Dalyan – 10th April

Dalyan – 10th April

I decided I needed to redeem myself somewhat with Linda and Alex on Sunday 10th April. Having ruined yesterday’s plans to enjoy a bit of history, by being hungover, I was on the case today. I’d already found a book to swap with Linda and I took that down to her. She’d already kept herself busy by doing a bit of tidying of the garden borders which were full of weeds and rubbish. We had decided that the 4 of us would get the little rowing boat to the other side of the river and take a walk to Kaunos. Linda had heard a little already about Kaunos so was keen to visit, I have been several times over the years but this would be my first time in over 2 years. It would also be the furthest I had walked since my leg injury which was 4 days less than 2 years ago. The rowing boat was 15 lira for a return trip and we were helped in to the boat. We walked along the path and called in to the cemetery where a family of donkeys were saying hello to the residents. We walked up the hill to Kaunos, by which time it was getting hot and I was glad to have my factor 50 suncream on. It cost 17.50 lira (less than £1) each to go in to the site, which is a bargain. Linda and Alex were very enthusiastic and went off to check out the ruins while Louisa and I took it a bit more steadily. I noticed there were more fences across parts of the ruins which had been accessible before. We bumped in to Maria and Co and I had a nice chat with them before going to the amphitheatre. More info about Kaunos is on this link:
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaunos
I sometimes forget that Dalyan is a small town so I was surprised when we got a hello and a comment from other sightseers who had seen us in Lukka on Friday night. After a couple of hours we were ready to go back and grab a bite to eat at one of the pancake cafes. We didn’t bother walking to the tombs on account of the terrain being too rough for my leg and it now being extremely hot. At the cafe it was cooler in the shade, I had a tea and chips but the others had pancakes with sugar. We took the rowing boat back and I went to collect my parents’ keys from Lukka bar. Appo was there to tell me that we hadn’t paid our bill on Friday night and produced a receipt with Mark, Kate and Jo written on it. I was in a rush as the blind man had turned up a day early at my parents’ place and I needed to let him in.

I did my best to explain, without any WiFi access, that they weren’t straight but he was having none of it and they didn’t get put up correctly. He said it was because the windows themselves were wonky, which they were. After the blind man had left I went to join Louisa, Linda and Alex who had found themselves a table outside 2 Charlie’s bar and were having a shandy. I had just poured mine when I got a call from Mehmet to ask me for the keys back because the painter was coming. I left my shandy and went back to my parents’ as Danny had come to let me know some info about the bathroom ceiling. He spoke good English and was explaining about the leak and why the ceiling still looked patchy. It was very hot and I was persuaded to have a lift back to the bar on the back of Danny’s motorbike. Obviously I happened to see lots of people and when asked who the young man who had dropped me off was I replied that I didn’t know his name – I was old enough to be his mom so that would give people something to gossip about! After a couple of shandies we decided to head back home and we would go out for dinner later. Linda had suggested we go somewhere for fish and went back with Alex to get ready while Louisa and I joined some of the gang at Sofra bar for a drink.

Kate and Mark both recommended Balıkcim, also a favourite of my mom’s, so when Linda returned she was without Alex as he was worn out and resting. The 3 of us left everyone and went to Balıkcim where the food was so good that I forgot to take any decent photos. I had şakşuka and beetroot as my meze starters, we got bread and both Louisa and I ordered the prawns in garlic butter. Linda ordered a fish and the food was very good, washed down with a glass of wine for Linda and I. Louisa had a rather strong vodka and coke which lead us two to stay out out after the meal. Linda went back to the apartment to keep an eye on Alex while Louisa and I joined Mark back at Sofra.

Dalyan – 23rd March

Dalyan – 23rd March

I woke up with 4 out of 5 cats in, or on, my bed on Wednesday 23rd March. I was hungover and vaguely remembered last night agreeing to leave my door open so the cats could get used to me, ready for the cat sitting next week. Kate brought me in a cup of Yorkshire tea in an appropriate mug and then got herself ready for art class. I went back to sleep for a bit and really did not want to get out of bed at all. I didn’t relish the thought of walking home so I was pleasantly surprised to find that Mark was still home and was happy to give me a lift in the buggy, he was going in to town anyway.
I had a pain au chocolat for breakfast at home before Turkish class, then put all my cat hair covered clothes in the wash and had a shower. Turkish class was really good today and I felt like I was learning more hearty sentences that I would be able to use. The staff at Lukka are very good too at encouraging us to practice our Turkish skills.
For lunch Vanessa and I went to Rehab bar where Tayfur ordered us a chicken wrap with chips from Cafe Dalyan. It was only 30 lira and was tasty so we ordered one for Kate for after her Turkish class. Penny and Phil arrived next and decided another chicken wrap was in order and I bet the delivery guy thought we were odd, as he came over for the 3rd time. Jo arrived next with her cute little dog, Charlie, and we all had a good old natter. I’d had an update that the embassy would no longer be able to process a visa for me and was waiting to speak to Captain Caveman.
He called as soon as I had finished eating and I went outside to speak to him. As is often the case, Captain Caveman had a Plan B for me coming to visit. He told me to look for a flight and apply for just a 30 day e-Visa. We would then fly out of Vietnam and back after getting a 2nd e-Visa for another 30 days, if I could. This all seemed straight forward but given that I would need a negative PCR test to enter Vietnam I had to be careful I didn’t pick a flight with a long lay over. We agreed a Turkish Airlines direct flight from Istanbul would be better but they had no flights on as yet. I would continue to wait but it was going to happen, I would go to Vietnam. I also had a date in the diary to be in Saigon on the 10th June for an important event which Captain Caveman had already committed to.
I went back in to the bar, a little giddy that there was an alternative plan, but then there was some bad news. Debbie (Darling), Roy and Sue were all positive for Corona and had aborted their trip to Pamukkale. They had got a taxi back to Dalyan and Debbie (Darling) was quite poorly. She asked me to let everyone know, who had been in contact with them, that we needed to do another test. I had been in close contact with all 3 of them on Monday so it was probably only a matter of time until I caught it now.
I went home, via the ongoing roadworks and scenic route, and had red wine, bread, cheese and olives but didn’t do a test as I’d had alcohol. A massive thunderstorm and heavy rain was due which also meant the WiFi went off for quite a few hours.

Dalyan – 18th & 19th March

Dalyan – 18th & 19th March

I didn’t sleep until 3am and was awake at 7am again on Friday 18th March, I’m not sure why. I went back to sleep then didn’t wake up until 10.30am.
I lost 0.5kg on the scales this week and the cycling, Zumba, and walking were definitely helping with my leg muscles – I’d put 1-2cm on thighs and calves. I had cornflakes for breakfast then I went over to my parents’ place to put the curtains back up. I found I was an inch too short while precariously standing on the step ladder and had to abandon it. I booked in a cleaner, found a yoga class that I inquired about and did a few other jobs.
Ann messaged to ask if she could come to mine to do an LFT to check if she had Corona as she had felt like she had swollen glands, unfortunately I was out so we arranged for her to come tomorrow morning. A few more people that we knew in Dalyan were testing positive recently so we wanted to double check.
Captain Caveman was at Karst Villas, in Phong Nha, with Caroline, her dog V and Hung and it looked really hot there.
I had a delivery from Emma Cevik of some pies, of which I had a mince and onion one for lunch with mushrooms, broccoli and gravy. I snacked on dates for afters and stayed home in case I had caught Corona but didn’t have any symptoms yet.
That evening I ate the last of the (never-ending) teriyaki chicken with pasta, had cheese and pickled onions then did some writing.

Saturday 19th March was a busy and challenging day for me! I had booked the cleaner in because the apartment was full of dust and the floors were still dirty from the workmen. Ann came round at 9.30am so she could do a Lateral Flow Test. I’d already done my test and was negative, then we waited for her result which was also negative. We called for Vanessa before 10am and walked to the market. I bought potatoes and onions from the first stall for 24 lira, then peppers, carrots, mushrooms and aubergines from the next stall for 60 lira. I couldn’t resist getting another punnet of strawberries for 40 lira but 124 lira (£6.39) was the most I’ve spent at the market so far. Our bags were heavy as we walked back to town with the intention of all 3 of us going to Sofra bar for a bacon sandwich. Vanessa realised she had to get back and decided not to join Ann and I but when we got to Sofra the electric was off. It was a day for rugby but the England match wasn’t on until 11pm so I wasn’t sure if I would make it. After dropping off the market produce at home, I decided to go to Star Gurme to stock up on some non-Turkish food supplies. I bought the following:
1 Pesto sauce 15.00
2 baked beans 30.00
1 box cream crackers 30.00
1 brie 45.00
1 Curry paste 60.00
2 Coconut milk 70.00
1 Lurpak butter 80.00
3 cheddar 150.00

Total spent 480 lira (£25)

I managed to do all the talking in Turkish and the lady gave me a free box of Quinoa crackers. I popped in to Rehab bar but there were only the pool fellas in, no women as yet, so I met Sarah, Rach and Ann at Jiks for a beer. Vanessa joined us and then we went back up to Rehab bar to rejoin the pool lads, meet Kate and watch the rugby.
I spoke to Captain Caveman about plans for a visit to Vietnam and we concluded that I needed to send my passport to the consulate in Ankara to get the 90 day visa and that I should do this as soon as possible. Unfortunately this would mean I wouldn’t be able to go back to the UK in a couple of days time. Matt and Mark were very practical and helpful with offers of us hiring a car for a road trip to Ankara and I messaged Sonuç to get a price for if we hired a driver. Kate and Vanessa were also on board with the idea and I was super excited to be able to have a way to get a visa. Finally we had a loose plan, as long as the embassy were able to grant me a visa.
After pool, most people went home, they were the sensible ones. John and Andrea decided to go to Sofra for dinner so Mark, Kate, Ann and I decided to join them. I’d only had 3 beers by this time and I was purposely trying to pace myself as Kate had already asked if I minded keeping an eye on Mark, watching the rugby and him staying at mine. She hadn’t been feeling too good and fancied a night at home so I accepted the challenge. I was extra careful on the roadworks this time and was looking forward to some food as I’d not eaten since breakfast. I ordered a chicken stir fry and a glass of red wine for my dinner and in fact all of us, except Mark, ordered a chicken stir fry which came out at various times with it being so busy. I really enjoyed my food which was fresh and piping hot but I felt bad that Ann and Kate had to wait a bit longer for their’s when they were hungrier than me. Mark’s burger seemed to take ages and had still not arrived when I took an extra stir fry to Tayfur at Rehab, as he had a foot injury and was on crutches.
When I got back the mood had changed somewhat because Mark had decided he no longer wanted to wait for his food, which was taking longer than expected. Kate had phoned a taxi to go home as planned, John and Andrea were also going home but Ann and I had ordered another wine.
Unfortunately due to too much wine things didn’t quite work out as I’d imagined. Ann went home while Mark and I left Sofra to go back to Rehab bar, as arranged, to watch the rugby with Tayfur. We had some red wine, a disappointing result for England and a pretty late night. It was my turn to navigate us through the roadworks this time, we got back to mine without any injuries and, for some reason, thought it would be a good idea to stay up ridiculously late.

Dalyan – 26th November

Dalyan – 26th November

When I woke up on Friday 26th November the news was packed full of articles about Corona; a new variant had been discovered in South Africa, more here:
https://www.bbc.com/news/health-59418127
I saw a Facebook post to say that the UK were banning flights from South Africa. France had announced that a 3rd vaccine booster would be required for vaccine passes to be valid.
In the Vietnamese news there was reports that a total of 3 people had died after their vaccination in Vietnam, the investigation was ongoing, check it out here:
https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/society/20211126/following-two-deaths-one-more-dies-after-covid19-vaccination-in-vietnam/64368.html
Then later it was reported that there was a 4th death from the same batch of vaccines in Vietnam, see below:
https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/society/20211126/vietnam-seals-vero-cell-covid19-vaccine-batch-following-4th-postvaccination-death/64382.html
My arm was aching today, 2 days after my vaccine and I felt incredibly tired so I decided that I was going to have a day of chilling out and I was going to have a night in tonight.
My delivery of meat pies and sausage rolls from Emma was delivered by her husband, Yusuf, and I put some in the freezer before I was tempted to eat them all – I did have 2 sausage rolls for my breakfast though!
For lunch I made a bit of a strange concoction of köfte, rice and mushrooms which tasted really good.
I went to meet a friend at the tea gardens in the afternoon and when I got there it was a mess because of the improvements the council were attempting to make. The cafe was now next to the toilets, on the grass, so no longer overlooking the river and the rock tombs. After several Turkish teas and a chat I walked back home, just as the sun was setting and I called in to the stationers to buy a notebook, I spotted they had some good 2022 diaries there too so I purchased a nice one.
That night I ordered a takeaway from Spice Garden and got enough for tonight and tomorrow’s lunch. I had poppadoms, chicken tikka masala with chips and nan, I even had a couple of glasses of red wine to wash it down and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I went to bed really tired but I couldn’t get to sleep.

Dalyan – 11th November

Dalyan – 11th November

On Thursday 11th November it was already time for my parents to submit their PLF, a requirement to return to the UK, and from what we had been reading online it might be a bit of a chore. As none of us have a printer our initial plan was to complete it and then go to the stationers, who would print everything for a very small fee, but it would still mean Mom having access to her emails, which she didn’t always have. Our Plan B was even better, Vanessa and Matt had a printer and offered to help us which also meant if we did anything wrong we could easily rectify the situation. I went over to my parents’ so that I could do the 2 PLFs on my phone and Mom had already got all the required documents to hand. Dad was putting me off slightly by pacing up and down next to where we were sitting and my Mom had to tell him to find something to do. The only information needed on the forms are as follows;
Name, uk address, email address,
UK phone number, flight number, flight date, flight seat number, flight landing time, passport number and expiry date, vaccine status, dates arrived abroad and PCR test reference number (for day 2).
I’d worked in insurance and Mom had worked in accounts so we weren’t bad at form filling in, I’d also had experience of completing the Turkish one when I came here, however, the UK one was pretty badly laid out and was over 4 pages when it could have been 1. It was in an illogical order with lots of repetition and took far longer than it should have, but we managed it. We checked each one 3 times before submission and then sent it to our friends ready for them to print later and bring it when we met them for drinks later on. My Mom already had all her other documents printed as we had heard that the check-in queues were sometimes long because of passengers trying to find missing docs on their phone. With that all done, I was hungry as I hadn’t had any breakfast and I suggested somewhere we hadn’t tried this visit yet, somewhere I had avoided eating in the past because of my ‘food allergies’. We took the long walk via the river and walked all the way along to Kaunos tea gardens near the turtle statue. It was lovely and sunny, Dad had coffee and we had Turkish tea which was very nice. It was already 12.45pm so we ordered food, they weren’t doing pancakes so Mom ordered calamari, Dad had a cheese, tomato and sausage toasted sandwich and I had the cheese and sausage one. It’s Turkish sausage so more like a salami but is made from beef and is delicious in a toastie. The food was great and the waitress was super keen and quite good with her English, I tried a little bit of Turkish too. The prices were really good value and Dad noted the beer was about the cheapest in Dalyan (for next time).
We were meant to be meeting friends in the afternoon but I got a message from them to say they were unable to make it today. It might have been a good thing as by the time we had walked back in to town, having tried to find a shop that was open to get some Turkish Delight for my sister, I needed the toilet so urgently that I had to leave my parents and get home quickly.

After having an immediate reaction to my cheese and Turkish sausage sandwich, from the tea garden, I was at home resting up when I got a message from Selahı, asking where I was as he was at Bistro Blue and would be there until 4pm for me to go and purchase some of the lovely wine he had. I went as soon as I could as I really loved the Leona Cabernet Sauvignon which I was going to buy at a reduced price and hoped to buy a bottle of prosecco too. When I got there I was immediately offered a drink, a nice glass of red wine as I joined 3 others plus Selahı. We had a bit of a chat and then as I had almost finished my wine the Turkish men left to go to the barbers and left me with the English chap who’d come to collect some cushions. When Selahı returned he insisted on a top up and then I was almost late to meet the evening gang but had enjoyed the surprise Sunday club.
After dropping off my 4 bottles of wine at home, I arrived at the 2 Charlies bar where my parents, Vanessa and Matt were already drinking and I ordered a wine. I was a bit put out that the print outs had the wrong passport expiry date on for my Mom, even though I read it back to her 3 times, and couldn’t understand how that had even happened but she didn’t seem too worried and said she would chance it. We had another drink then my parents and I said our farewells to Vanessa, Matt and Alan (who had now joined us) as we were heading off for my last Turkish meal with my parents before they left Dalyan. Dad was up for trying a place that had been one of my favourites the last time that Captain Caveman and I were here in winter, River House. There was an outdoor fire so we sat at a table near to that and ordered glasses of wine. The menu is extensive but I found it easy to decide on the chicken casserole, Dad ordered liver and onions, while Mom went with the most unexpected dish from the menu – Singapore noodles! I should have realised she was acting out of sorts at this point but it wasn’t until a couple of hours later that we noticed Mom was acting out of character. Throughout all of their month here Mom had been keeping an eye on Dad and telling him he couldn’t go mad on the drinking and he often wanted to stay out longer but tonight Mom was the one to suggest we go on for a nightcap somewhere else. We ended the night in Lukka bar giving the proverbial ball a right old kick, we even made the bar staff join in with our private party until another couple joined in. We knew we were drunk as I had 3 Bailey’s but my Dad was in utter disbelief as my Mom had twice that amount and kept complaining her’s had evaporated. At one point she started to complain it must not be real Bailey’s, but it was, and she didn’t even care when we got the rather large bill at the end of the night. It was an unexpected end to their month long holiday but it was such a laugh – I suspected both Mom and I would suffer from hangovers and leg twinges from all the dancing when we got up tomorrow!

Dalyan – 19th October

Dalyan – 19th October

I was woken up with an earthquake at 8.32am on Tuesday 19th October, it felt like I was on a lilo at sea for quite a few minutes and I was confused at first as to what was happening. It turned out that the epicentre was Rhodes island, not that far from us, with a magnitude of 6.3.
I read some Vietnam news about the floods, luckily in Phong Nha things were ok and it was not quite as bad as in 2020, here’s the article:
https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/society/20211018/at-least-five-missing-as-torrential-rains-trigger-raging-floods-in-central-vietnam/63642.html
I took my last antibiotic after eating my cornflakes and was looking forward to an alcoholic drink with my parents later. The rest of the morning was fairly ordinary; I paid Sonuç back for my insurance as I had forgotten to give it him and I did my first online banking app transfer which was very easy, I started making a slow cooker Lancashire hotpot and soaking some lentils and I watched as the start of the building work next door got underway.
I found out why Captain Caveman wasn’t concerned about how I was as I saw more photos of flooding where he was and he’d got a puncture on his motorbike. I also decided to try to help out a lady in a fix who had posted a request for swapping a large suitcase for 2 small ones and I offered to sell or swap my large suitcase which now had a dint in it from my recent journey from Vietnam to Turkey.

My parents and I had agreed to go out for lunch and it was my turn to suggest somewhere we could eat (and drink), I chose one that I know all of us have loved every time we have been. Yakamoz is on the river and looks out to the rock tombs, the men who own it have been there for years, always give great service and the food is excellent!
I went to the meze cabinet and had a look to see what there was, took a photo of them and tried to remember what the man had told me so I could repeat to ma & pa who were sat at a table by the river. We ordered a bottle of water and a bottle of Angora white wine and I was looking forward to my first drink since getting drunk with Sonuç and my next door neighbours 8 days ago (not that I was counting)! From the mezes Mom chose garlic mushrooms, Dad ordered beetroot and cheese rolls, and I had courgette fritters with yoghurt and fava bean dip. We shared them and all were so good that I don’t think we left enough room for our main courses. I had chicken shish but had to take half home, Dad had prawn casserole and Mom had lamb shish. It was a glorious day and we really enjoyed our lunch out in the sunshine.

Afterwards I decided to show them one of Captain Caveman’s favourite places to see if they had been before; Backyard No. 9. We ordered a bottle of white which came with an ice bucket and olives and my parents remembered it as being the back of the Rock Bar years ago. Bora, the dog, was still there and the gardens were much more matured since my last visit. It was a lovely boozy afternoon but when the sun started to go down we went home. The builders had been busy in my absence and already the binding was down and some rebars had been delivered. It was going to be quite a big surface area but there was no indication on the height yet.
That night I had a very small portion of the Lancashire hotpot and batched the rest up for the freezer, it looked like using red lentils instead of flour for a thickener had worked a treat.

Dalyan – 7th October

Dalyan – 7th October

It was a mix of a day on Thursday 7th October; news that Vietnam planned to open again in June 2022 were posted on the internet, the number of Corona cases in Vietnam had dropped considerably, the weather forecast for next week was looking cold and wet here in Turkey, and a few fully vaccinated friends in the UK were positive for the Corona virus. Before breakfast I went over to my parents’ place where I had arranged for my cleaner at Fire Opal to give their place a once over before their arrival next week. I did a small shopping trip too then Sonuç messaged to say he needed a copy of some paper work for my residency, again.

Here’s my shopping list and costs in lira:

Şok supermarket

1 plastic bag 0.25
2 lemons 0.77
Bread 2.00
3 carrots 3.28
1 packet of Turkey ham 3.50
1 packet of plain crisps 4.50
2 packet of biscuits 5.00
1 bottle of pomegranate sauce 5.50
Honey 5.90
Rock salt 12.45

Total 43.15 lira (£3.82).

I had arranged to meet Annie and Anne at Alegria for lunch, the owner of Yummy’s had taken over the old Safran restaurant and made Alegria her new eatery, right on the river, opposite the tombs. The place is lovely and they have a very large menu to choose from, which I’d not been used to having so much choice and it took me ages to decide. Eventually Annie and I ordered the steak salad, Ann had the crispy chicken and the food was absolutely lovely. I even had a pineapple and watermelon juice as I was conscious of not having eaten enough fruit of late and, although it’s not the cheapest place in town, it really is good value and the portions are large (I took home leftovers) and the location is gorgeous. In the afternoon I met Sonuç at the insurance company to ask about renewing my health insurance policy because I needed a 2 year policy for my residency application.
That night I decided to have a night in and, because I’d had a big lunch, I just had leftover steak salad and nibbles for dinner while watching a bit of Netflix. I’d had a productive and enjoyable day and I was ready for a relaxing weekend.

Photo credit – Annie