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

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 – 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 & Ortaca – 26th & 27th February

Dalyan & Ortaca – 26th & 27th February

I was feeling slightly delicate when I woke up rather early on Saturday 26th February. I came downstairs and realised I had eaten burnt sausage casserole last night and it accounted for why my stomach was a bit off. The slow cooker was certainly going to need a good scrubbing and I may even need a chisel. I couldn’t face tackling it so I filled it with hot water and went out. Kitler, the cat, was waiting for me and wanted to follow me everywhere.
Leanne picked me up at noon and we went to Ortaca, with her daughter, to try a new eatery. Next door to Pier Gusto is a kumpir potato place which Leanne had recommended. It has a play area too so the small child was kept entertained. Leanne and I ordered slightly different fillings on our baked potatoes, both of which were really good and a reasonable cost too. I really enjoyed the food then, as the weather was nice, we had a walk to the park which was busy with locals. My stomach was still dodgy for the first time in ages, just typical when I have a car journey. Leanne’s daughter really enjoyed the park and even mastered walking up the big slide without going up the steps, which made me nervous and her laugh! After fun at the park we headed to Külah for ice creams, although my stomach isn’t usually a fan of ice-cream. When we arrived, and I saw all the flavours, I had to have a scoop of ‘çarkıfelek’ – I love passion fruit and it was a new Turkish word I had learned. I also got to taste the caramel, which is blue, as well as Leanne’s choice of lemon – they were all excellent.
When I got home I made mushroom and pesto pasta for dinner and I decided I would also make chicken fajitas. I had leftover yoghurt and chicken that needed using so I had 2 meals because I felt I needed the carbs. I watched TV in the evening and planned to have a rest day tomorrow.

My first job on Sunday 27th February was to tackle the burnt slow cooker! I made a note to self never to leave it on low for 9 hours again, after it took me ages to get it clean. It was raining so I didn’t go out and had decided to have a relaxing day at home
I had already decided against Sunday dinner this week as I’d got pasta and fajitas to eat up. I restarted doing the word game Quordle, as I had not done it for a few days, and I did some writing then watched Netflix. I tried Worldle, country names, for the first time and got it in 1 because it was Ukraine. I had a video call with Captain Caveman then made pizza, Slimming World style. It had BBQ sauce, chicken, cheese, peppers and mushroom on it and it was nice. I finished off my evening with a much needed early night. This coming week was set to be a busy one and I was looking forward to one of my very good friends returning to Dalyan!

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 – 11th October

Dalyan – 11th October

At 9am on Monday 11th October, after not being able to go to sleep until after 4am, I was at the ATM getting out more money for the residency application and tax, which I was giving to Sonuç for him to go to Ortaca with today. It was already quite warm with a forecast of 32°C for this afternoon, as I walked to the King Emlak office. When I arrived both Sonuç and Leanne agreed I needed to see a doctor straight away and I went to see the local Dalyan one. Sonuç wasn’t leaving for Ortaca for another 30 minutes and would perhaps take me to hospital if needed. At the local clinic I waited to see the doctor and had to show my (expired) residency card to get past the receptionist, we all had to wear masks and wait outside until a doctor called us. When the doctor called my name we were allowed in the waiting room inside the building, where I showed her the cyst and she looked alarmed and told me I needed to go to hospital immediately, there was an ambulance outside that could take me but I messaged Sonuç to ask him to take me.
Meanwhile my parents were on their way to Manchester airport and wouldn’t have WiFi until they checked in to the Radisson Blu hotel so I was unable to let them know what was going on, or that the weather forecast looked very wet for when they arrived.
We went to the Devlet hospital in Ortaca which is the one the locals use and has a good reputation. Unfortunately my appointment wasn’t until 2.50pm and Sonuç had work to do (including my residency work) so he agreed to drop me at a nice cafe where I would spend a few hours, then he would pick me back up to go back to the hospital. He dropped me at the well-known Pier Gusto, which a lot of my friends had recommended to me before but I’d never been, and as I walked in I saw Gürkan, my taxi driver friend, sat outside having coffee.
As I was going to be here for the next 4 hours I chose a comfy seat inside and ordered the Turkish breakfast, which comes with 2 Turkish teas and I ordered extra water. I wasn’t feeling too well and, obviously, was a little worried about going to hospital for potential minor surgery – I should have washed my hair while I could still move my arm! I was also quite relieved that this wasn’t happening in Vietnam where I would have been far more concerned about a hospital visit.
The Turkish breakfast at Pier Gusto was only 55 lira (£4.66) and was full on, there was no way I could finish it and afterwards I was so tired I thought I’d fall asleep. Luckily a family with 2 small kids sat at the next table and made sure I wouldn’t nod off by having some annoying kids cartoon on loud for the daughter who was barely watching it. I spent the rest of the time writing and editing blogs as best I could concentrate on and the time went by quite quickly. At 2.30pm Sonuç picked me back up and we were on our way to the Devlet hospital once again. There is a lot of walking in the hospital from one desk to pay for the appointment, to see the doctor and I was lucky that Sonuç was able to be there as I think I’d have been there so much longer trying to figure it all out. He also managed to get me the resident price of only 55 lira (£4.66) to see the doctor, instead of 200 lira or more.
Once back upstairs the waiting room was crowded and we expected to have to wait a while, but I was called within minutes. The doctor looked at the cyst, poked it (which hurt) and then was done. He spoke only Turkish and Sonuç acted as translator to say that the cyst was infected and if he was to remove it now it could be a problem, it needed antibiotics and painkillers for 1 week and I should come back if it got any worse, or after it had gone down. He wrote out the prescription and we were done by 3pm and off back to Dalyan.
The medications I got from my favourite pharmacy in Dalyan were Stafine and Etol Fort. The Stafine 500mg tablet was to be taken every 12 hours and the English equivalent is called Fucidin which can make you drowsy and I should avoid alcohol with it. The Etol Fort 400mg is an equivalent to Diclofenac and is an anti inflammatory painkiller to be taken twice a day with food. I was of course glad to get the medication but I was gutted to have to give up alcohol for 7 days, just as my parents were due to arrive too!
When we got back Sonuç and I went to Lukka bar so we could sort out the money situation and, because I had not started the medication yet, we decided to have a beer – just the one! The night got messy as we laughed at Sonuç with his funny stories and him taking the piss out of me for having a dinosaur egg growing on my shoulder, while we had just one more beer. Jackie and David from next door came back off a boat trip and stopped for a drink and the night got messier as David added beers to the round, more banter and laughs were had and I hardly remembered having the pizza for dinner!
We turned what was initially a stressful day in to a good old impromptu drinking session with good friends and I had to message my sister to ask her to text my mom to let her know I was fine and I would be at home when ma & pa arrived tomorrow. My Turkish phone, for some strange reason, has data and calls but I cannot text anyone (Turkish or English numbers) and my mom didn’t seem to have her WiFi on yet.
Tomorrow I would see my parents again after 1 year, 11 months and 17 days and I was so excited.