About Clunegapyears

Travelling around Europe with James in our motorhome

1563-1565 : Terraces and Travesty

1563:   Pamukkale Cave

Tuesday 16th June 2020

A nod from the apartment cleaner that all was OK with the way we left the flat … it was probably cleaner than when we arrived!  We set off on the road … destination a cave with some travertine terraces inside.  

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A hideous landscape nearby as scarred by mining, but we’d read about the cave in ourbumble.com.  

The guide spoke some English and told us we couldn’t park overnight in the car park … Gov regulations.  He suggested a lake, but it was a good hour in the wrong direction.  And true Turkish hospitality offered us a stay on his small village so we could drink tea with his family … numerous sisters and offspring.   As it was still very hot and we couldn’t leave the dogs in the van, he kindly turned a blind eye and let them into the caves.

The air smelt faintly of bad eggs and the tortoise swimming in the water had coats and fringes of algae.  Given Covid, the pools that visitor would normally be able to swim in had been drained.  Not huge in size but huge in wow factor.  Despite the walkway, it hadn’t been tampered with too much.

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The entrance was a circular hole in the ground. 

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Water gushing, still shaping the caves.  Feet were wet and we also had to run the gauntlet of a curtain of water.

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Just stunning calcite formations.

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Pamukkale is Turkish for cotton, and you can see why the calcite rock is given this name.

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The start of mini travertine terraces.

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We tiredly set off for the ancient mega city of Laodice with the hope of being able to park overnight there … no chance … a barrier with security staff.  So we headed up the road to Pamukkale.  David and Karen, ahead of us had programmed in a parking, but were flagged down in Pamukkale town … you must stay in our OtoPark … great views, pool, electric etc.  No too expensive … so we negotiated a discount. I think we may have been the first post Covid customers.  We certainly had the field to ourselves – great for CO2 to be able to wander around off lead.  Despite the choice of where to park up, I managed to park under a Mulberry tree … it took some effort to get the sticky sugary fruit off the soles of our shoes and necessitated a floor clean!  We moved the van!

A wander around the dead tourist (town) facility and back to the restaurant attached to the Otopark for a glass …

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Says it all really!

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Turkish H&S!

1564:   Mixed Emotions at Pamukkale

 Wednesday 17th June 

I visited Pamukkale with friends when we back packed in Turkey about 35 years ago.  We bathed in the terraces with water flowing over them  It was crowded.  Visitors were supposed to walk barefoot … but I remember being shocked at how many had shoes, especially military with their hob nailed boots.  The impact of this lack of care of nature was truly evident here.  Water was largely diverted in man dug trenches to flow over parts of the man made terraces where the public could bathe.  There was much less water flowing as it is, as local industry and farming has harnessed it.  Concrete large terraces / pools have been constructed on the slope up from one of the entrances.  It is staggeringly evident how the walls of the pools have been destroyed and lost their definition … in some places the concrete used to rebuild them was clearly identifiable.  Shocking abuse of the beauty of nature.

And yet … it really still is stunning.  So fortunate not to have coach loads of tourists.  A huge expanse of white.  Blinding in the sun even with sun glasses.  Hard to actually see what I was photographing in the view finder.  I had completely forgotten how vast the cotton castle is.  From below it just looks like a mass of white rock.  From up top, you can see terrace after terrace.  The ancient site of Hireapolis is at the top, with a museum contains some quality relics from here and Laodice.

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Nothing so wonderful as the beauty of nature  

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D & K wading up through one of the concrete pools.

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Another travesty … this pool at the bottom had pedaloes.

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You could hear the water gushing through channels under the boardwalk.

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So much definition of the pools lost in places.

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Sarcophagi in the museum.

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We had intended to visit Laodice in the afternoon … but over the night, we had both started to think about leaving Turkey via Bulgaria.  The number of Covid cases in Turkey is on the rise and could result in a further lockdown.  The Greek border may not open on the 1st July … there would be a meeting to review it on 30th June.  The UK Consulate confirmed that we had to leave Turkey by 11th July.  Danny and Lisa had made it through Bulgaria and into Serbia.  It seemed like time to leave.  Then David took a call from the Greek consul in Izmir … he confirmed that the Greek border opening to Turkey was looking unlikely and given the infection increases, it would be sensible to leave soon.  So we did!

We drove all afternoon to Ayvalik, within a few hours drive of Canakkale, where we could catch a ferry to European Turkey., thus avoided the long drive around by Istanbul

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Ayvalik: A pretty town.

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We found some interesting small streets with lots of quality craft shops.  Including a wool shop, where I bought balls of cotton and sock wool for about £2 each … better finish the jumper I started this trip!

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Whilst not our last night in Turkey, we believed it would be the last opportunity to sample good quality Turkish fare.  Surprisingly hard to find a restaurant that didn’t just offer kebabs … but we did.  Mixed mezze, and then I had one of the best steaks I’ve ever had.  

1565:   Canakkale Crossing

Thursday 18th June 

A leisurely start … today was all about getting as far as Galipolli … we’d agreed that we would visit this before we left Turkey.  The ferries seemed to run very frequently and we we were sandwiched between coaches.  Under £10 for the crossing.  

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And that is our first sight of geographical Europe geographical since the 12th March.

We overnighted at one end of Ecebat, by the Boomerang Bar, which hadn’t opened yet due to the lack of tourists.  J and I wandered the town in search of an ice cream.  En route we had to pass a street market … and I managed to stock up on harem pants … the ones with the low gusset where you can store your jam sandwich … Paddington Bear style.

David had organised a private tour for us on the morrow morning, starting at 8.00 a.m., so a quiet night … other than the usual barking dogs!  And not just ours!

1562-1562: Living the Ex-Pat Life

1562:  A Special Day

Friday 12th June 2010

The Bodrum Peninsula has a number of posh resorts around pretty bays.  The guide book indicated a driving route.  

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First stop was Golturkbuku, described as the resort of politicians and famous and there were certainly some stunning villas on the way down.  Apparently it is de rigeur to wear stilettos and diamond encrusted sunglasses to the beach!  That’s Karen and I out!

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We asked for 3 glasses of wine, but when the bottle arrived we did not refuse.  It rather set the tone for our next stop.

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Gumusluk a narrow beach but so many fish restaurants to choose from. Karens must-have-accessory is a water pistol  she has become an expert shot at keeping wild/street canines away from CO2.  She can now get them straight between the eyes!

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Our choice had only opened today so our shared mezze plate was super fresh.  A lovely veranda with a view to Rabbit Island.

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Mum is usually my food soul mate, so pleased Karen is fishy (!) too.

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Baclava, banana with honey and walnuts and fruit.

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wouldn’t normally post pix of coffee  but the petals were so pretty.  Complimentary mint liqueur … sorry David … It was your driving day!

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Corrie in her lunchtime nest – she dug a hole!

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Gumusluk is a very pretty harbour with islands dotted in the bay.

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1563:   Disco Inferno!

Saturday 13th June 

A fairly easy day with local shopping.  I shouldn’t be so surprised how much wine we are tucking away as seemingly most of the EU population is doing the same.  We have now emptied the booze shop’s shelves of one particular label … Diamond white (not the cider!).  I got my Tax Return info off to the accountant … yippee.  And I’m hoping that the Tax Man will owe me!!!

We met Phil and Sandy (friends of David’s who organised the apartment) at our local bar and then they came back to the apartment for supper.  And they bore gifts … Phil had managed to buy Fish Sauce and BACON!!!  We carried on partying long after they had left!  Disco Inferno!  Hope the neighbours don’t complain … again!  And no wonder my knees ached the next day … can’t remember the last time we had a good bop.

1564:   A Slow Day!

Sunday 14th June

Funnily enough it was a slow start day!  Once we surfaced, J and I had breakfast at the local bar.  Karen, J and I drove down to Guvercinlik, which had been recommended to us as a nice place to promenade and have a drink.  It was.  Although I abstained and guzzled water in an attempt to re-hydrate.  Corrie had rolled in something revolting and the waiter brought out a load of wet wipes and sanitiser … it made her just OK for getting back into the car … shower back home!  

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Guvercinlik.

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We had seen windmills on the Bodrum peninsula and we stopped at this small road side seller.  The lady seller told us that they were TL60, then 55.  When I handed over the money, she gave me a further TL25 change … Not sure what was going on there as we are conscious how little these people have, given the business closures and lack of tourists.

We are gradually putting ur ‘stuff’ back in our vans as we will leave the apartment on Tuesday morning.  According to the Greek Consul in Izmir and moneysupermarket.com’s Covid pages, the Greek Turkish border will open on the 15th.  The BBC, however, says that its will not open till 1st July.  We hope the BBC is wrong!

1565:   Sorting Day and a Huge Disappointment

Monday 15th June

Disappointment and a low mood … Greece has opened their border to all countries EXCEPT UK and Turkey.  Looks like it should open on 1st July.  Confirmation that visa’s (ours expired on 10.06) are extended until a month after commercial flights open.  A decision to make … so we’ll become tourists until the end of the month and then go to Greece.  Reckon we even have time to go to Crete!

J cleaned out the tell tale dog hairs from the hire car and David returned it … we had not added to the scratches or dents!  We just about fully loaded out stuff back into the van and put the apartment back to how we sort of remembered it!  Last minute laundry too.  

Mid afternoon we met Phil and Sandy at a bar and watched their dog Lou fishing!  She paddles patiently and scoops up fish … swallowed whole!  Back to Phil and Sandy’s for supper.  Asian theme … lamb ribs and lettuce wrapped stir fry chicken.  All with a fab view off their deck over the bay.  Not late to bed …. vacating the apartment tomorrow.  It’s been fun lunching and spending time in bars around the Bodrum peninsula … but itching to get on the road and do what we do best … travelling and exploring.

 

 

1555-1561: Gallivanting Around Gulluck

1555-1557:   Gulluk

Friday 5th – Sunday 7th June 2020

We predominently settled ourselves into the apartment and discovered a few bars.    We’ve found a good ice cream parlour in the centre.  And the cheapest place to buy wine!  A few walks along the coast.  It is pretty hot, so any running is getting earlier and earlier.  

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Our favourite is the V Bar, which happens to be just at the end of our road!  They do a reasonable Marguerita … say no more!

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Danny and Lisa, who we first met wild camping on a beach near Ephasus and then saw a fair bit of when we were on the lockdown campsite, caught us up as they move more slowly around the coast.  They stopped over on the apartment sofas, after a few drinks out and then a takeaway meal in.  Really good to see them, and we know we will see them again, either here in Turkey or back in the UK.

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The complex pool.  Karen and I had a dip and had a welcoming committee … wanted to know where we are from and where did we quarantine.  All this in German, but the chap brought along a grand daughter with school English in case neither of us spoke German.  I think they were reassured, but the people in the neighbouring flat have been complaining … can understand with UK infection rates, why people are concerned.   

1558:   Bafas Lake

Monday 8th June 2010

We booked a hire car for one week … good that it allows 3 of us to drive it at no extra cost.  We had a choice of a diesel or petrol, but chose the slightly cheaper petrol on the basis that it had more scratches and dents and we would be putting CO2 into it.  Needless to say, the dogs stayed behind when we went to the office to do the transaction!

Picked up the car and then collected Karen and CO2 … destination Bafa Lake.  Interesting as it is 70km2, so big.  And it is both saltwater (as salty as the Dead Sea) and fresh water.  Fish have to be able to live in both.

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  Car hire for a week.  A saloon, so Oscar is in the front foot well and Corrie spread out between two of us on the back seat!

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Bafa Lake.

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Lots of ancient remains of Herakleia scattered around a rural village.

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Great lumps of rock.

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Little Black from the village joined us on our walk  camouflaged in the mud!

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Gilt head bream, one of my favourites  might have been out of the freezer given the lack of visitors to the area but super tasty.

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We had a mid morning snack here and lunch  a superb view of the lake and breeze through the open doors – I goosebumps from being too cool  a novel feeling.

1559:   Labranda & Milas Market

Tuesday 9th June 2010

Getting to Labranda was an interesting drive … there seem to be quarries either side of it and trucks bombing up and down every minute … a lot of pulling over to the side of the narrow road.  It was a long climb (in the car!) of 610m up, but worth it.  It is thought it became and ancient site due to the spring water and the cleft in the rock said to have been caused by the war like Zeus’ axe.

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Zeus must have quite a temper to split this rock.  Someone had kindly cleared all the long grass and obviously intend coming back to collect the bales.

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The source of the sacred spring  guess this makes Oscar a saint?!?!?!

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Fabulous views.

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Next stop was Milas, as we have been told about the HUGE market there.  Disappointing as it was pretty much all fresh produce … we had hoped to find handicrafts and Turkish baggy trousers.  

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Whilst we stopped for a snack lunch, a cake delivery …. so beautiful.  Really think we should buy one just to see if they taste as good as they look. 

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We settled with chocolate eclairs … James wore his!

1560:   Bodrum Under Refurnishment

 Wednesday 10th June 2010

To avoid the heat, for us, but more so for the dogs, we set off at 0700hrs!!!  Gulp!!!!  Having parked, we walked along the marina which is in the process of been refurnished and found somewhere for breakfast … mine was two eggs with feta cheese.  Durning a wander around the shops in small lanes, I found a ‘trendy’ pair of harem pants for Maddy … needless to say they were 4 times the price of the ones I had bought at the local lockdown campsite market!  

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The Marina and Bodrum castle.  David is selecting his boat.

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St Peter’s Castle is also being renovated, so we only had access to about 50%.  Started in 1406 by the Knights of St John, it has time as a prison and was shelled by the French in WW!.

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Numerous ships dating back from C10 foundered nearby and were excavated and some actual timbers recreated as a ship … but most of the Underwater Shipwrekcs Museum was closed to us.  Just this display of amphora which probably held wine.

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K&D have now been told they are Dog Parents should  anything happen to J and I!

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The Mosque turned church.

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Looks like the Mouth of Truth in Rome.  J still has all his fingers so he can’t have lied!

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He might have his fingers, but he lost some hair!  A £4.05 incl. tip – hair chop, flames around his temples, & ears, nose hair trip and cologne.

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The result!

1561:   Notary Nonsense

 Thursday 11th June 2010

Back into Milas to get a document notarised.  We want to give Power of Attorney to a Cretan accountant so he can sort Tax Numbers and bank accounts with a view to sorting our Greek Residency.  Hung around for a bit and met up with the translator … but not going to happen as we first need a Turkish Tax Number.  Grrr.  Not to worry … it looks as if the Turkish / Greek border may be open on the 15th.  Fingers crossed for that.  A lazy and admin jobs afternoon.  







1528-1554 : Last Camp Days and Being a Tourist

1528-1550:  Last Few Weeks of Lockdown

Thursday 9th May – Sunday 31st May 2020

We carried on mostly mixing with Karen and David and Anetta and Geo … joint BBQs, meals, cakes and games.  Cycling into Tekirova for the market or supplies.  Walking or running in the woods, when there was no curfew and exercising on the beach.  It did get stupidly hot for about 2 weeks, which slowed up chores and fun … all we wanted to do was find water or shade.  

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Lisa’s was the 2nd camp birthday.  It started with a cooked breakfast, which included MUCH cherished Bristish bacon, courtesy of Karen and David …. they assure us that this is the last of it!

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Lisas evening birthday meal started with some excellent English fizz, followed by a Turkish poor relation  well stick to the non sparkling Turkish whites!  We had a curry theme starter, main and then a huge vanilla birthday cake, complete with candles!

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The dog bed airing tree.

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We set off on one of the two Sundays where J (over 65) was allowed out  only to quickly spot that we were spewing diesel.  It became apparent that the diesel pipe was connected by black electrician tape and a cable clip by the mechanic (cough!) who had installed the fuel cut off switch.  Danny, who has repaired and replaced most of his Defender, had the parts and did a proper job for us.

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Not the best way to secure a diesel pipe!

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It as been a little warm  so much so that we instigated ice cream sundae afternoons …

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This one is pistachio and vanilla ice cream, with butterscotch sauce, whipped cream and chopped pistachio . The Turks don’t seem to do Italian style ice cream parlours, but we did on Sundance Camp!

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The only way to keep cool was a dip … when allowed!  Officially all the beaches are out of bounds, so Police (local are Jandarma) were regularly patrolling.  One day, they left a poor sod all day on the beach on foot patrol.  The campsite took him over some cold water, which he had to refuse as he was fasting for Ramadan.  Poor sod must have either been one of the new national service conscripts or had done something to irritate his commander.

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To get to the public beach, the police vehicles had to come through the campsite  if the gate was shut the tooted their horn, kindly giving advance warning to all all the swimmers campsite side to vacate the water and all the locals on the public beach to scuttle like ants up the beach to the woods.  Usually they had a 4×4, but on this occasion they attempted to cross the river to the public beach in a front wheel drive van!  So that was twice the campsite tractor had to tow them out.

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The Kindergarten Camp by the entrance had two off roaders with 3 children  this is Fin and Zina  we knew they were approaching as we could hear them call for Corrie.

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The labyrinth on campsite beach that I walked most evenings:  review the day walking in and set targets for the next day.  Very therapeutic.

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On one of our days out  by bike so no mechanical breakdowns  we cycled to the next town north, Camyuva  nothing there but hotels, but we did manage to buy an ice cream.

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James second day out was to Cirali, south of the camp, with Karen and David.  I did manage to buy a dress from the sole shop that was open and we really enjoyed our takeaway eaten in the van with the fan going . it was another super warm day.

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Corrie loved playing with the camp dogs  3 of them in this pic.  Only one incident with Corrie  Mucky in the foreground spotted CO2 being fed and charged over to attack Corrie.  Both had bloodied ears and stayed away from each other for a few days.  Oscar, being mentally screwed up, had an affinity with BoBo (who we called Narrow Eyes) – it took BoBo weeks to come close to us and even then would be really nervous if you moved fast.  Hed been found in a plastic bag in a skip.

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For once my jobs list virtually disappeared (Tax Returns are all that didn’t get done!).  Top row is J’s shoes …. I also have Crocs, flip flops, and beach shoes … so that makes 12 pairs!!!!  A girl can never have enough shoes, right!?

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 This baby orphaned hedgehog was being fostered by Anna from the Hippy Camp.  It has just been fed by syringe.

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Oscar like to pick up sticks on walks.  But often finds bones … we ended up with quite a collection on the bonnet.

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Farewell BBQ night as people started to test the waters by either leaving, or trying a few nights away wilding.

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Anetta and Geo were the first to leave our Luxury Camp (notice how the mini camps were named), leaving at the same time as Danny and Lisa, who had dipped into Sundance Camp periodically from their rental apartment.  It really was emotional as after 11-12 weeks of spending a LOT of time together, they become family.  Karen, David and us, were the last leave on Monday 1st June.

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The local Roman remains were only a short walk away, and we had been turned back by the guardian twice on two separate routes in.  Determined not to leave without seeing the ruins, we left camp at 0700 hrs to avoid being stopped!  Part of the Phaselis aquaduct.

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Main road to the port.

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Leaving preparations … left my ‘garden’ by the toilet block, with …

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… a request to water them!  Note how many weeks we had been at Sundance … James and I were the first to arrive and stayed 12 weeks all but one day!

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A couple of pix of my last morning’s walk before setting off.

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Sunday 31st May was our 9th wedding anniversary (I know it was the 9th as I was repeatedly tested on it) as well as being K&D and our last night.  Although the previous takeaways we’d had had not been good, we elected to eat at the restaurant.  The food was surprisingly good and we really enjoyed all the different dishes, two bottles of wine and beer.  Some of the staff came over to sit with us and chat to us … really nice.  And then when we went to settle our final camping bill, they had given us the meal on the house.  Really lovely.

Monday 1st was our leaving date, as much of Turkey was opening up, restaurants, but not bars, beaches and attractions.  All the off-roaders who’d already left the camp had reported no issues … the odd police road block for Turks.  BUT we we would still be contravening the Covid Law.  Over 65s were stilled locked up (sorry locked down!).  We had expected them to be released on 31st May, but it has been extended indefinitely.  Oh well, we’ll risk J going to a Turkish jail (Midnight Express … I might visit him and bare my breasts!), after all Jez is his home … the fact it has wheels…!  And he doesn’t look anything like his 73 years.  

Leaving was actually really emotional … Sundance is a community more than a business.  They run the camping, bungalows and restaurants to support their living costs more than for profit.  One chap who hugged me said ’Thank you for bringing your good energy and bringing the people when we needed it” … they had given us a really good day rate for the camping, but the 9 vans had made a significant contribution to their coffers, when no other guests would have been allowed.  Enis threw water after the departing vans … a Turkish custom to send us off with good flow and so that we can find our way back.  And we will certainly come back … we will always be grateful for their generosity and kindness in welcoming us in during Covid.  Lovely genuine people.  We have had a better Covid experience than anyone we know of.  We know how lucky we are.

 

1551:  First Day of Freedom – Waterfalls and Kas

Monday 1st June 

We drove to some waterfalls Kursunlu Selalesi just north of Antalya which Danny and Lisa had recommended.  A lovely stroll with verdant greens of leaf and water, but not enough to keep us much beyond an hour. 

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Just in case Karen is missing the camp dogs, she has become chief Corrie handler!

We had intended to stay at a nearby farm, but decided to head back to Decathlon in Antalya.  We all came away with goodies … two new T-shirts for J and baseball caps to help make him look younger!  Weather was not good … grey skies and some rain, so we turned the afternoon into a driving day.  Kas was the destination.  The campsite there wanted £47 per night, and would only drop to £35 when pressed, so we decided to wild camp.  Eventually we found a rough sloping bit of ground and headed out to and supper.  A lovely meal … so good to be able to get food out.  And whilst there, David spotted the harbour car park was flat, empty and the entry barriers were open.  So we moved the vans and had a non-rolling out of bed good night’s sleep.

1552: Kas and Kalkan

Tuesday 2nd June 

Before leaving Kas, we wandered around some of the ancient sites … until we started to feel too warm and headed into the centre for a glass of Cay (tea).

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Kas harbourside parking.

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Our first Hadrian’s Temple for a while!

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The Kas amphitheatre.

The next destination was Kalkan … being a small town, we parked at the top along the main road and walked down.  Although lockdown has largely been lifted, they were still working on the restaurants and shops getting them ready for tourists.  Pretty enough, but no soul as it is just for tourists.  We found the only restaurant open, and had a great lunch.   

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Kalkan view from where we parked.

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Karen also likes to share mezze dishes, so I was a happy bunny. 

A fairly long drive to our over night destination … Suntaniye, just north of Dalyan.  We parked with our noses almost in the water and had supper and wine on a bench between our two vans.  There were a few Turkish vans parked up too.  Our neighbour spoke German with me and his wife bought over some dolmades.  We have been asked a number of times how much our vans cost, not something the Brits would ever ask.  But it was explained to us that over 1.6litre and for luxury vehicles there is a 100% plus government tax and that our vans would have cost in excess of EUR200,000 here.  No wonder they ask what we paid and so many people check them out as they walk past.  Interestingly, the Turks seem to be pleased to see us … a tourist in these times is a rare thing … was we drive, we’ve had people wave at us, give a thumbs up and beep their horns.

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Evening view from our lakeside parking.

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 Poodle head cloud.

1553: Sultaniye and Akyaka

Wednesday 3rd June 

David, James and I managed runs of various lengths … a little hilly!  Then after breaky we went into Sultaniye Spa … well, mud bath and sulphur pools.  We slopped and slathered the mud all over ourselves and then washed it off with a lake swim. The mud play really satisfied the child in me!  Two dips in warm sulphur spring water pools …  We had woken to the eggy smell, but by the time we had immersed ourselves in it, we had stopped noticing.  We knew the camping pitch was a steal at £7 which included water and toilets, but we hadn’t realised it also included the mud spa for all van occupants.  The pix on FaceBook showed how boat loads of tourist descend on the place …we virtually had it to ourselves.

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After lunch we headed to Akyaka a little along the coast.  We had wander down into the town … touristy again but with a nice feel.  Children were allowed out today so there were a few on the beach.  We had the inevitable ice cream and a drink.  In the evening, we had a meal with friends of Karen, who they’d spent time with on the way down, before Covid!

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Telephone box!

1554: Stratonicea and Gulluk

Thursday 4th June 

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My ‘casserole’ breakfast of baked tomato, cheeses and peppers … J had a full cooked English (or Irish).

We stopped at Stratonicea ancient site … they are obviously investing a LOT of money in turning it into a top tourist attraction.  a new carpark and visitor centre.  Other than the builders, we were the only visitors.  No entrance fee, just a forehead thermometer temperature check as we arrived.  

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It is interesting as the change of use continued into recent history … ruins now …

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And gradually being restored  

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And some of the Roman part.

We continued to Gulluk which is where we will spend the next two weeks or so.  David has an ex-colleague/friend who put the word out in his town that we were stranded here in Turkey.  One of his friends has kindly loaned us their 2 bed / 2 bathroom apartment for no much more than the cost of the lockdown campsite, and certainly a LOT less than the Kas campsite wanted.  The apartment is not usually let out, so is full of the owner’s stuff, but is really spacious and comfortable.  D&K collected the key and then we inched the two vans down a narrow lane, past wing mirrors to the parking outside.  SEVERAL trips up the 5 flights of stairs with all that we might need for 2 weeks AND then back for other bits we needed.  

An evening wander around town saw us stop for some wine by the harbour and then collect a takeaway …  

 

 

C02 Diaries

Hello reader(s) – Corrie here on behalf of myself and BoyoWelshie…  K and J tell us we’re in a place called Turkey – it looks remarkably similar to other countries we’ve been to – beaches, hills, Graeco-Roman remains – bars….  best part so far was Sundance camping – loads of K9s – oh and people as well…    We had a 3 month lockdown – that’s when people don’t go out much – and stay in drinking more beer and wine!   After 2 years (Oscar didn’t start until I came along), the K and J training is complete – it wasn’t easy – but satisfying as they pretty much do as they are told – our food is on time (generally), walks on demand and loads of playtime! Yes, we allow them playtime as well…   Katherine still calls Oscar “Tuckwit”  but he’s ok – “Tucking” is good.   Having had oceans of room in the forest and the beaches, we’re now in a blinking apartment!  A place called GugglyModrin or something. Nice accommodation – we allowed Karen and David to share – beaches nearby – and guess what – bars!!!  Yesterday, Karen and Katherine were drinking “Mojohatoez”….   David and Karen don’t need to be trained – they are not K9 sponsored yet – but David mentions “Wilma” regularly…..  I think D is a big cuddly bear!  Karen agrees.

Time for siesta – yakkyda and calispera for now. 

Corrie and Oscar.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1478-1527: Passing Time – Prison in Paradise

Friday 20th March – 8th May 2020

We are still safe and in a good place.  And we really do know that we have been having a better time here than in the UK.

No food shortages.  Freedom to roam the adjacent woods.  Better weather.  Company to share meals, coffee, games, exercise.  And we have a place to park our motorhome, which would be difficult in the UK.  However, we DO want to leave Turkey as soon as the borders open so that we don’t get stuck here!!!  The Turkish Government has a reciprocal agreement with most countries that visas will be automatically extended whilst borders are closed.

The Camp Community

We were joined by Karen and David of thegreygappers.com … we first met in Spain at a wine tasting (funny that), in Greece this trip.  We had planned to come to Turkey this trip, but it was David that suggested travelling a bit further east to Azerbaijan … so we can blame him!!  Anetta (USA) and Geo (French) complete our new family of 6.   Danny and Lisa whom we met near Ephesus have rented an apartment nearby and join us regularly for BBQs or the odd coffee.  

There are another 6 vans with travellers from mostly Germany, one Austrian and one Belgian.  We are effectively in 3 different areas … us the Luxury Camp, of course.  The Hippie Camp and the Kindergarten as two vans have kids.  Additionally there are the residents here … about 14 of them.  They seems to come for a visit and stay.  For some work, they receive a roof, food and a little money.  Some work in the extensive grounds as there is quite a small holding.  David has been helping with pomegranate pruning and tree trunk painting, hay making etc.  

So far we are all getting on well, although there is always one!  The campsite has given us use of a chest freezer and large fridge … which almost started FridgeGate as one resident labelled a whole shelf for her use!!  

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A slight concern is that I created this and it runs till August!  We are nearly into week 8!!!

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Where we are.

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I always check the mountain first thing  higher than anything in the UK.

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Lots of animals here  campsite cats, dogs, chicken (who roost in the trees), horses  plus a snake, tortoises, crabs and weve been warned about the scorpions!

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Daily Activities

0830 hours is time to group for alternate days running and an exercise class.  We are feeling the benefit of this regular exercise.  David is about to loose his shorts as they are too baggy.  Anetta has been able to lead us on varied Yoga routines, whilst I only know the one Pilates set of exercises … need to re-visit YouTube, but never seem to have enough time!  What with bits of house work, laundry … using the twin tub, walking CO2, cooking etc … the time is just oozing away.

Over 65’s have not been allowed out for some weeks. James has therefore been confined to the campsite and the nearby woods for walking and running.  For the last 4 weekends there has been a total curfew so we are then limited to the campsite boundary.

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James had a hair cut.  Then Danny and David both put themselves at my mercy.  I did warn them, I could only do one style and had to use the dog shears as the hair ones were bust.

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The kiddie UV tent is up for CO2 … Oscar has been shorn since.

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Fell off my bike!!!

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Sorted my spices …have also spring cleaned every corner of the van … need to do outside now the pollen has stopped.

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Gardening … we’ve all herb planters and I have some flowers too …

Supplies and Shopping

There was a market in the local town on Saturday, but weekend curfews mean it has moved to a Tuesday.  There is also a much bigger market 9km up the road in Kemer. Most of the produce was pre-bagged to save people handling it, which does mean we either share bags of have a glut.   Shelves are fully stocked, no shortages here.  Other than face masks, some gloves and a cordon in the pharmacy, everything seems normal.  We do not know how busy it would have been had Covid not been around.  There are some things we have not been able to get … ground almonds, flaked almonds, decent cheese … so we can organise reciprocal food parcels???

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Masks have to be worn in all public places, temperature taken at the market and some shops.  

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Market day is always fish BBQ night.  The tuna was amazing.  We don’t usually know what we are eating.

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I’ve driven into Kemer for the market 3 times taking a few other folk with me.  Our combined shopping covers the floor and up either side of the bed!

Games

We have started doing an activity most days … so far cards, paper airplane throwing … despite my google and FaceBook research I did NOT win!  

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Paper Aeroplane throwing:  despite my googling and requesting FB help, I did not win.

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Geo wins most games, but is rubbish at putting to the rock.  1 point for a hit.  Then 3 2 1 for the nearest.

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There is also a handicap system for whom ever wins.  David felt using only his left hand was too severe a penalty.

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Hippie Camp Pizza Party.

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Easter egg hunt.  This girls won.  Turmeric and red cabbage were used for the dyes.

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The Belgian couple organised a table tennis tournament … J and Geo took part.  Fun rules, so fun to watch.

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The kids particularly like Corrie.

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Hit and run.

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Karen brought out the special napkins and made a special stone.

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I made the bunting from our friend Brian’s bed duvet cut offs!

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D and K started the birthday event with pin fizz.  Cheers.

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Lisa giving me a Victory Roll or 3 for VE Day.

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Cucumber sarnie anyone?

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Karen won the Eurowiddle competition with her Montenegro entry – the only submission to actually have been in the Eurovison Song Contest.  She bought and shared a bottle of white with her winnings 🙂

Food

Along with everyone else in lockdown, food has become even more of an obsession.  Anetta is an amazing cook, so we’ve upped our game contributing some more unusual dishes.  Weight is NOT going the right way, despite the exercise.

I’ve discovered the Remoska electric oven is not bad at baking.  So far, strawberry shortcake, spiced apple cake, banana cake, lemon drizzle, orange and polenta cake, various crumbles, birthday cake and a Victoria sponge for VE Day … amongst others!

 

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The last of the bacon … yummy!  D&K had planned to eat it in Azerbaijan. 

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Geo deboning our Easter leg of lamb  with an every hopeful Mucky dog from the campsite.

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 A small sample of some salads to go with a BBQ.

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 6 of us bought the large BBQ … only £7 per van!  It looks like a coffin, so we might cremate Oscar if he keeps barking.

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Anetta’s homemade focaccia … yum

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Foreign bodies in the liver packet … we reckoned they were penis … we did sample one but it was tasteless and spongey in texture.  However, having binge watched masterchef, I now know they are chicken hearts!

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VE Day Victoria Sponge.

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VE Day Asparagus and cheese quiche … phyllo pastry as not about to start making my own!

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Chocolate filled marshmallows to die for! 

Nature Camera Walk with Anetta and Karen

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