Dalyan – 20th May

Dalyan – 20th May

I was up early on Friday 20th May to go for breakfast with Nusret, Gonca and Yaşar at Retro bar and Smyrna Hotel. My new Turkish family were so happy to see me but disappointed that my parents hadn’t been able to come. The food, prepared by Yaşar and Gonca, was as incredible as always and I almost felt guilty tucking in to it as others were busy working. Joining us for breakfast were 2 new faces and one guy spoke decent English and was fitting the front of the hotel with a sweet section. They were going to be selling baklava, Turkish delight and künefe, amongst other things and it was looking good. I don’t eat eggs or tomatoes so it is always a little embarrassing when eating Turkish breakfast as these are essential ingredients, but they know me by now. Nusret insisted on us having the best cheeses, including one from his mother’s home town – it was my favourite one. Yaşar had made home made plum jam that was delicious and I felt greedy with the fresh simit and cheese rolls. While I was there, it became apparent that there was a bit of an issue with some building work that had been completed and they were all talking about it. I asked about it and Nusret showed me in to the house so I could see for myself. The builder had bricked up a doorway but the door and window was locked from the inside, leaving a room which no one could access – how funny.
Back home I got round to sorting out the English food delivery from Dick, in to who was having what. Ordinarily, I would have kept almost all of it and put it in the freezer however, I was leaving for Vietnam and would be turning off the electricity so needed to empty the fridge and freezer in the next few weeks. In the afternoon Mark and Kate popped round with a cool bag to collect parsnips, pork pie, Red Leicester cheese and pork sausages.
I went to meet Ann, Debbie (Darling) and Roy at Sofra bar for a drink and they were waiting on Debbie’s daughter and son-in-law, arriving and were so excited. After waiting to say hello to them I headed off home with the intention of getting changed as it was turning cooler. I called for a quick drink at River Terrace with Mark, Kate, Adam, Kath and a few others but then was sensible and went home. I had some beans on toast for dinner and then couldn’t be bothered to go back out. After nights out for the last 3 nights I was in need of a night in to relax a bit. Tomorrow I had a big day to look forward to so, with hindsight, it was a good idea to be sensible for a change.

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!

Dalyan – 18th May

Dalyan – 18th May

At 5am, on Wednesday 18th May, I got up and cycled back ‘home’ to Mark and Kate’s so that I would be back in time for breakfast for their cats. I also messaged Des to let him know that he had to be back on house and cat sitting duty for tonight as I already had my hands full. Mark and Kate were due back late tonight and I planned to have left by the time they arrived back, so they would have the house to themselves. I also had plans to meet Dick, a mate from England, who was bringing me a stash of sausage and cheese! My first task was to cycle over to Captain Caveman’s apartment to take the washing out and pick up my notes for Turkish class. Michelle, the tortoise, was under a sun lounger near the pool and the roses outside a neighbour’s apartment were looking lovely. Vanessa came to call for me before Turkish class and she got to meet Michelle, we even tried again to feed the tortoise but she must not have been hungry. Turkish class was good as we did more telling the time, where it was apparent that telling the time in English was confusing enough. Vanessa and I decided to stay for lunch at our new Turkish class venue, Casablanca hotel. I ordered a chicken wrap, Vanessa a cheese burger, both came with homemade chips and we enjoyed our meals.
While Mark and Kate were off to enjoy the lounge at Bristol airport I popped to the shop to get a few essentials in and pick up bread, milk and diet coke for their return. I met up with the pool gang at Retro briefly on my way back to Mark and Kate’s house to feed the cats for the last time. I managed to strap the shopping, a pair of boots and a tin of paint plus my handbag on to the back of the bike and get it all back in one piece. 
I saw a post on the Dalyan Visitors Facebook page offering a free trip out this coming Saturday, courtesy of the Muğla Chamber of Commerce and Business. Obviously, I will attend the opening of an envelope, so I messaged VLS, one of the organisers, to reserve my space. When Mark sent me a photo of his ham from the airport lounge I told him and Kate about the trip and they added on, as did my parents.
I packed all of my stuff, fed the cats and booked a taxi to take me home – JC even helped me bring in the washing and had some cuddles. After dropping my stuff off I went straight to Retro bar for the quiz with Ma & Pa. They had been out in the afternoon and were tipsy so the night ended up messy, again, us drinking cocktails with Nusret and Gonca. I finally got to meet Andrea, Nazim’s wife, and we had a lovely chat before it got busier with everyone coming for the quiz. Tom Cree does the fun quiz every Wednesday and has different rounds including music, picture and general questions, usually with a bit of a theme. Deniz, the new bar man, was also there and getting in to the swing of things well. Des had turned up from Marmaris with a face on with me for insisting he come back to honour his house and cat sitting at Debbie (Darling)’s. We got invited to breakfast with Nusret, Gonca and Yaşar the next day and we forgot that we were already committed to meet our friends in Fethiye.
I was meant to be meeting Dick at Rodrigo’s about 11.30pm but I’d not heard if he’d arrived so I stayed at Retro bar a bit later. Des came with me and we saw Mark on the way, he had already been to Rodrigo’s but was heading to another bar. He was still happy about the lounge experience in Bristol airport and had to show us the marmite sachets in his pocket. I had a glass of white wine at Rodrigo’s while Des went to Backyard No.9. Dick didn’t show up for a while and my internet wasn’t working so I walked down to Sofra bar, with my wine in a rakı glass, bumping in to Jo on the way.
Dick arrived and had a massive bag of English produce for me and I was so grateful. I had one more drink with Des and his friend, Jo had disappeared before I could say goodbye. Mark had called at Aşkın’s then Rehab but had gone home, without us having a drink together or him taking Kate’s order. Des walked home with me, carrying most of the English delivery and, when we parted, I gave Des some sausage and bacon for his breakfast tomorrow. I was very glad to get in my own bed after so long and I was looking forward to getting plenty of sleep.

Dalyan – 17th May

Dalyan – 17th May

It was going to be another hot day on Tuesday 17th May with temperatures above 30°C. I was awake early to feed the cats, water the plants and submit my application for a Vietnam visa. It was a bit of faffing about but I eventually got a response to say my visa application would be processed within 3 working days, I made a note to check back on Friday.
By 9.30am I was having cheese on toast and a mug of Yorkshire tea while I checked out domestic flights to Istanbul. I decided to have a day by the pool, Mark and Kate have a decent sized swimming pool and it’s as good a place as any to spend a sunny day. I even put on a bikini, which I had forgotten to bring the straps for and had to be careful it didn’t fall off in the pool. By 2.30pm it was very hot by the pool and I helped myself to a cold beer from the outdoor fridge, then did a bit more swimming.

That night I had a Turkish evening booked at Lukka bar with Mom, Dad and Vanessa and I was really looking forward to it. I got there at just past 7.30pm and everyone was already there, Dad hadn’t been feeling too well. My parents drank beers, Vanessa had a wine and soda but I was optimistic and ordered a bottle of red wine, planning on giving the ball a right old kick. The buffet looked good and at 8pm we were ready to eat. I thought the food was fantastic, it was all traditional Turkish food, including lots of mezes, bread, salads, dips, rice, meatballs, chicken, cheese rolls, chips and casserole.
When the show started the dancers seemed to be being told all the moves by a slightly agressive male choreographer who was quite old and had his flies undone. Appo, the waiter, came over and asked if I would join him ‘on stage’, presumably to dance later, so I agreed. What happened next was a bit different as I was escorted to a chair on the stage. I was sat next to Appo who was being massaged by the choreographer while women danced around us, I got a bridal veil put on my head and a blob of henna on my right palm. Before I knew what was happening Appo and I were ‘married’ in front of everyone and then we had to dance in a line with the congregation. There were fireworks followed by more dancing, of which Vanessa and I joined in, nervously in case anyone broke anything. Mehmet was brilliant at getting us all up dancing too and was showing everyone his moves.
I had a fantastic time and didn’t want to leave but I had a mission on for tonight. Des was still in Marmaris so I had to go to Debbie (Darling)’s to check on and feed the cats, particularly Missy the youngest cat.
All 3 cats came in, the dogs had managed to eat a tarpaulin and some plastic bits from a motorbike, and one had bitten through her lead. I fixed and tidied things and went to feed the cats before going for a lay down.

Dalyan – 16th May

Dalyan – 16th May

I woke up on Monday 16th May to news that Captain Caveman had booked my flight to go to Vietnam next month and all I had to do was apply for a visa online. The cats were fed, the plants were watered and I had fruit cake with Red Leicester cheese for breakfast. In the afternoon I cycled back to Captain Caveman’s apartment on Mark’s electric bicycle to be greeted by a tortoise. I had no idea how it had got to be shade-bathing near to Amanda and Greg’s apartment but it was surprisingly spritely. I tried to feed it some leaves but to no avail and so I left it where it was to wander about, while I put some washing in. The pool was starting to look much better for a clean and a refill and I looked forward to getting in it when I moved back home, in a few days time.

That afternoon I met up with my parents, Des had gone to Kargıcak beach for the day with a friend. We decided on a visit to Dalyano where I had a couple of margaritas (well, it was a Monday) at 90 lira (£4.60) each. They were pricey but very good and the place was very busy for a Monday afternoon. For dinner we went to Yakamoz which has always been a firm family favourite and, as we ordered wine, I remembered when I came here with Kelly, Claire and Clare – it seemed so long ago now. The staff at Yakamoz were lovely and even took some group photos of us, despite the strong sunlight intruding on the quality of the images. Dad and I drank red wine to go with our beef casseroles while Mom had white wine to go with her fresh fish and we thoroughly enjoyed our time there.
By 7.30pm I had to get back to Mark and Kate’s for the cats so I said bye and rode off. Tomorrow I had a very busy day ahead and I needed to get organised to start to leave Dalyan.

Dalyan – 15th May

Dalyan – 15th May

Sunday 15th May was great! After sorting out the cats and plants, I made myself tea and toast then got back in to bed. The Deep Blue Leg-Ends had another couple of outings in the diary and this morning we all got an invite to Steve and Michelle’s 40th birthday in Rhodes in September. Steve, who had broken his leg in Deep Blue Bar last month, had to go back to the Fethiye hospital so we decided we would have a small reunion, in Çalış when Mark and Kate got back from England. JC and Kylie, the cats, decided they were going to stay out of the sun today and were lolling about in the living area.
My parents had a walk over to Mark and Kate’s to surprise me with another visit. The 3 of us chose to try Dalyan Bungalows, which we had noticed from the ferry last week. It’s a fairly new place and we thought we’d give it a go for the afternoon. Surprisingly, beers were only 40 lira (£2 at the time) and the menu was quite varied. Mom had beer, I had an orange juice and Dad ordered a large white wine. This was 80 lira a glass and also confused things because any subsequent wines we ordered were just the standard size but still cost 80 lira. My parents ordered a main dish but I wasn’t that hungry because it was so hot. I ordered a couple of mezes as a main and the waiter asked if we wanted to share a salad. This came with the starters but it went on the bill as 80 lira as well, which is a little pricey for a salad we didn’t really choose the ingredients of.
The food was nice, the views great and the place has a very good ambience about it. After lunch we decided to move to a comfier seating area in the shade with a glass of wine to relax.

I was back in the sex swing by 5pm and word must have got out with the neighbourhood cats that there may be some treats going. An imposter cat who looked like it could be Casha’s mother had popped over to get some attention. By 6pm I was watching the sun go down on the jetty with a glass of red wine.
For dinner I made myself a simple pasta dish, had an extra glass of red wine and went to bed. In bed I watched Bad Vegan on Netflix and then looked at flights to Vietnam. From tomorrow a negative PCR test was no longer needed to enter the country which meant it might make it easier for me to be able to extend or get another visa after the first 30 day one runs out. As I fell asleep I had no idea just how good this next week was going to be, let alone the rest of May!

Dalyan – 12th to 14th May

Dalyan – 12th to 14th May

Thursday 12th May was spent doing very little except for looking after the cats and catching up on some much needed rest. I fed the cats and Casha came for lots of snuggles. Unfortunately, since being ‘sea sick’ yesterday I was still quite ill. I was convinced I might have food poisoning and decided to check the fridge to see if I may have eaten anything out of date. There had been a couple of scheduled power outages so there was a possibility that the food I had eaten had gone off. When I checked the top shelf there was half a packet of furry green cheese rolls and a half tin of furry white tomato paste. I spent a while clearing out the fridge, salvaging what I could but binning anything smelly or furry! I then needed a lay down because I felt even more sick! I had just a crisp sandwich for lunch but didn’t eat for the rest of the day and slept a lot.

I could easily have stayed in bed on Friday 13th May because I was still feeling a bit sickly. Des was on day 2 of house and cat sitting for Debbie (Darling) and Roy, while they were in Istanbul. By lunch time Vanessa and my parents were on their way over and we were off to visit Kingfisher restaurant for the first time. It’s a small cafe with turtles swimming in the surrounding river and is a short walk away from Mark and Kate’s. All 4 of us had the chicken and chips which was very tasty. After lunch we had a walk back to my temporary home where we had a bit of wine and sat chatting by the pool – Vanessa was the first to get in the pool.
I managed to confuse Des and Sarah who had met up at Jiks for a drink, thinking I was going to, but I wasn’t. Vanessa and I had planned a girly night in with a takeaway from Sosyete and more wine. It was a lovely day but we weren’t up late as we wanted to have the next morning by the pool.

On Saturday 14th May I got up early to feed the cats, water the plants and tidy up from last night, while Vanessa had a bit longer in bed. We’d been sunbathing by the pool on loungers for a few hours, at Mark and Kate’s place, when Vanessa suggested a cold beverage would be a good idea. She made herself a shandy with so much lemonade, and only a smidgen of beer, then gave me the rest of the Efes beer. We’d had a few sips each when I noticed, and pointed it out to Vanessa, that it wasn’t even noon yet! Oh dear, we had accidentally found ourselves being morning drinkers!! We had a couple more, after noon, and then got ourselves ready to go meet the gang at Rehab bar for pool. I rode Marks electric bicycle and Vanessa rode Bluey2, which I intended to leave at Rehab. We got there fairly late and most people had already gone but that didn’t stop us having a good afternoon. Vanessa’s Matt was there and in good spirits, we brought him some fruitcake and he sent a message to Mark to wind him up that we were getting through his cake! While Matt and John watched football Cheryl, Andrea, Vanessa and I played a few rounds of Women only Killer. I, surprisingly won 2 games out of 3 and we actually had a right laugh too – some of my fresh juices turned in to vodka and orange! Des arrived so we had another drink. Vanessa, Matt and I decided to order food from Sosyete, which is next door to Rehab. The chicken soup that I had was really tasty and Vanessa’s liver shish looked great. I got back ‘home’ slightly later than usual to feed the cats but they didn’t seem to mind and I had a night of chilling out.

Dalyan – 11th May

Dalyan – 11th May

I woke up to a photo and a message from Captain Caveman on Wednesday 11th May. He was off back in the cave but had sent me a snap of the pool at Elements in Phong Nha. This time next month I hoped to be swimming in that pool. I fed the cats but there was no Casha snuggles this morning and I got ready for another exciting day out.

Angela, Nick and Maddie had organised a boat trip out to sea with Princess Ekincik. My parents got on in town while I got picked up at Mark and Kate’s jetty. The owners, Ismail and Ivona, are really nice people and the boat is lovely. There was tea, coffee and homemade sweet treats for us to have as we sailed down the river. It was a bit choppy and there was a storm forecast so I made sure I looked out to the horizon for most of the journey so that I wouldn’t be sea sick.
We had an amazing lunch onboard, there was swimming and we had a couple of drinks too. By 5pm the wind was getting up and the journey back had been very choppy, resulting in me being sick. I wasn’t coping with the sea well and, as the boat sides were zipped down to keep us dry, I found the cigarette smoke made me feel worse and I started coughing. When the homemade chocolate brownies with fruit came round I couldn’t even manage that so I got mine to take away. I had been invited to my first Turkish wedding, Ivona and Işmail would hold their celebrations on the 31st May, in Çandır.

By 6pm I was back at Mark & Kate’s where I found JC snoozing on a beanbag, by the pool. Feeding time was at 7pm and I managed to get Bubble and Squeak to eat outside with JC, without Bubble scoffing her sisters’ food. At 7.30pm I got a taxi to Retro bar where we were booked in for the fun quiz. This time I joined my parents, plus Penny and Phil. Deniz was there and had decided to accept the bar job which was great news. Ann was joined by her 4 friends, on the table next to us, they were doing very well on the quiz and it got quite competitive, with lots of banter. At the end of the night I went to buy several packets of salt and vinegar crisps, now that I knew they existed. Penny and Phil agreed to share my taxi back but invited Maggie and Phil to jump in too. I have no idea how the 4 of them got in the back of the taxi!
Back home the cats were waiting for me and we had a few tickles before bed.

Dalyan – 9th & 10th May

Dalyan – 9th & 10th May

I packed my suitcase on Monday 9th May, in readiness to move in to Mark and Kate’s place for 9 days of house and cat sitting.
I had leftover chinese for breakfast and pasta for lunch followed by the apple pie from yesterday, which was more of a tart and looked like something bought from the bakery.
I got a taxi with Fikri to go over an hour before Mark, Kate, Daisy and Phoebe were due to be leaving to go to Dalaman airport. When I arrived, around 6.30pm, no one was about except for Kate, who was on the phone. Daisy and Phoebe were both in bed, Mark had gone out for a drink. We learned that the flights were delayed just as Mark arrived to get ready, so the girls went back to bed and Mark went down the jetty with a beer. I chatted to Kate, had a glass of red wine and discovered that salt and vinegar crisps are available here in Dalyan. I had no idea and had already asked a friend to bring me some over!!! Eventually it was time to go to the airport and we all said goodbye. I ate a whole bag of the salt and vinegar crisps and then watched some Netflix in bed. Tomorrow I wanted to have an easy day where I didn’t have to do anything except for make sure the cats were ok.

I was up early on Tuesday 10th May to feed the 5 cats, Casha, Kylie, JC, Bubble and Squeak. The older cat, Casha, is Kate’s favourite and likes to be fed separately and has snuggles after breakfast. This time Bubble was on a diet so she had to also be fed separately. I watered the plants, there was a hose pipe to make things a bit easier and then all the younger cats went off to play out, while Casha followed me back to bed.
Because of doing something exciting with my parents tomorrow I had asked to join another Turkish class and Sioned had kindly allowed me to join a group today. The venue had been moved to Casablanca hotel as our usual place, Lukka bar, was getting rather busy with tourists. I arrived to meet my temporary class mates and we did a lesson on telling the time. I noted that the Casablanca hotel had a nice menu and that next week I would try out the food, and maybe even use the pool.
My next stop was to the supermarket and then back to Fire Opal for a bite to eat; a croissant and a cheese roll from the bakery section in Migros. At 6.30pm I went to Pilates which had started to help with my back and legs and I was enjoying it, even though it was difficult.
I had a cycle back over to Mark and Kate’s on the electric bicycle and chilled out. After feeding the cats and watering the plants, I decided to make some dinner. Kate had asked me to use up some meatballs in the fridge so I had some of them with beans on toast and a glass of wine. I had a relatively early night because tomorrow we had some excitement arranged.

Dalyan – 8th May

Dalyan – 8th May

Sunday 8th May was one of my favourite days and I felt so lucky to be able to have an amazing day with family and friends. I’d arranged for 7 of us to go to Çandır Resort for a Turkish breakfast. Ma, Pa, Vanessa and Matt were picked up by one of Fikri’s taxi drivers and driven to the ferry crossing near to Mark and Kate’s house. I cycled Bluey2 over and met Mark and Kate as they were walking to the meeting point. The ferry crossing was about 8 lira for each passenger, one way, and I had arranged the minivan pick up when we reached the other side. The journey wasn’t for the faint hearted and the venue is not to be confused with Çandır Terrace, which is not as remote. Our table was on the end of the balcony with lovely views of Çandır. The breakfast was massive and only just fit on the table, Mark was in charge of pouring the tea. The Turkish banquet costs 150 lira (£7.80) each, it took us about 2 hours to eat and it was definitely the best one I’ve had in a while.

After our feast we did the reverse journey and my stomach started to have a bit of a problem, despite me avoiding the pastries. Luckily my bicycle was next to the ferry stop and Kate gave me her key so I could cycle back to their’s to go to the toilet. Everyone else had been invited over too, so they took a slow walk back while I ended up waking up Phoebe who was in ‘my room’. Mark was a great host, making sure everyone had a cold beer or glass of wine, he wiped down chairs and arranged them on the shaded terrace, next to the pool. My Mom was excited to try out the sex swing and we also all had a walk down to the jetty to admire the river views. After a few drinks we decided to get taxis in to town, I left Bluey2, and we went for more drinks at Sofra bar. Strangely, and probably because of my stomach, I only had 1 beer at Mark and Kate’s then 2 pints at Sofra. The men seemed to have a thirst on and were racing through the beers, while pretending to be watching the football. Mark, Kate, Daisy and Phoebe had to go to eat at Balıkcim around 8.30pm because it was their last night in Dalyan and the rest of us discussed dinner plans. Vanessa was hungry and Matt fancied River House for Sunday dinner, my parents wanted to join them. I had still got a dodgy tum so was wary but eventually agreed to go join Matt and Vanessa who had already gone over there. When we got to River House Matt and Vanessa were nowhere to be seen and I text her to ask where they were. My parents and I sat down and ordered drinks, Mom and I had a soft drink but Dad went on to red wine and was quite drunk. We didn’t hear back from Vanessa, Matt and her had gone home because Matt was also drunk and had not wanted to leave the bar. Dad said he didn’t want to leave Sofra as he tucked in to his meatballs, mom tried to enjoy her lamb chops but was annoyed with dad and my Sunday dinner wasn’t amazing. It was very potato heavy and they had sprinkled an unnecessary paprika powder over the whole thing. It was cheaper than anywhere else in town though so would be fine if there weren’t other, better, Sunday dinners available in Dalyan. I asked to take my apple pie home as I wasn’t too hungry and then we walked home, with Dad in a bit of a tangle.
It turned out that all of the 3 couples ended up having words that night. Vanessa had gone out for a walk to calm down, Mom had to put up with Dad either snoring or choking in his sleep, and Kate was not happy at Mark staying out with the girls until the morning. I, on the other hand, was blissfully unaware and thought it had been a wonderful day.

Dalyan – 6th & 7th May

Dalyan – 6th & 7th May

It had been over a month since I got weighed and measured, mainly due to me staying at other people’s houses. On Friday 6th May I got on the scales to find I had put on 2.5kg and my measurements weren’t great either; my bust had increased by 4cm, which the Vietnamese would say was due to an increased consumption of dairy.
Unfortunately the difference in my leg measurements was now 0.5cm difference in thighs and 1cm in calves.
I blamed the daily Turkish breakfasts, not the booze, but thought it might be a good idea to cut back a little.
My parents and I went for lunch at the tea gardens, we had toasties/sandwiches and a beer then my parents had an important appointment so I joined Des and Binky. On the way back in to town we spotted a snake, which a kitten was trying to play with. Binky picked it up and moved it so the cat wouldn’t get bitten. Des, Binky and I had a drink at Tez bar and then I went home because we were all meeting up later.

I met my parents for a drink at Retro bar and we had already chosen where we would eat tonight. Dad picked Doğa so we went there and decided to go with Jackie and Chris who were also having a drink at Retro bar and are lovely company.
My parents both had Mexican chicken and I had Chicken Alfredo which was lovely and we enjoyed trying this new eatery out. There was complimentary appetisers and came with fruit which were much appreciated, as well as great service in a beautiful setting. Unfortunately this impromptu spot of dining meant we were running late for our next appointment.

We had a table booked for 17 of us at Lukka Music Bingo, a firm favourite night out on a Friday – it was a great laugh with lots of singing and dancing. Mehmet is the perfect, and funniest host and there are prizes to be won too. By the end of the night most of us were drunk but Binky, who’d been out all day, and Mark, who was double parking, were vying for top place in that unspoken competition. Because of a silly misunderstanding when Kate and I poured Mark’s wine back in to the bottle, there was a bit of a to-do resulting in the wine not making it home, then me getting annoyed because there was ‘too much drama’.
The sensible thing would have been to go home, however, I decided to join Maddie, Des, Binky and Sarah at Sofra bar for another drink. When I arrived, Mark and Kate were already there, we sorted out the misunderstanding and got chatting to Jack and Liv who I’d met in Retro bar before.
We had shots and pints of draught Efes but then I managed to speak to Captain Caveman and got upset. At 1.30am it was my turn to be the obligatory emotional female, crying on bar street! Luckily Des, Big Alp and Davut were there to cheer me back up and we got on with the night! Sarah and I were of the last to leave Sofra bar and walked home together a little worse for wear in the early hours!


Here’s a video from Lukka bar when they played YMCA.
https://fb.watch/dkb7q_-7u2/

I had a very quiet day on Saturday 7th May after getting in about 4am and then eating the rest of the leftover pasta. I woke up to a text from Captain Caveman and I didn’t remember what I was speaking to him about last night. There was nothing I could do, though, as he was already back in the cave.
I had to force myself to meet the gang at Rehab bar for pool and I didn’t get there until very late. Mark and Kate were off back to England next week so Kate was booking a priority lounge pass to use in the airport on the way back, not knowing at the time just how good the deal would be. I stuck to soft drinks, all the drama from last night was apologised for and forgotten about. On the way home I decided to order a Chinese takeaway from China Town, despite the days being warm it was chilly around 9pm and I was glad to get back indoors. My prawn toast, sweet and sour chicken and fried rice was lovely and I was ready for an early night because tomorrow a few of us were off to do something nice.

Dalyan – 4th & 5th May

Dalyan – 4th & 5th May

On Wednesday 4th May I had another family style Turkish breakfast, with my Turkish friends. Today’s included pancakes, and it was as tasty as usual.
I went home for lunch at 1pm but I chose to come back to Retro bar and have a beer with the pool WAGs (Wives and Girlfriends, for those not familiar with the acronym). There is a group of blokes who meet to play pool on Wednesdays and Saturdays and have done so at various Dalyan venues throughout the winter. They like to play for fun at both pool and a game of killer – most of them can play well and some even have their own cues. Often the wives and girlfriends (WAGs) will come to have a get together, drink wine or beer and join in the banter. Depending on the numbers it can be quite a nice afternoon with an opportunity to carry on drinking or go for a bite to eat. It’s very relaxed and, although it’s primarily a lads pool afternoon, the women sometimes join in the game of killer.
Tonight was also the first Fun Quiz night at Retro bar, hosted by Tom Cree, so Nazim was getting prepared. I was still at Retro with my friends, Nazim had gone for a quick break when a young Turkish man arrived asking for him. We chatted for a while then I realised he was here as a bar man for tonight so I helped him to move some tables and chairs.
When the quiz night started, things didn’t go to plan; the microphone broke so people couldn’t hear Tom and the quiz was delayed slightly while it got fixed.
My parents were on a team with Mark and Kate so that looked a good team and there were a lot of the familiar expat faces taking part. The place was very busy and I thought Deniz, the new bar man did very well to jump straight in.
At the end of the night Nazim bought Deniz and I a beer and we sat down for a chat.
It was 1.30am when I finally ate some dinner at home, a chicken and mushroom pie!

I had a busy morning of eating a Turkish breakfast and practicing Turkish at Retro bar on Thursday 5th May.
Because of the Bayram holidays, there had been no Turkish class yesterday so today I met Vanessa for lunch and to do our homework. We walked from Retro bar to Okyanus, where we ordered food and a cold drink. She had been to Zumba and it was busier and warmer there than usual so I’d been lucky to miss it really. I decided to try a chicken burger with extra bacon and a cheeky beer which was nice, Vanessa ordered a tuna sandwich and a wine with soda. We then got chatting and forgot to do the homework, mainly because there was just too much to catch up on – we would just have to meet up another day!
That evening Nazim and I shared a pizza from M-Restaurant, the street food place across the road from Retro bar, and it was very good.

Dalyan – 1st to 3rd May

Dalyan – 1st to 3rd May

I woke up too early, at Maddie’s place, on Sunday 1st May and went to the bathroom. When I came to get back in bed, Milo, the dog, had jumped in and was cleaning his nether regions. I dressed and walked through town to Debbie (Darling)’s looking like I was doing the walk of shame!
I fed the cats and headed off for a lovely Turkish breakfast with my new friends at Smyrna hotel and Retro bar. In the afternoon I had the pleasure of Des and Sarah’s company as we sat on the comfy seats at Retro bar with a cold beer, chatting about all sorts of things. Back at Debbie (Darling)’s, after feeding the cats and giving them a tickle, I had a Heinz cuppa soup with toast and got my belongings together. Tonight would be my last night here for this stint of house and cat sitting.

Debbie (Darling) and Roy arrived home at 3am on Monday 2nd May, I got up at 8am and managed to surprise Roy. We both made each other jump in the kitchen as he was getting a drink and I was about to leave. He was in fine fettle to say he’d just had surgery and I gave him a kiss and a hug without him being in too much pain. I spent an hour eating another wonderful breakfast with Nusret, Gonca and Yaşar and we practiced our language skills. Yaşar had asked me about my eczema and then told me that she can highly recommend a stronger cream. I had noticed that instead of dairy affecting my stomach so much, it was making my eczema a lot worse. I took a photo of her Beklazon cream so I could get some from the pharmacy the next time I was passing. In Phong Nha, Captain Caveman was having drinks with Andrea at the Phong Nha Farmstay before she headed back to Saigon. Back home I made myself a pasta before heading back to my new favourite, Retro bar, for the evening. It was the Bayram holiday but Yaşar had made an amazing meal of pasta with oil and a very tasty chicken stew. It was super filling and delicious so I managed to eat a good portion of it. The bar was quiet with it being a Monday but it was nice to see some old faces coming back to see Nazim after not being able to visit for so long. It was lovely to be back home to my own place and having no animals to be responsible for. I had a slice of Kate’s fruit cake with Lurpak butter and went to bed relatively early.

Tuesday 3rd May was a tiring day for me as I hadn’t been able to get to sleep until after 1.30am because of the loud music coming from the Jazz bar. I met Debbie (Darling), Roy, Sue, Maddie, Ann and her 2 friends at Retro bar but I didn’t drink any alcohol today. Debbie (Darling) mentioned she might need my help again soon when they went back to Istanbul for a check up and I agreed. She would let me know the dates because I had also offered to help out Mark and Kate when they went back to England soon.
Back at Captain Caveman’s apartment I noticed that something was finally happening with the swimming pool, the dirty water had been emptied out. There was no Pilates class today because it was the Bayram holiday so I spent the evening at Retro bar chatting to Ann and Maddie. We managed to stay out until 11.30pm, and without me boozing!

Dalyan – 30th April

Dalyan – 30th April

On Saturday 30th April, I spent time with some new Turkish friends. I was invited to eat breakfast with the family at Smyrna hotel, situated beside Retro bar. I ate an array of bread, cheese, salad, olives, spreads and jams. It was lovely and I got to practice my Turkish, which I started to realise wasn’t as good as I had hoped. They understood what I was saying, for the most part, however, I couldn’t speak in sentences which described past events and I was struggling with knowing enough vocabulary. By midday I was off back home for a ‘siesta’ but I didn’t actually have a nap. I put some washing in, had a shower, chatted to my parents and then went back to Debbie’s to feed the cats. In the evening I hung out at Retro bar with Nazim and Des, while listening to some great music. Around 7pm I ate dinner with Nusret, Gonca and Yaşar and it was absolutely lovely; a delicious soup, similar to a lentil broth and a tasty chicken dish with fresh bread. A few of my friends, including Des (by this time), Maddie and Ann, were at Sofra bar and wanted me to join them. Maddie decided to come to Retro bar to collect me and for a while we propped up the bar, her with a Vodka RedBull while I tried a cocktail with Nazim and Nusret.
It was the first time I had been in Sofra after midnight sober and I hoped to not do it again. Des bought me a pint when I arrived and I’d only had a couple of sips when Ann needed to talk to me by the river. The rock band had already finished and left to go to Rodrigo’s bar so we thought we might join later. I had a couple more beers and then Ann decided she was going home. Des, Maddie and I went for more drinks at Rodrigo’s, where Mark and Kate were already at. I recognised the lead singer of the band immediately, despite his garish tie dye outfit, I’d accompanied him on a karaoke song last night; Psycho Killer by The Talking Heads. Des and I had to walk Maddie home, with her dog (Milo) who was now running loose on bar street, and she insisted on us watching Les Miserables and the end of The Greatest Showman (we’ve never seen the rest of it). What a night and, as Des left about 3.30am, I got in bed with Maddie, for a much needed sleep.

Dalyan – 29th April

Dalyan – 29th April

I had previously arranged with Kate to go on a boat trip she was organising with Kaan. Friday 29th April was Des’s first full day in Dalyan and also his actual day off so it worked out well. I was really looking forward to it.
I woke up at Debbie (Darling’s) and fed the cats, had a bit of a tidy round in preparation for the cleaner coming and walked to the bank to meet Des and to get ready for another great day out. We all met at the boat and got a cup of tea or coffee before setting sail to pick up Mark and Kate from their jetty. We went out to sea and the boat was a bit choppy but not enough for me to actually be sick. The morning was quite cloudy and in fact pretty chilly at first, I was even wearing my hoody for a while. This didn’t deter me from getting in the sea when we had the opportunity though and it turned out to be ‘alright once we were in’.
Des got introduced to everyone and I was pleased to see that he was quite the social butterfly, getting on particularly well with the ladies. The BBQ lunch was delicious and I had a wine or two to wash it down, followed by more swimming. The group on board were all lovely, easy going people including Kate’s daughter, who had just arrived in Turkey for a holiday. I spent some time sunbathing on the top deck as the sun came out in the afternoon. 
When we got back to dry land a few of us arranged to meet up, with Ma & Pa included, at Sofra bar for a couple of drinks. There was only delivery food available there now that the holiday season had begun so a pizza and a pide for my parents was ordered. The rest of us were too full from the boat trip and were busy taking in all the action. Daisy and Kate did a bit of karaoke and were surprisingly good, Des managed to make more new friends and we were invited to join a day trip to Marmaris next week.