Dalyan – 27th & 28th September

Dalyan – 27th & 28th September

Our Turkish class was cancelled on the morning of Tuesday 27th September. This meant I could enjoy an unexpected easy day at home. For breakfast I had peaches, figs, yoghurt and honey while Captain Caveman made himself an omelette to have with fresh bread. Our Aussie friends had took themselves off to IKEA in İzmir and Captain Caveman had started to do some small jobs around the apartment.
I got on with pickling some beetroot and onions and then we got an unexpected invite out. Kate messaged to let us know that Daisy would be singing at River Terrace that evening so would we come along to support her. Of course, we said yes but decided we would eat at home first. Captain Caveman had his first go at making the pizzas on wraps and they turned out pretty nice. He also did a Halloumi side salad and we opened a bottle of Tılsım red wine to go with it.
We got to River Terrace before Daisy started singing and she was a bit nervous, she has a lovely singing voice though. By 10pm she was performing a great version of Country Roads, she was pretty good at an Amy Winehouse song too. The customers seemed to enjoy the music, the regular singer and guitarist were also very good but Ali, one of the owners, was totally impressed by Daisy. Kate and I even got up to dance with some other customers from another table so I’d say she had a successful night.

Captain Caveman went to Migros supermarket twice on Wednesday 28th September. The first time he bought 2 chocolate croissants and an onion loaf which cost a total of 40.45 lira (£1.98) and we had a lovely breakfast. On the second visit he bought eggs and bin liners for a total of 54.80 lira (£2.67). For lunch we had the onion bread with hummus, haydari, carrots, gherkins and olives, which was nice.
I spotted a bicycle for sale and enquired about it as it would be great to have some wheels to get about, especially when I’m doing any house or pet sitting for friends. I arranged to go to look at the bike tomorrow and was looking forward to being mobile.
That evening Captain Caveman and I went to the Retro bar quiz with Gay Gaz, Amanda and Greg. Surprisingly we managed to come joint first in the quiz but when we got home Tom, the quizmaster, had put a comment on Facebook that our score was wrong by 10 points so we didn’t actually win. I replied that we hadn’t marked our own so it’s not like we were cheating! I don’t really like quizzes because I’m not very good at them, whereas Captain Caveman loves a quiz. Tom Cree, the man who does the quiz, is very good and makes it more fun. I also like going to Retro bar as it is one of my favourites.

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

Dalyan – 25th September

Dalyan – 25th September

Captain Caveman went to get bread from the bakery on Sunday 25th September. He chose wholemeal bread which I’m not a fan of but he did bring me back a simit, similar to a bagel with sesame seeds on. I had that for breakfast with olives, cheese, kaymak (Turkish clotted cream) and honey.
That evening there was an event on in Dalyan, live music at the top of bar street, which we decided to go to. There had been 2 previous similar events that we had missed while in Vietnam so we were looking forward to seeing what all the fuss was about. Kate had booked a table for a few of us at the White House for dinner so Captain Caveman and I decided to go for an early bar on our way to meet up. We had a couple of glasses of wine at Aşkın’s bar which was rather nice and we got nice complimentary snacks.
At the White House we were given the best upstairs table where the other attendees were; Mark, Kate, Daisy, Adam & Kath, Julie & Issy, John & Andrea.
We ordered wine and decided against starters as there was complimentary lavaş (balloon bread). I had meatballs with cheese, Daisy had steak, Kate had popeye chicken, Mark & Captain Caveman both had beef wellington. The food was great even though it did take a while to come out with it being so busy, but we didn’t mind and the staff were very professional. The beef wellington was easily the best meal of the night and I wish I’d ordered it. I sampled that and Kate’s popeye chicken which was also very tasty. The music was ok but after we had eaten such a lovely meal we were not really up for dancing about. Captain Caveman and I left between 10.30pm and 11pm and had a walk back home to bed. It was probably for the best as tomorrow we had another fun day out planned.

Dalyan – 24th September

Dalyan – 24th September

Captain Caveman dislikes that I don’t get up early so on Saturday 24th September I had set my alarm to make sure we got to the weekly market. This would be the first time in about 3 years that Captain Caveman had been and he was looking forward to it.
We mainly purchased fruit and veg; onions, potatoes, olives, red cabbage, lettuce, spring onions, figs, plums, peaches, pears and honey. As Captain Caveman was paying and there were no receipts I didn’t note the amount we spent but to give you an idea the most expensive item was a jar of local honey at 80 lira (£3.80).
On the walk back from the market I bit in to one of the pears, only to find it was bad. For lunch we had a lovely salad which Captain Caveman bought a fresh cooked chicken from the butcher’s to go with. That was also 80 lira (£3.80) which is still cheap in English equivalent but the last time Captain Caveman had been here they were only 15 lira but worked out at £2.50 then. I let him know that bread loaves, which used to be 1 lira, were now 3 lira so that he wouldn’t be taken by surprise at the bakery.
In the afternoon we had peaches, plums and figs with a drizzle of honey on – that was delicious.
By 5pm we were in the A101 supermarket buying more essentials, then we popped to Migros for what we were still missing;

A101 Supermarket
Lemons 5.24
Clotted cream 23.50

Total 28.74 lira (£1.37)

Migros Supermarket
Tomato Ketchup 22.00
Gluten Free flour 23.50
Halloumi cheese 28.30
Gherkins 31.90
Mozzarella cheese balls 34.90
Yoghurt 35.95
Fabric Softener 36.90
Washing powder 38.75
Nuts 44.90
Mouthwash 54.90

Total spent 352 lira (£16.77)

We called in to Jiks pub after for a drink where we sat in the beer garden with Sue, Shiela and Ian. I had a cherry juice, Captain Caveman an Efes Malt. We noticed that the service in Jiks wasn’t as sharp as it once was and they had new staff.
Back home, the lights on the pool were on and didn’t seem to be on a timer any more, there were also new additional lights that had been installed. The pool looked like someone had tipped some salt in it but it was still dirty and we hadn’t seen a pool guy yet.
For dinner I decided to try an old favourite from when I used to eat healthy. I think it came from a Slimming World idea to make pizzas from wraps and keep the toppings basic. For each pizza I used 2 spoons of passata as the base, 1.5 slices of salami, 4 olives, 2 mushrooms, a few slices of red pepper and 3 small balls of cheese, sliced thinly. It takes only 7 minutes in the oven and it was the first time Captain Caveman had tried them. We enjoyed the low calorie pizzas, so much so that I got annoyed with Captain Caveman for snaffling it in too loudly. Captain Caveman was annoyed with me for commenting on his lack of manners so I went to bed early.

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

Dalyan – 20th & 21st September

Dalyan – 20th & 21st September

I only just managed to get myself out of bed in time to walk to Turkish class on Tuesday 20th September. It was at Casablanca Hotel at 10am and I was hungover.
Nothing else much happened that day except for me eating an apple and Captain Caveman managing to get some turkey on offer for 52 lira (£2.47) so that we could have a salad for dinner. I’d forgotten to do weight and measurements this weekend so I did them today. I was now the heaviest I’d been in a couple of years, I’d managed to put 2cm on my bust, 1cm on my waist but lose 4cm from my hips in about a week. My leg measurements had either decreased slightly or stayed the same. We stayed in that night and took it easy while the Aussies downstairs went to the airport to pick up their friend, Chris. Tomorrow, we had organised another fun day out so we needed to recharge our batteries a bit.

We had booked a trip with Ivona and Ismail on their Princess of Ekincik boat on Wednesday 21st September. Amanda and Greg had suggested we get a private trip together for the 4 of us and their guest, Chris. We decided to extend the invite to more friends and fill the boat.
Onboard with the 5 of us were Linda, Annie, Adam & Kath, Julie & Issy, Mark & Kate, Jackie & Chris, Dawn & Steve.
We went to Ekincik Bay and had a lovely day out. The service and food on the Princess of Ekincik boat is superb and we had such a great BBQ lunch. We also were rather lucky that no one had booked the boat for the evening trip so we got to stay out all day and for sunset too. Not everyone knew each other but that didn’t matter and we soon got dancing to Kate’s party playlist.

When we came to pay for our boat trip and drinks it was more money than Captain Caveman had accounted for. The trip itself was 500 lira each (£23.70) but we managed to spend another 1000 lira (£47.57) in drinks, which was a little excessive for our budget but we had a great time.
We had a bit of an after-boat-trip drink at River Terrace but Kate had to leave to meet Daisy at Sofra bar. She took her bag with Mark’s wallet and clothes in so Mark had to go with Captain Caveman to our place to borrow a t-shirt. Most people had one drink but Mark didn’t even finish his before heading to meet Kate in another bar. After River Terrace, where it was 65 lira (£3.09) for a beer we went to Dalyan Cafe for food and another beer.

Photo credit – Adam Newton, Princess of Ekincik

Dalyan – 19th September

Dalyan – 19th September

I usually try to avoid going to the bank on Monday mornings due to it being busy. Monday 19th September was seriously busy and there were no seats left unless anyone wanted to try moving the İş Bank cat. I was in there ages, while Captain Caveman got packed for our day out. It was Mark’s 58th birthday and although he and Kate could appreciate a lot of English people in Dalyan would want to watch the Queen’s funeral on TV, it was no way to celebrate a birthday. Captain Caveman and I also had no wish to watch a funeral on a big screen in a bar, like it was some sort of sporting event. Kate had took the sensible idea of organising a day at the beach from 2pm, that way anyone who wanted to come, could do so. It also meant that we didn’t have to go to a bar where the regurgitated funeral footage would probably be on, well in to the evening.

Amanda, Greg, Captain Caveman and I got the 1.30pm bus from Dalyan to Iztuzu Beach. John and Andrea got on just after us then Mark, Kate and Daisy got on a bit further along the way. A few more reprobates joined us at the beach and we had all taken some drinks. We had red wine and paper cups, we bought chicken sandwiches at the beach cafe for our lunch.
As a birthday gift for Mark we had got him a bottle of port, some cheese, a Vietnamese t-shirt and a cap. He seemed happy with that and put the Phuc Dat cap on straight away.
The sea was lovely and calm, warm enough to swim in too. There was quite a few of us as more people joined; Marion and her husband, Adam, Kath, Wolfie, Irena, Kevin, Janet, Little Corduroy, Gary, Debbie (Darling) and Roy.
Gary (aka Gorgeous Gay Gaz from Gateshead with the Glass eye) excelled himself by turning up with a bottle of vodka and a rogue testicle. I noticed that I could see more than I should have up his shorts and quietly asked Captain Caveman if he thought I should tell Gaz this. He said to leave it to him and then shouted out to Gay Gaz that I had pointed out that the boys were not in the barracks! Everyone laughed, Daisy woke up and got a good eyeful not fully knowing if she was looking at Alan Sugar or half a scrotum. Now 5G became 7G as we renamed Gary as Gorgeous Gay Gaz from Gateshead with the Glass eye and Gigantic Gonads!

Aside from that, it was a great day with lots of laughs. We didn’t leave the beach until the last bus back at 6pm. On the bus, Kate invited us all back to their’s for more birthday party shenanigans which, of course, we agreed to. There was naturally more birthday celebration drinking. Fruit cake and cheese was out for those who wanted to upset Mark by eating it! There was also a touch of sunburn for those people who hadn’t been wearing the high factor suncream, which I rather smugly had!
We got home, by taxi, at gone midnight then Captain Caveman insisted on a Mount Gay Rum for a nightcap.

Dalyan – 18th September

Dalyan – 18th September

I had in my diary to meet Amanda & Greg, our Aussie friends downstairs, for breakfast at 10am on Sunday 18th September. That didn’t happen on account of us still being in bed. While they went off to investigate where their favourite Turkish breakfast was, Captain Caveman took one for the team and braved a Sunday supermarket shop at Migros.
It had been a while since he had been in a Turkish supermarket for a big shop but he did well, here’s what he bought and the prices in lira:

Plastic bag 0.75
Onions 4.36
Potatoes 5.47
Apples 6.33
Lemon juice 7.75
Garlic 8.55
Carrots 10.50
Cherry tomatoes 11.90
Tonic water 13.50
Rice 14.00
Big tomatoes 15.21
Red peppers 17.11
2 cans of Grapefruit juice 19.90
Orange juice 26.00
Bananas 26.95
Toastie Bread 27.95
Eggs 42.50
Minced beef 48.50
Turkish salami 49.90
Butter (Turkish) 53.95
Beetroot 59.90
Chicken 61.58

Total spent 532.56 lira (£25.77)

Prices had gone up several times recently in Dalyan so it was quite a pricey shop but we needed essentials. We probably could have done without the beetroot but it would easily make a big jar of pickled, that would last a while.
I was rather surprised that he’d not bought any alcohol, especially as we had been invited round to a friend’s house in the afternoon for drinks.

We met a couple at Lukka bar so that Captain Caveman could buy a phone from them, then we ended up having a beer, as you do. At 2.30pm we met up with Brian at Lukka who needed a DVD player so we had a good chat with him then a quick drink at Tez bar because Lukka bar was full, for Sunday lunches.
At 3.30pm we popped to Selçuk Market which is our corner shop and Captain Caveman chose a bottle of wine which he liked the name of. We bought some strange looking soda water which turned out to be diet lemonade. We arrived at Adam & Kath’s house where everyone else was already there; Mark, Kate, Daisy, John, Andrea, Dawn & Steve.
They have a snooker table so we all played pool after a few drinks and they put on a rather nice buffet. We definitely drank more wine than we took with us, though, but we didn’t have too late a night as tomorrow we had a celebration to attend. On the way home we passed a bench with a life-sized doll on it, which grabbed Captain Caveman’s attention.

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

Belgium to Holland – 7th September

Belgium to Holland – 7th September

There were previous plans made for the 7th September which we had to move or cancel. We were meant to be meeting a Dutch Dalyan friend, on our way from Belgium to Holland, for lunch but we couldn’t get the bus until the afternoon. We were meant to be seeing Ingrid but she had a funeral to attend and we moved our meeting to tomorrow. Meanwhile, Sausage Dick was going to be arriving in Dalyan later with some sausages (obviously) and Malt Loaf. He would be staying in a hotel so I’d arranged for Kate to meet with Sausage Dick to collect his delivery, give him his tobacco and sort the money out.
As we had a free morning before we had to leave Belgium we decided to take a train to Knokke, a posh seaside town. We were a bit woolly headed after last night’s shenanigans so we bought croissants at the shop on our way to the train. Captain Caveman fell asleep on the way to Knokke but by 10.15am we were walking past the Castle Huts. By 10.30am we were walking down the busy high street, then just 6 minutes later we were at the sea front eating our breakfast looking out to sea. We decided to walk the length of the promenade and it was quite a distance.

The beach was very quiet and had lots of fancy beach clubs along the way. We saw a good sign that would be useful in Dalyan, fining people for wearing swimmers when not on the beach. It took us just over an hour to walk it to the end then we came back, all the benches were wet so we couldn’t have a sit down until we got back to where we started. It was the longest I’d walked for, since before my injury and my legs ached.

Captain Caveman had got the idea that he would like to try the lobster rolls in Knokke so, after stopping for a dance with a bear then a beer in a sea front bar, we arrived at Lobster ‘n’ Rolls at 1pm. We debated ordering the Summer Lunch menu which looked great but settled on beers and a lobster roll each, truffle crisps and chips to share. Because I hate mayonnaise and can’t eat chillies, I had to ask for mine without sauce which was lovely but after only eating half we realised the time. We had to get back to the train station to catch the 2pm train. It was lucky we didn’t have the set lunch as I had to take half of my roll with me and I didn’t finish my beer. We couldn’t miss this train because we would only just have time to collect our bags from the hotel and get the bus, which we were booked on, to Rotterdam in Holland.

We had to hurry back to Knokke train station and we only just made the 2pm train, the last one to get us back to Bruges in time to collect our bags and get to the bus station.
By 3.40pm we were sat waiting for the Flixbus from Bruges to Rotterdam, this time we had reserved the front seats for the 3 hour journey. Captain Caveman kindly snaffled my remaining lobster roll so that I didn’t have a bad stomach for the journey.
When we arrived we went straight to Punjabi Food Stadhuisplein for a dinner which was really tasty, if not a bit on the spicy side for Holland. I had the butter chicken which came with loads of rice and a nan bread, Captain Caveman had a mixture of food on his tray. The homemade lemonade was good and the food was very tasty, I’d definitely recommend the place.
Our next mission was to get to our hotel, we got a €4 ov-chipkaart which can be used on public transport for up to 2 hours. We got a train to the nearest station and then had to wait 30 minutes for a bus. It was cold so Captain Caveman had to get me an extra top out. We had booked a double room at the Ibis Rotterdam The Hague airport hotel but when we arrived at almost 10.30pm they had no record of our booking. The girl on the reception eventually found it but, unfortunately, only had 1 room available which had single beds. She told us that we could have the beds moved together, that the booking included breakfast and we got the lift to our room on the 4th floor.
When we walked in to the room the single bed lay out was not for moving so we had to sleep in separate beds.

Dalyan to Belgium – 1st September

Dalyan to Belgium – 1st September

Our first European holiday together since before the pandemic started in the early hours of Thursday 1st September. Captain Caveman had fallen asleep on the sofa but I woke him up in time for our taxi to the airport. Fikri was on time and we were off to Dalaman at 1.45am, it was going to be a long day. When we arrived at Dalaman airport we were early and the check-in desk didn’t open until 2 hours before the flight instead of the 3 hours we were expecting. It took a lot of willpower not to fall asleep, stood up in the queue.
We checked in and were due to fly at 5.35am to Dusseldorf, the airport has no free drinking water which is a bit poor and we had to buy bottled water.

We both managed a little sleep on the plane but it was only for a couple of hours at the most.
We landed at 8.15am in Dusseldorf and were asked the purpose for our visit as we went through passport control. Captain Caveman was asked how long he planned on staying. I was surprised that Dusseldorf airport didn’t seem that clean to say we were in Germany. We got a train from the airport, €3 each, to Dusseldorf Central station then walked for about 10 minutes to the bus station. We found a cafe which seemed to have some dodgy dealing rough characters outside. We bought a big bottle of water, a double espresso (for Captain Caveman) and a sandwich each for €7.50. We weren’t staying in Germany, we had a Flixbus booked to Brussels in Belgium. We left around 1pm, the bus was great; comfy seats, free WiFi and only 3 hours.

When we got off in Brussels we found that we needed coins to get on the tram or metro, we didn’t have any so we walked. We were peckish so we went to a place called Wolf in the town centre. We shared dim sum and got ourselves a beer. The dim sum were €5.50 for 3 so it wasn’t super cheap but they were very nice and we had 6 between us. We also got a pulled pork Bao, €7.50 each and one more beer each. I thought the Wolf logo on the glasses looked more like a thirsty dog. We walked to our hotel around 4pm and checked in to a nice room with a kitchenette. The Citadines Sainte Catherine aparthotel was great and would be a good location for what we had planned in Brussels.
We decided to have a little lay down but fell asleep and missed dinner – we were very tired.

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 – 30th August

Dalyan – 30th August

I was woken at 4am on Tuesday 30th August by someone calling me from Vietnam. I had forgotten to put my do not disturb on and it would be 8am there, I didn’t answer it but then I couldn’t get back to sleep. As the call to prayer went off I checked emails then had a sandwich which I still had left from the airport lounge.
In the afternoon I went to get my Turkish phone sorted because the SIM card was no longer working. It cost me 300 lira (£15) for a new one with 15GB of data, some texts and minutes. If you’re not a resident then it costs another £5. Next, I went to the pharmacy to get contraceptive pills and antihistamines. This cost about £7.25, much more expensive than when I last bought any. My last stop was to Migros to get toilet roll, noodles, spaghetti and milk at a cost of 86 lira (£4.30) – prices in Turkey were definitely increasing but seemed generally cheaper than the UK. When I got back to the apartment, I noticed that the outside lights were on, which was good but the light at the top of our stairs wasn’t working. The gate proved hard to get in and out of with shopping bags because of the overgrown garden and the broken wire netting on the gate. I had leftovers and a crisp sandwich for dinner then an early night. I decided to wait until Captain Caveman arrived so he could deal with what needed to happen about the pool and garden maintenance which definitely needed some attention. Captain Caveman was on a flight from Saigon at 9.25pm (Vietnamese time) and would be in Istanbul by the time I woke up in the morning.

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.