermarket shopping so that’s why he’d been a while. Here’s what he bought, prices in lira;

Migros supermarket

Cherry jam 22.00
Salted nuts 25.90
Stringy cheese 33.50
Wraps 37.50
Eggs 37.90
Mozzarella cheese balls 47.95
Halloumi cheese 52.95
Turkish salami 54.90

Total spent 312.60 lira (£14.53).
That wasn’t a bad price to say there were 3 lots of cheese, which is can be expensive.

After eating our lunch in the (almost) fur free dining area we sat outside and Captain Caveman had a beer. I watered the plants, fed the cats early and we had a walk to the Kingfisher restaurant for dinner. We shared some mezes as a main course, I had a glass of wine and Captain Caveman had a beer. The setting is rustic but beautiful and there are lots of turtles swimming in the surrounding water. The service was excellent and we really enjoyed our evening before walking back after sunset. Unfortunately, for some unknown reason, Captain Caveman started an argument when I pointed out how nice the orange sky looked, reflected in the water. He disappeared to take photos and I walked home by myself and had another early night.

Dalyan – 7th October

Dalyan – 7th October

There had been a massive storm during the night so I woke up quite tired on Friday 7th October. There had been 4 out of 6 cats in the house during the early hours. Bubble, Squeak, JC and Bebek had come home to shelter because they were scared. It was only at breakfast feeding that the other 2, Casha and Kylie, showed up looking a tad hungry. We cycled back over to our apartment because I needed to use the internet and the one at Mark and Kate’s wasn’t working very well. I did my weekly weigh in only to find I had lost 0.35kg but my measurements weren’t great;
Bust +1.5cm, Waist +2cm, Hips +2cm, no changes to any leg measurements.
We had pasta for lunch at home and then made our way over to Rehab bar for a quick draft beer in the sun. We had a chat with Angelique and Tay, Angelique invited me over to take a look at their new home in Gokbel. The place was impressive, in a gorgeous spot and I helped her measure up for a fence. She dropped me back at Mark and Kate’s, where Captain Caveman had already arrived, and we played with the cats for a bit. Captain Caveman was so sneezy that he wasn’t going to stay over but in the end he did. I promised to hoover and clean everywhere tomorrow to try to get rid of some of the cat fur, in the hope he would be less affected. It might have been a good idea for him not to pet the cute kitties too!

For sunset we walked down to the jetty with an alcoholic beverage and I took lots of photos of the beautiful scenery.
We had the rest of our Sosyete takeaway from last night, for our dinner, and it was still delicious. Captain Caveman was very sneezy, there was no TV and the internet was still not working so we were in bed at just after 9pm.

Dalyan – 5th & 6th October

Dalyan – 5th & 6th October

On Wednesday 5th October Captain Caveman went to help out at the Dog Shelter, we affectionately call this Dogging. The Dalyan doctor called to let me know I could get my booster tomorrow at 10am and I did a bit of stuff on my laptop while the house was quiet. In the local news a paraglider had died at Babadağ so we thought this might put Gay Gaz off doing a jump, but it didn’t.
I made a chicken and veg fried rice for a late lunch which was very tasty.
We went out to look for a new cheese grater, as ours was broken, but we didn’t find a decent one. Instead, we popped for a beer in the sun outside Sofra bar where we happened to bump in to a couple of reprobates. We didn’t stay too long as I’d decided to cook my own version of a Hunter’s Chicken with wedges and carrots that evening. This meant we didn’t eat until 9.45pm but it was quite tasty.

Captain Caveman went Bumming on Thursday 6th October, our name for helping out with the Riverbums. I went to get my 6th booster vaccine at the local doctors where I saw local expats, Judy and Eddie, there and said hello. The jab itself was so quick that they were done before I noticed. As soon as I got home the app had been updated.
We packed our overnight bags and decided to head over to Mark and Kate’s early as we were taking over the cat and house sitting duties from tonight. Captain Caveman is allergic to cats so he was in a bad way quite quickly. We hadn’t brought any food with us as usually Kate has very little room in the fridge and no free freezer space so we ordered food from Sosyete and washed it down with a glass of red wine. There was a power cut which was fairly lengthy but this didn’t affect our dinner delivery. We went to bed early, a storm was starting but the power had returned.

Photo credit – the Riverbums for the ones of Captain Caveman

Dalyan – 22nd & 23rd September

Dalyan – 22nd & 23rd September

Thursday 22nd September was another relaxing day spent mainly at home. Captain Caveman got up early and donned his scruffy clothes to rejoin the Riverbums on their weekly clean up. Captain Caveman loves a bit of what we affectionately call Bumming and, while he was working hard, I made a chicken casserole in the slow cooker.
I was meant to take myself off to the unveiling of the Kaptan June memorial opening but I got carried away with other tasks. Amanda, Greg and Chris were spending their day at Kaunos ruins and then BC Spa which we had also been invited along to, but I declined. It was a bit hot for me to enjoy walking round the ruins.
That night we enjoyed the chicken casserole with roast potatoes and a gin.
We had a very busy weekend coming up so I needed to take things easy again.

Amanda, Greg, Chris, Captain Caveman and I went to Saklı Bahçe for a Turkish breakfast on Friday 23rd September. I am still finding that when I eat out, especially Turkish breakfast, I have a bad stomach. Usually, I just suffer it but we had a busy day and I didn’t fancy being ill so I just drank tea and had a few chips while the others had 4 massive Turkish breakfasts. I was so jealous because I wanted to shovel it down like Captain Caveman but didn’t want to risk it.
Next, the 5 of us walked to Mark & Kate’s where we were invited to try out their paddle board and kayaks. With 3 of the group being Aussies it was no surprise that Greg and Chris were very good at it. Kate had put out some nibbles which I was surprised that, after the massive breakfast, Captain Caveman was having Vegemite with bread. I ate some crisps and drank water. Captain Caveman and Mark went off in a couple of kayaks but I wasn’t brave enough to try it because of my old knee injury and not being able to get back out.
Gay Gaz arrived with booze so we started on the wine in the afternoon. We all got to meet some of the cats and the newest one was very cute. Later, we decided to go back in to town while the Aussies tootled off to sort some stuff out. Captain Caveman, Gay Gaz and I went for a drink at Retro bar to see Nazim, Murat, Nusret and Gonca. We noticed that the cafe opposite Retro at M Hotel had closed, Nazim said they were making some improvements and would open again soon. Mark and Kate had plans to go to Lukka bar for the music bingo but, unfortunately, there was not enough spaces for the 3 of us to join them so we decided to take ourselves off for dinner. 
I’ve been to Okyanus lots of times but I mainly go for lunch. I had a lovely mushroom pasta dish and I was impressed with it. While we were eating, Kate came over to say there were 3 spaces at Lukka Bingo and so we were squeezed in.
The Bingo is more of a music quiz and Mehmet is just really funny with how he presents it. We had a marvellous evening which ended with Gay Gaz on a chair singing ‘Its raining men’ as his taxi came to take him home.

Kate, showing us how it’s done

Fethiye to Dalyan – 17th September

Fethiye to Dalyan – 17th September

Our first day back in Dalyan on Saturday 17th September was certainly interesting. This was also the day I had noted in my diary that our Aussie friends would arrive. Amanda & Greg had not been able to leave Australia during the pandemic so they were also glad to be coming back to Dalyan after almost 3 years away.
We checked out of the lovely Downtown Fethiye Suites and went to the Mulberry Tree for breakfast. Captain Caveman went off to check the Fethiye to Ortaca bus timetable while I had a toasted teacake and a cup of tea. When he returned he also had a teacake then off we went on our journey back to Dalyan. The bus was busy, hot and not too comfortable but we made it in one piece.


By 5pm we were in Backyard No.9 taking advantage of the Happy Hour before 6pm and ordering a pizza each. Efes beers were 45 lira (£2.14) so we had a couple while they were on offer. While we were there a few of our friends came over from Rehab bar to say hello and we got to see Mark & Kate on an invalid carriage!
Our Aussie friends and neighbours, Amanda & Greg, had arrived so Captain Caveman and I went to welcome them back and have a drink at Lukka bar. The 3 of them ate at Lukka but I wasn’t hungry after my mushroom pizza so I just had a large draft Efes. We had a wander to see Amanda and Greg’s new apartment, The Reading Room, which is lovely and we celebrated it with a gin!

When we got home we were about ready for bed when I noticed our Dutch friend, Angelique, had put on Facebook that she had arrived in Dalyan but had tested positive for Corona. We decided to go back out and Captain Caveman took some medication for her while I joined Mark, Ged and Tommy for a drink. The Favipiravir medication had an expiry date in October so it needed to be used and had been provided by Oxalis for if Captain Caveman had got Corona. At Rehab bar everyone was pretty drunk so we didn’t stay long and Captain Caveman was keen to get home to get some sleep.


On our way home we noticed Daisy and Andy at Rumours so we went over to say hello. Obviously we got chatting, as you do, even though I don’t usually frequent Rumours bar. Andy bought Captain Caveman and I a beer while Daisy introduced us to her friends. Needless to say it was a messy night with us leaving just after Andy, at around 3.15am!
On our way home we passed Sofra bar where people were still drinking and tried to sit down for one more beer. Şükrü, the owner, said no and to go home as he was trying to get the other punters to do.
It was a sign we were back in Dalyan!

Photo credit – some taken by 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.

Dalyan – 31st August

Dalyan – 31st August

At 4.20am on Wednesday 31st August Captain Caveman had landed in Istanbul. At 6.50am he was on the plane to Dalaman and I was already up and about. I was excited for his arrival and had arranged for a taxi driver to pick him up from Dalaman airport around 8am. I’d agreed with Mark to have the borrowed bicycle returned to him by the evening but was conscious I would have a busy day. I decided to cycle over there to drop it off before it got too hot. It was just after 7am when I saw Kate feeding the cats, I had a glass of water and admired their new mobility scooter type vehicles which had arrived yesterday. I even took a photo sat on one and then walked home. It had not crossed my mind, until Kate mentioned it, that I now looked like I was doing the walk of shame back from their house, before my fella got home. Crikey – that would get the Dalyan rumour mill started (again)! Kylie and JC, the cats, followed me almost as far as the water spring and were very vocal. When I got home I did a few chores, then got prepared for my Turkish lesson. Captain Caveman arrived around 10am with lots of luggage and was pleased to be back in Dalyan. After all this time he was also surprised to have to push through the ‘born again’ bougainvillea outside of the gate to get in, with all his luggage. Sausage Dick had requested some tobacco so Captain Caveman had managed to get him 500g of Amber Leaf for €53.90 at Dalaman airport. Unfortunately Captain Caveman couldn’t get too comfy as he wasn’t staying long. In 16 hours we would be on our way back to Dalaman airport.

We both walked to the Casablanca Hotel, where my Turkish class was, then Captain Caveman went to the hardware shop to buy some screws for the door handles. My class was challenging because I’d missed 3 months but I wasn’t as badly behind as I would’ve been if Sioned had not been sending me the lessons. Vanessa and I had also been keeping up with a bit of it while away from Turkey so it seemed to be ok. Sioned told us that our Turkish classes were changing and we would have them on Tuesdays at 10am from next week. We also had a fella from another group join our class and the only other original members there today, were Steve and Janice.
After Turkish class, I walked to meet Captain Caveman at Okyanus for lunch, a tradition Vanessa and I had started. We bumped in to Babs and had a bit of a natter, she said she’d come over to join us shortly. Captain Caveman and I had a cold Efes, said hello to Bakı, who works at Okyanus, and ordered wraps each. My chicken wrap was lovely and Captain Caveman enjoyed his meatball wrap, the chips were home cooked and it came with a good salad selection. At 2.50pm I left Captain Caveman and Babs to finish their drinks and went back home.

I was in the middle of doing something on my laptop when I started getting messages and phone calls asking where I was. It was around 4.30pm and I thought it was a bit strange.
It turned out that an event I had created on Facebook, while still in Vietnam, for 7pm tonight, was showing as 3pm today.
It was meant to be at River Terrace tonight for Captain Caveman’s welcome back drinks but Nanny Kay, Leanne, Katrina, Debbie and Sarah were already there. I didn’t realise that Facebook changes the time to the country where your phone says you are located. Captain Caveman went to find people and explain, then ended up having a drink with Katrina at Lukka bar. He briefly saw Sarah and Jamie but the others had gone home. Poor Nanny Kay was a bit cheesed off, especially as she had paid 40 lira (£2) for a can of diet coke while she waited, then we didn’t arrive.
We had a table booked for 5.30pm at Bistro Blue, for just the 2 of us. It was nice to see Annie and Selahı again and we had a table outside in the sunshine. We shared cheese rolls and liver & onion starters then both had salads for mains. Captain Caveman had Halloumi, I had steak and blue cheese, all the food was delicious and the red wine went down rather well.

At 7pm, as intended, I went over to River Terrace to meet anyone who was still coming to Captain Caveman’s ‘not quite 1 night in Dalyan’ event. He was meant to be following close behind but got chatting and was even later. Katrina, couldn’t stay long but Ann, Jax, Debbie (Darling), Rach, Nuri, Mark, Kate, Maddie, Sam and Sarah made it out out. We had a good night and Captain Caveman was happy to be back.
After lots of drinks, Captain Caveman was hungry again so we went to Kebapçı Yusuf where I had the chicken liver wrap and Captain Caveman had some sort of lamb meal. The food and service was very good, as always, and it was still one of my firm favourites to eat at. Captain Caveman managed to fall asleep a couple of times so we went home, just before midnight, to wait for the taxi.

Dalyan – 29th August

Dalyan – 29th August

When I woke up on Monday 29th August Captain Caveman was already about to start his journey, from Vietnam to Turkey. It had been almost 3 years since he had last been to Dalyan, mainly due to the pandemic, and he was looking forward to returning. He had managed to move all of our belongings from Elements Collection back to the Glass House with just a motorbike and had said his goodbyes to Stu and the boys last night. I got up and headed outside where I was met by Kitler, the cat, and some kittens. Someone had now put the cat who looked like Hitler, hence the Kitler name, a bell round it’s neck. One of the rules of our complex is no pets but, for some reason, someone is encouraging the cats by feeding them, and there were empty cat food containers and cardboard littered about the place. I cycled, on my borrowed bicycle, to the Captainnet office to pay for our internet for the next 3 months. It cost 420 lira (£21) in total so, although it had increased, it still wasn’t too bad and the nice lady said it was working immediately.
Back home I still couldn’t find the padlock key for my important cupboard but luckily I managed to find a friend who had some tools to break it for me. As Chris was leaving, there was a couple outside the gate asking which of the apartments in our block were for sale. I didn’t know for certain, there was no ‘For Sale’ sign anywhere. They had friends who wanted to look at it and had been kept waiting by the agent so they were keen on finding out more info. I was running late to meet friends in Tez bar so I left them, waiting inside the complex, in the hot sun. On my way round the corner to another of my locals I saw Jamie and Drew at Lukka bar. They were off shopping so couldn’t come for drinks, we said we would catch up soon though.
I met Mark, Kate, Adam and Kath (another one of my favourite couples) at Tez bar where it was very nice and sunny. It was also good to see Tez and his wife again after being away for a while. I had a couple of white wine and sodas, Debbie joined us for one too, then Sarah arrived. It was nice to relax and chat with everyone, even though I hadn’t missed too much from being in Vietnam. We were all quite sensible for a Monday afternoon; Mark and Kate left to go home in one direction, Adam and Kath in the opposite one. After a couple of drinks which came to 200 lira (£10), we were all going our separate ways but I realised I had no food in at home. I had to drop off Katrina’s lemongrass oil, at Maisie Moo so I decided to go to Lukka Bar, by myself, where I had a large draft Efes beer for 55 lira (£2.75) and I had a delicious sweet and sour chicken for 195 lira (£9.75). It was very nice and I even took a little bit home with me as the portion size was substantial.

Dalyan – 28th August

Dalyan – 28th August

My first day in Dalyan, on Sunday 28th August, was great! I managed to log in to one of the neighbours WiFi and let people know I had arrived. My eczema was terrible from wearing the facemasks and I had to take antihistamines plus slather the cream on. I spotted a message from Kate to say that her and Mark weren’t still out last night when I arrived but I was invited today for lunch. As I had not had the fridge on, I was appreciative of this kind offer and had also agreed prior, to borrow a bicycle from Mark for 4 days. I checked the apartment and all was well except for I couldn’t find my key for the padlocked cupboard, which had everything I needed in it! Downstairs, I noticed that the garden was pretty overgrown and the attacking bushes last night had been some pretty spiky, overgrown bougainvillea. The electric meter cupboard was difficult to open on account of the bougainvillea growing back in the way of the doors. The pool pump was on but the pool itself looked like it needed a good clean before I’d get in for a swim. There was washing at the bottom of our stairs so it looked like I had next door neighbours. In the living area I noticed what looked like coffee on one of the cushions, which was odd because I was the last one in the apartment except for the cleaner, I don’t drink coffee. I booked a taxi for 2pm with Fikri and took a bottle of wine and some sodas to Mark and Kate’s house. It was great to see them again and there was a welcome back beer to be had. The 2 baby cats had grown and they now had a new kitten who was particularly cute. Kate had excelled herself by making a full-on pork Sunday dinner with all the trimmings – it was so good.
I probably should have planned things slightly better but I managed to cycle back in to town from Mark and Kate’s, after 2 beers and half a bottle of wine, on a borrowed bicycle! I thought I was going home for more sleep but I just had to say hello to Katrina and Mehmet at Lukka bar, my local bar. Katrina bought me a welcome back red wine and then phoned Sarah and Debbie (Darling) to see if they were coming over to meet me. They arrived, we had more wine, and Sarah showed me her broken wrist which she was in a bad way with. I saw İsmail, the flower man, and had a little chat and a photo. Roy joined us for one, then we all went to Debbie’s. I was definitely drunk as I was letting Socks and Brinny, their dogs, give me lots of kisses. I was surprised they remembered me as the cats didn’t give a stuff. Debbie (Darling) ordered a curry from Spice Garden but then her and Roy fell asleep while Sarah nattered on, catching me up with the trials and tribulations of her last 3 months.
I cycled home just after midnight, and was glad to get to bed after my first day in Dalyan.

Dalyan – 3rd June

Dalyan – 3rd June

I think the words ‘hanging out of my own arse’ have never been truer than on Friday 3rd June, when I woke up to messages from Captain Caveman. He was suddenly excited to be seeing me and had sent me a blurred photo of a flight he had booked for when my visa expired, in case I needed to show it at check-in. I stayed in bed to transfer money to him for the electricity and water over the next few months. I’d had some really lovely messages from friends who’d been unable to come out last night, Sue managed to bring a tear to my eye with her kind words. Mark and Kate had invited me, Matt and my parents over to their place for a final farewell in the afternoon. I had a bit of a laugh at Matt, who may also have been hungover, when he posted on a group chat to say he would be going over to Mark and Kate’s for bacon sandwiches at 1pm. Mark had also replied on the group chat to ask me or Matt to bring bread and that it might be sausages as they were having trouble locating the bacon.
My parents had the workmen in and so they couldn’t go, which hindered my plans slightly as I was meant to be cycling to Penny and Phil’s. The idea was I would ride Bluey2 to their’s, slightly before the others got the taxi to Mark & Kate’s. I could then drop Penny’s bike off and get in the taxi for the rest of the way. Instead, Matt would cycle over about 1pm, my Dad would wait in with the workmen and my Mom would come and help me pack. I would then cycle to Mark and Kate’s but drop the bike off on the way back before going out for my final meal.
As my flight had been changed it turned out I could have gone to a Jubilee party after all. I checked the Jubilee group on Facebook so I could see what time to perhaps pop in but I’d been removed already. I’m not really in to the Royal family any way but maybe they’d found out how bad we had been on questions about the Queen at the Retro bar quiz and I had got an automatic ban – it might be better to leave it to the more patriotic.
When Ma arrived her facial expressions were a treat as she couldn’t believe how far off being ready I was!

Luckily for her, I’m a list maker and I had a note of all the jobs still to do (before 1pm ideally):
1. Print out my Vietnamese visa (I don’t have a printer but Kate was going to do it)
2. Pack away all my belongings in to the various lockable cupboards
3. Store all the non-perishable kitchen items in the lockable cupboard
4. Sort out 2 loads of washing
5. Empty the kitchen cupboards of spare food
6. Empty the fridge and decide who to give what to
7. Empty the freezer and give everything I could to Mom
8. Bin anything that wasn’t going to last or be donated
9. Empty the bins
10. Do the washing up
11. Pack my suitcase
12. Pack my hand luggage
13. Charge my laptop and phone
14. Defrost the fridge freezer

My Mom suggested I should let Mark, Kate and Matt know I’d be late and that it would be better for Matt to get the bread. I messaged (not in the group) to say I would leave mine at 2pm and then Mom and I got on with it.
It was the hottest day of the year so far and it didn’t help that yesterday one of the Aircon remotes had stopped working. We had done a couple of hours without AC but we were both a drippy mess by noon. Luckily, I didn’t need any lunch on account of me only just remembering that I had eaten cheese on toast and the half portion of beef wrap from Hotel Dalyance at 3.45am this morning – more luck than judgement, really.
Ma was instrumental in helping with the pots, sorting out the piles of clothes, packing and sorting the fresh and frozen produce out with me. She also managed to fill a whole bin liner of stuff to throw away.
My Mom left looking frazzled and a bit bewildered as to why I hadn’t done all this sooner. She had a bag of store cupboard stuff, some frozen stuff and some very nice home cooked meals to see her through the week. I also ended up with a large bag of stuff for Kate, as I knew she wouldn’t have me throw stuff away, including a jar of pickled red cabbage. All I needed to do now was hang the washing out and cycle over to Mark and Kate’s for another last farewell.

I arrived at Mark and Kate’s house at just after 2pm, a hot and sweaty mess. I had the bag of stuff, including a meat pie, brown and BBQ sauce, Lurpak butter, the curry paste which Kate had made me, but I’d not used it yet, and a few other bits and bobs. Mark sorted me out with a shandy while I squidged items in to the fridge and freezer. Matt was already sipping a shandy and had brought plenty of bread for the hot dogs. We had a couple more shandies, then Mark got cracking with the sausages. He even treated us to fried onions with them and we used up some of the BBQ sauce I brought. Kate offered us all fruitcake with butter and Red Leicester cheese on but I didn’t want to upset Mark, I declined but Mark and Matt enjoyed some. I had even packed some of Kate’s fruitcake, Red Leicester and Stilton cheeses to take with me to Vietnam. I decided to change in to my swimmers so that I could get in the pool, I noticed my pink towel on the terrace railing, which was odd. I hadn’t remembered putting it in their bag last night so that I didn’t have to carry it round. Then it was time for my farewell treat; Prosecco! It was the real stuff too and it was bloody lovely, in fact we ended up having 3 bottles between 3 of us, Matt just had the 1 glass. We took some photos and we almost forgot to print off the visa, as Kate was in charge but getting a bit merry. I realised I’d still not been in the pool but it was almost time to leave. I still had to drop Bluey2 off at Penny and Phil’s, get home and get ready for dinner with my parents. In my head I’d mistakenly anticipated having time for a nap at some point today but that wasn’t going to happen. Kate and Mark kindly offered to sort out the returning of Penny’s bike and suggested I get a taxi back to mine so that I wouldn’t be too late. Matt left earlier than me, I gave him a big hug and then had 1 more glass of Prosecco. When it came to saying goodbyes I was sad, I said I’d call them from time to time, Mark and Kate said they’d keep in touch too. I got to say bye to the cats who were already glad I was going because they had ‘my’ bed to themselves. Fikri dropped me off at my apartment and we confirmed my airport pick up would be Fikri personally later, at 01.45am to be precise. I’d only just finished packing when it was time to go out.

We were booked in at our favourite restaurant in Dalyan for my last meal here. My parents and I arrived at 7.30pm and had a lovely table on the mosque square side of the restaurant. I’d already decided I would have steak and I think it was a given that we would have a bottle of wine. We love Bistro Blue because of the great food, excellent service, but also because we like the owners and staff, plus it has a lovely ambience which makes you feel relaxed.
My Dad had one of his favourite dishes, the liver and onions with bacon, served with mashed potatoes. Mom decided she would have steak with onions and chips while I ordered my favourite, the pepper steak. The wine flowed, the food was excellent and I even got some good photos for our last night together. Our evening at Bistro Blue would not have been complete without seeing Selahı get out his huge grinder and pepper Annie’s plate, which made my parents laugh more than it should have. It was a little strange that we had no idea when we would see each other again or even which country it would be in. I’m lucky that I have residency in Turkey until October 2023 but my parents and Captain Caveman are only permitted to stay for 90 days in an 180 day rolling period, which is somewhat restrictive. The residency rules in Turkey have since changed and only 6 months as a maximum is allowed now.
After saying bye to Annie and Selahı we had a wander home and, as you can probably imagine, Ma was up for a nightcap. My taxi wasn’t coming until after midnight so we went to Tez bar where I enjoyed another glass of red wine, my parents were on the spirits!
Roy, Melanie and Gareth happened to turn up and so I got to say bye to them before I went, still disappointed I hadn’t been able to say bye to Debbie (Darling) or Sue who’d have probably had me crying. On my short walk round the corner I was able to quickly say bye to Jamie too, as he was at Lukka bar.
I tried to be brave when I said bye to my parents but I was quite tearful after they had gone. As Fikri arrived to pick me and my cases up, I don’t think it had quite sunk in that I was actually going back to Vietnam and Captain Caveman!

Dalyan – 2nd June

Dalyan – 2nd June

It was my last full day and night in Dalyan on Thursday 2nd June and I wasn’t at all ready to leave. I was obviously looking forward to seeing Captain Caveman again, after 257 days apart, and was keen to find out what he had planned for when I arrived. Captain Caveman is a good planner but a man of very few words so he was keeping anything he did have in mind to himself. He did send me a photo of the place we would be staying at when I landed in Ho Chi Minh City. I was pleased it looked like the monsoon rains there were subsiding a bit and it was mainly happening in the afternoons.
Here, in Dalyan, it was a lovely sunny day and definitely bikinis and pool weather. Our complex was full of holiday makers in or around the pool and it was the first time I’d seen it busy.
At lunch it was time for my next leaving ‘celebration’ as I’d been invited out to Hotel Dalyance. Angela had organised for us to have a little gathering with Nick, Maddie and Lyndsey as they were unable to make my party that evening. I met them at Casablanca hotel first and had a coke before we wandered round. I was tempted by the chicken and mushroom alfredo but was conscious I needed to not have a reaction to the creamy sauce so I ordered the beef wrap with chips. I was not disappointed as it was delicious and a very generous portion for a lunch time meal. Others did have the pasta dish, Lyndsey had an omelette and everything looked amazing too. I even had a glass of red wine with my food but found I couldn’t manage all of the beef wrap and took a doggy bag home. It was a lovely afternoon and I was going to miss my friends, we were already talking of reunions in September. Just before it was time to say bye, both Maddie and I had bad stomachs, as is often the case with the pair of us, so Nick had to drive Maddie home without me saying farewell. I cycled home but had to take some stomach medication to make sure I was ok for tonight’s excitement. Kate had certainly pulled out all the stops with what she’d organised for my party tonight and I was looking forward to seeing everyone! By 5pm I was not any closer to being packed for my departure to Vietnam. The apartment now looked like a bomb had hit it and there were various half filled boxes all over the place. It was hot and I had a dodgy stomach so I had a little rest and lots of water before setting off for my leaving celebrations. I still had all day tomorrow to sort everything out and get packed – loads of time, what could possibly go wrong!!?

I had to cycle Bluey2 to Kaan’s Tequila boat, the venue for my final leaving party at 6.30pm. Kaan helped me on board as the promenade had not been finished and it was a bit of a to do to access the boats. He was also a bit worried that we had too many people as I think Kate had almost 30 potential attendees at one point. As I got on, one of my friends was stressed and came straight over to me, he had to get off because his wife was at home, quite ill and they couldn’t make it, which was understandable. Sarah arrived and had her dog, Yaps, in tow. Kate is allergic to and not a fan of dogs so then I had to faff about several times taking Yaps off the boat, but she kept getting back on. Yaps didn’t understand when I told her she wasn’t invited, and the boat was already too full for her to come, she just wanted to stay with Sarah. Kate had made one of my favourites, lemon drizzle cake and buns, which she had put on the table for all to share. She had brought my delivery from Trendyol (an online shop) for something that had arrived just in time for Vietnam. Kate had also took the opportunity to invite Shiela to bring her accordion and guests had been encouraged to request some songs for her to play later. I was very happy, who gets a real life accordion player at their leaving do? It was certainly a new first for me and I was so pleased. Mark had kindly taken over dog watch at the back of the boat as he could see I was getting thirsty while we waited for some stragglers! We waited another 10 minutes after the departure time, until 6.40pm, as we were still missing a couple of people who had not shown up yet. As we had only booked Kaan and the Tequila boat for 2 hours, we wanted to make the most of our booze cruise. Kaan’s fridge was so fully stocked with everyone’s preferences that we were certainly on for a great trip.
Kaan was much happier that we had only 20 people on board; 4 had cancelled because it was a bit too busy for them, 2 no shows, 2 because of sickness, 1 had to work, and 1 decided to wait in Aşkın’s bar as we would be back by 8.30pm.

Kate and Kaan arranged for us to go to Jimmy’s island, I did a short speech to thank everyone for coming. I confessed I would miss everyone and that I was lucky to have had the chance to have spent so much time with such fantastic people. I was so surprised to see so many come to see me off (or make sure I left). I cut the cake and everyone had a slice or a bun, it was so delicious and perfectly moist. I played waitress for a few minutes, to help Kaan out and to make sure everyone had a full glass as we sailed along the river.  Mark told me he had a present for me but he hadn’t wanted to give it to me in front of everyone (oo-er, that would get the gossipers going)! Kate had even suggested it would be more convenient if I could get it tomorrow, at their place, instead and I wondered what it could be. They both signed a card with a cat on to give me and I would keep it in my diary, which Ann bought me (to remind me of Dalyan).
Kate had got her play list at the ready and had selected a relaxed stargazing selection which had worked well for her before.
Shiela got her accordion out and we went on to sing a variety of songs. It was mainly Kate and I who did the singing but it was good to see Nanny Kay joining in on the ones she knew from singing group. Ma & Pa joined in too and Adam was forced to get involved when it was time for his request. Shiela had been learning ‘Friggin’ in the Riggin” by the Sex Pistols all afternoon and did a pretty excellent job while Adam, some of the men and I gave it our best shot.
It was absolutely brilliant, Shiela played lots of great songs and we all loved it. When Mark questioned Kate’s choice of playlist, as Van Morrison crooned ‘Moondance’, she decided to turn it up a notch with her playlist, to party and dance mode.

The drinks flowed and we were positioned in a beautiful location at Jimmy’s island. Adam got off for a wander and found some donkeys and an English caravan club member to occupy him.
I’d asked Annie to take some photos which was fortuitous as I either forgot, or took terrible ones. As we danced well past 8.30pm I realised I had a party dress stuffed in my bag, as well as a bikini and a towel which didn’t get used. I managed to change without going to the toilet, not revealing anything inappropriate, and I tried to get as many drunken photos with everyone as I could. I missed a few people out though which was disappointing.
Kaan was amazing, and much to my astonishment, didn’t set off back to Dalyan until 10.30pm because no one had given him the instruction to. Of course, I’d had no WiFi while on the boat so the people who had gone to Aşkın’s for 8.30pm had either gone home without seeing me or were a bit peeved when I turned up a lot later than planned. In true leaving party fashion, I was hammered, so were most of us who made it out out! Matt, Mark and Kate were almost as plastered as me and were so funny at Aşkın’s. Adam and Kath were definitely merry on account of none of us having eaten a meal since lunch. Viv’s husband, Paul, was glad to see her and Nanny Kay were back safely and was happy we’d had an incredible time. Jamie was still there and I’m so glad I got to have a hug and a chat before I left, especially as I’d hardly seen him this visit. Even Gareth and Julie were still out with family so I got to say farewell to them too. Debbie (Darling) and Roy had waited as long as they could but I was very disappointed I wouldn’t get to see them one last time. When I went back to join Ma & Pa at the table, Matt was buying a T-shirt and was trying it on – he doesn’t usually do many boat trips so I was impressed and happy he had made it. I even said Vanessa should go away more often as Matt was on top form, being the life and soul of the party a few times.
We had more drinks at Aşkın’s then went on to Sofra bar, which I don’t remember an awful lot of. I do remember my parents, Matt and I thinking we were the lasts ones standing at Sofra bar and deciding to go to Sunset bar for a last drink. They set off walking and I went to get my bicycle to ride there. When I arrived they weren’t there and I suspected they had given me the slip, but I still rode back to Sofra to check. Luckily, Davut and Şükrü miss nothing and said they had walked down the left path towards home. Merrily I cycled back to Sunset bar where I had drinks with Annie. We finished the amazing night off with me playing gooseberry and drinking Amaretto until about 3.30am. Good old Bluey2 managed to get me home, somehow unscathed. I didn’t quite appreciate the fact that this would be my last chance to sleep in a bed, until Sunday night in Vietnam.

Photo credit – Annie Miller

Dalyan – 22nd May

Dalyan – 22nd May

Sunday 22nd May should have been a day to stay home and rest up, and it did start out that way!
I got up late, despite not having had much sleep due to the music of the Jazz bar, and then the early call to prayer. For breakfast I made myself beans on toast with 2 of Dick’s sausages. I cooked a whole pack so that I could make a sausage casserole tomorrow too. I was a bit annoyed that my TV, which had not been showing any programme listing information, was still not right so I had to play Russian roulette with what might be on what channels. I wanted to record the Grand Prix but couldn’t work out when it would be on. Instead I listened to music and was pleased I’d made it to the sofa today. For lunch I had a cheese sandwich with the Red Leicester from Dick and the spare breadcake from Ula that was still in my bag.
I realised we had possibly been neglecting Des, who had been busy working and catching up with his new Dalyan friends. We agreed to meet at Backyard No.9 and I invited some of the gang so that he wasn’t bored with just me. My parents and I were the first there, Sarah was going to join us and Des arrived just as we had ordered our drinks. Mark and Kate were already out with a few others at Rehab bar so said they wouldn’t be coming. When Sarah arrived she had brought me a pair of sunglasses which she was recycling. They were slightly broken but I cleaned them on a serviette and popped them on to try them out for size.
I love the pizzas at Backyard No.9; three out of the five of us ordered one. Mom had tuna and onion pizza, I had the Dalyan pizza with feta, olives, sun-dried tomatoes and peppers, Sarah had one with parma ham and rocket, while Dad had a cheeseburger with chips and Des chose a pasty type dish. It isn’t the cheapest place but the ingredients are quality and fresh. Ülkü and her team are really nice and friendly plus the outside space is very tastefully set up. It was a lovely meal and we enjoyed the wine too.
After we had eaten, Mark and Kate were on their way home and popped in for a drink and a chat. They had to get back to feed the cats so only had one beer – they can’t be party animals every night!!
We also went home reasonably early and I promised myself a couple of rest days from tomorrow. I was still waiting to hear if I had been granted a visa for Vietnam yet and hoped that tomorrow would bring good news.