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

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.

Çalış – 19th May

Çalış – 19th May

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

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

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

Fethiye and Çalış – 23rd April

Fethiye and Çalış – 23rd April

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

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

Fethiye – 22nd April

Fethiye – 22nd April

Friday 22nd April was one of those days that we will probably remember for a very long time! A few of us were off on a trip to Fethiye and we were all excited, having booked rooms at the Infinity hotel.
I’d already agreed to go ten pin bowling, even though I’m not really a fan, and I was also hoping there may be an opportunity for a Kentucky Fried Chicken, which is one of the few fast food eateries I really enjoy. 
Mark, Kate and I got a taxi from their’s in to town and went to the tea gardens for a quick beverage before meeting the others at the bus stop at 10.20am. We got the 10.30am bus to Ortaca and then changed at the bus station to the bus to Fethiye. The entire journey took about 1.5 hours and cost less than 50 lira (£2.67) each. We got off the bus at the Erasta shopping centre and headed straight for the food hall section upstairs. The gang went for several different options; İskender kebap at the traditional Turkish food restaurant, a burger stall and pides. Vanessa and I plumped for a 2 piece KFC meal with gravy. I’d last eaten a KFC 5 days before Christmas in 2020 in this exact same location and I was so looking forward to it. I loved it and it was quite a bargain too compared to a UK one and wasn’t as greasy.
At the bowling alley Vanessa took charge of our booking while Mark had a go on a boxing game. It cost less than £5 each for a couple of bowling games and we split the teams in to two. I was the only one to start with a strike but then it went downhill from there. We were all in good spirits, some of us more competitive than others. In our team Matt won and Mark won in the other team. It was a great afternoon and despite me not liking bowling that much I really enjoyed myself. We decided to walk to the hotel which was situated in the centre of Fethiye and would take about 20 minutes. There were road works, we all had bags and after a few minutes we flagged down a taxi. The intention was for some of us to get in while Mark, Kate and Matt walked. The taxi driver was having none of that idea and proceeded to pile all 7 of us, and the bags, in to his taxi. He even pulled alongside a fellow cab driver and joked he could fit 3 more people in as we weaved through the busy streets of Fethiye, some of the passengers on their knees/going backwards/clinging on for their life.

We got out of the taxi a short walk from the Infinity Hotel, feeling lucky to have survived. The taxi driver told me it was 70 lira so I paid it but Kate, who must have been the most relieved to be in one piece, took my 70 and gave him a 100 note!
We gave ourselves half an hour to get ready at the hotel then the plan was to go for a cheeky pint. I heard the instructions to meet in reception at 4pm so we could then have a stroll to the nearby Deep Blue Bar. The room was lovely with a nice (but small) bathroom where I jumped in the shower then put on my frock – I suspected we might end up out out!  Three of us sat in reception waiting for the rest of the gang for a few minutes before realising they had all been chomping at the bit and had already gone to the pub. Luckily, I remembered the way (kind of) and we were there in no time. Mark, Kate and Matt had beer already and Vanessa was having white wine and soda. We got a drinks menu but then I saw a sign which advertised draft Guinness for 50 lira (£2.65) a pint until 9pm so all 3 of us were up for that. The last time the 3 of us had enjoyed a pint of cold Guinness together was 4 years ago in Singapore at a bar called Muddy Murphy’s. Everything was great, we’d had a lovely day and now we were relaxed with our drinks, enjoying each other’s company away from Dalyan, feeling like we were on holiday. A young couple were sat on the next table and obviously we got chatting; they were on holiday from Rhodes but originally from the Midlands and London. Before long we had become a group of 9 and had managed to cheese off the only other customer in Deep Blue bar with our loudness and laughter. Our Guinness went down extremely well and I’d had 3 pints of it before I thought it wise to switch to beer. Luckily someone had the sensible idea that we should probably eat food so we all went to the nearby Duck Pond for dinner and we invited our new friends, Steve & Michelle. We also decided to reserve our table back at Deep Blue bar for 8pm for after our meal. Looking back, most of the Dalyan gang were already on our merry way by the time we ordered food – in less than 4 hours things were about to take a turn for the worst.

The meal at the Duck Pond was pretty good from what I remember, despite the fountain wetting a couple of people who were sat the nearest to it. Some people had starters, others just mains and even an octopus salad was eaten. The service was good and the prices weren’t bad.
Having shared a bottle of red wine with Mark during the meal at Duck Pond, on top of the 3 pints of Guiness and 2 pints of Carlsberg, I was probably drunk. However, that didn’t stop us all going back to Deep Blue bar for more drinks. I decided that sticking to red wine now would be the best bet, our table was reserved and more people joined us, including Mark and Kate’s friends from Fethiye.

Matt was the first to take himself off to bed as he’s not one for drinking too much. Kate was the next one to want to retire for the evening and she told Mark she wanted to go to bed. He was not having any of that suggestion and had now gone on to drinking Guinness. The live band were very good and we all got up to dance, the ladies were treated to a spot of gyrating and twirling from our new mate, Steve, as we twisted and jived about the dancefloor. I had just come back to our table for a drink, leaving Mom, Vanessa and Fethiye’s answer to Ricky Martin, giving it their moves on the dancefloor, when it happened. Our new friend, Steve, and Vanessa were on the floor! It all happened so fast but Steve was in pain and he said to Vanessa that he thought he had broken something. He was instructed to not move, the ambulance was called and we were all in shock.
It felt like ages for the emergency services to get there but it wasn’t really and Fethiye has a good hospital quite near to the bar so he was going to be looked after. They stretchered him out to a standing ovation and his wife went with him to the ambulance.

None of us would have predicted the irony of my Mom telling Steve to be careful because she had a bad hip and ankle as they had danced to ‘Stand by Me’.

The rest of us seemed to have sobered up somewhat so we did the only sensible thing and drank some more. Kate took herself back to the hotel and there was talk of the rest of us leaving at some point. Vanessa had said she didn’t think anyone would be allowed in the hospital due to Corona restrictions and she was correct. Michelle was back, with her husband’s shoe in her hand and upset that they wouldn’t even let her in to the ambulance. I did the only thing I could think of that might help; I ordered the tequila shots!
She and I had a couple of Tequila shots and, as Vanessa, Ma & Pa went back to the hotel we thought it was a good idea to have more drinks. The night finished with Mark, Michelle and I ordering a bottle of red wine which they uncorked for us, and took it back to the hotel to drink – it never occurred to any of us that this might be a bad idea.

Dalyan – 7th to 9th January

Dalyan – 7th to 9th January

On Friday 7th January I met Jamie outside Lukka Bar and we drove down to Ann’s house to see Jax & Lee off. I gave Jax a couple of envelopes to post to my family when she got back to the UK, having forgotten to leave them before I came back. I felt really tired after not very much sleep and decided not to join Jamie and Ann on their trip to Fethiye but I did ask Jamie to take me back some trousers I had bought on the 4th December which didn’t fit, in fact they wouldn’t have fit one leg!
I went home and had beans on toast for breakfast with a cup of tea. The white chocolate orange didn’t last long and I polished the rest of it off after hummus, lavaş bread and olives for lunch. That evening I joined Jamie, Ann, Sarah and Katrina for the Lukka bar music bingo night which was Disco themed this week and we got there early enough to have dinner before the fun started. The others had burgers or pasta but I went for the BBQ pizza which I do enjoy.

It was raining very heavily on Saturday 8th January but I had plans that meant I had to venture out in it. I’d decided I did need a mobile phone to use when there was no WiFi, for whatever reason. My Vietnamese Oppo phone was a few years old now and, although still worked, it wasn’t worth the 2732 lira (£150) it would cost to register it. Here in Turkey, it is only permissable to use a foreign phone for up to 120 days and only 1 phone per person every 3 years can be registered. In 2018 it cost just 170 lira to do this but now it is extortionate and, for me, not worth it so I had posted in a local Facebook group to see if anyone had an old Turkish phone I could buy. The most suitable choice for me was from a lady who had a Samsung J4 which she was willing to sell me and I arranged to meet her at Kordon restaurant to do the deal. I was meant to go to do a full supermarket shop, after all I’d not been yet this year, but it was too wet and I couldn’t be bothered to carry much – I just got the ‘essentials’ in Migros and left.

My shopping from Migros Supermarket:

2 onions 0.45
1kg rice 6.50
Mini cheddars 7.50
Fairy washing up liquid 9.75
400g mushrooms 12.90
2 probiotic drinks 13.90
Beef mince 29.61

Total spent 80.61 (£4.41)

On the way home I noticed there were some new recycling bins in the old market square which I would be sure to use from now on. I used my telephone banking to add on my phone credit to the new phone, which was a first for me. I noticed that the LinkedIn app was on my new phone so I decided to join it, I did a speed test, assisted by a friend who I was thinking of buying a Firestick from and was finding out more about it. That evening I messaged Kebapçı Yusuf to order my dinner and arranged to pick it up at 7.30pm, it cost 70 lira (£3.82) for chicken shish, salad and chips and was piping hot when I got it home. It would have served 2 people but I did manage to eat most of it and just save the flatbread and half of the salad for tomorrow. I had a video call with my parents, who were still social distancing from each other, within their own home, so that Dad didn’t catch Mom’s Corona. Ma was still sickly but looking like she had a bit more colour and was feeling a little better too, at last. None of us could believe Dad hadn’t caught it yet and he was obviously made of tougher stuff than us.

On Sunday 9th January I didn’t have any breakfast as I was booked in for a Lukka Sunday dinner at 2pm with Jamie. I spoke very briefly to Captain Caveman who had got back from the cave to find a young pig at the door of the Glass House. He sent me photos and I talked to the pig but it looked like it was trying to find some snacks. Captain Caveman managed to give it a tickle and said he would look after it, if it was still there after he’d been out for dinner. Our Sunday dinner was delicious and plenty of it, it had gone up to 140 lira (£7.67) but was still good value.
I finished watching a series on Netflix, The Innocent, which I thought was one recommended by Jax and Lee but it turned out I’d probably been watching the wrong series! By dinner time I still wasn’t hungry so I just finished off the leftover flatbread and salad from Kebapçı Yusuf followed by a Double Decker chocolate bar. In the evening I started working out how to use LinkedIn and decided I would start to look for a part-time job.

Fethiye – 4th December

Fethiye – 4th December

Vanessa and I finally got our day trip on Saturday 4th December when we decided to get the bus to Fethiye. We got the bus around 9.30am from Dalyan bus station and it took about 20 minutes for us to arrive at the bus station in Ortaca. There, we waited under shelter as it was very rainy, for our next bus to Fethiye. We had masks on and were wrapped up well so when the driver whacked up the heating we were both feeling a tad too warm and it seemed to take longer than we expected to get there. The bus was fairly busy and we stopped quite a bit to pick up and drop off but we were in Fethiye before 11.30am where it was still raining. We were just glad to get off the hot steamy bus and we decided we would walk in to town, about 2.5km away. It was a good walk and we really enjoyed the fresh air and looking in a couple of shops along the way. Vanessa had been to a place before where they sold pickled onions and chutneys so we decided to have a look for it and we were both also keen to buy some Turkish delight to take back to the UK. Fethiye was busier than our last visit but still not too bustling and we managed to get a few bits and bobs, including a Christmas jumper, before we got slightly lost. When we finally found the Mulberry Tree restaurant, I recalled having been before with Captain Caveman a few years ago. The owner was lovely and welcoming and he and the rest of the staff were working hard in readiness for the Winter Fayre in Çalış tomorrow. We decided to have lunch there and took a seat inside, near the window. Vanessa ordered meatballs, I chose a chicken shish and we got a complimentary lavaş bread starter. The food was excellent and we both bought extra provisions there; pickled onions, mince pies, crumpets and plum jam. We had bought so much stuff that a walk back would have been a bit of a struggle so we got a taxi over to the Erasta shopping centre. We tried to get a wine, I bought a couple of bits and had a new battery put in my watch. Unfortunately we did not find any wine in Fethiye but we did get to practice our Turkish questions of asking establishments if they had wine. We gave up and got the bus back, it had stopped raining but the bus got very busy and went the quick way back to Ortaca. When we arrived it was dark but we decided to go for a drink at a cafe near the bus station. They also didn’t serve alcohol and so we had a lovely hot chocolate and admired the pastries and cakes on offer. In the end we got a taxi back to Dalyan and practised our Turkish directions as the driver didn’t speak English.
I was tired when I got home so I reheated a lasagne for dinner and had it with beetroot and some Turkish delight for afters. Tomorrow I needed to get on with sorting out my trip to England but I was starting to wonder if I would go or not. Even in the Vietnamese news there were reports of potential travel bans and I wondered if the UK would be affected:
https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/international/20211201/who-warns-against-blanket-travel-bans-over-omicron-coronavirus-variant/64471.html

Dalyan – 18th & 19th November

Dalyan – 18th & 19th November

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

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

Fethiye and Dalyan – 9th November

Fethiye and Dalyan – 9th November

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

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

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

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

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


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