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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1475 -1477: Time to Sit Tight

1475:  A Flit

Tuesday 17th March 

We woke planning to pay our dues and wander around Pirene and then over to Pamukkale, but you know what happens to plans!  Danny and Lisa in their Landy with a tent on top, had decided that if Turkey were to follow other countries with travel restrictions and self isolation, they wanted to be already settled.  They had rented an apartment just S of Antalya.  David and Karen, thegreygappers.co.uk, were already installed in a hotel nearby as friends were supposed to have joined them for a golfing week.  Given the chaos of borders closing, travel restrictions and the number of borders we would have to cross to get home … we had already decided to stay put in Turkey.  If we are going to be in lockdown, we would rather be in the van than staring at brick walls and we would rather be in warmer climes … Spanish and Portuguese campsites were not allowing new guests, and some (Spain) were evicting travellers, so we decided to flit to a campsite near Antalya.

So the morning was not what was planned.   We offered some money to the staff at Pirene for the use of the water but this was refused. But didn’t get to visit the site, time was marching on.  Nice chat … a lot of Turks have a relative living in the UK.  I rang several campsites near Kemer, but none were answering or open.  Found one just S of Kemer.  A long driving day – 8 hours across plains and with some roadside snow.  The scenery in Turkey is BIG, especially after the immediacy of Crete.  We tried a campsite just north of Kemer, he was willing to take us, but the entrance was far too tight for Jez.  My German came in useful again … a chap at the ticket office to an empty beach car park was able to tell me of another campsite further south than the one I’d identified on the phone … a good back up.

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We ventured onto a motorway for about 50Km, saving about 40 mins.  Pleased wed paid for the ANPR account.  Roads on this main route were good.

We stopped driving at about 7.00 p.m. … Turkey is big!  The campsite we are on is quirky and slightly on the hippie side.  The owners (not sure who) and the staff were all at supper … a buffet.  They kept it open for us and we were delighted not to have to cook.  Quite a few residents have good English.  One lady studied in Bristol Uni … she started with Marine Biology, but after a year switched to the Circus School.  We stayed overnight in the entrance car park…


1476:  Setting Up to Sit Pretty

 Wednesday 18th March 

A new fitness regime is in place.  So after a run, I went in search of Enis, in charge of bookings.  Not to be found, not up yet possibly, as here is very laid back.  After our breaky, he was up and about.  Good English too.  He offered us the reduced rate of TL50, normally TL80, for a long stay.  This is all of £6.30 per night, without electricity, so we’re happy.  Buffet dinners get written onto a pad … and then when we leave they add it all up.  I said we would pay every 2 weeks … don’t like owing money, especially as we could be here quite a while!  Sorry Mum, I know I occasionally forget to pay you!  

We are installed in our own garden.  Views of snow topped hills.  1 minute walk to the bay.  Toilet block within metres.  Just a few of the resident 6 dogs and free range chickens visit us.  CO2 are therefore chained, but this is not a problem as there are places to walk.

We took the bikes into nearby Tekirova.  It looks as if it has not opened for the season … we could not even find a coffee shop.  We did manage to find a few small supermarkets … I bought 5 ice cream cornets … cornetto style … all of £1.90,  as 3 lads were making a fuss of CO2.  They initially politely refused, but on being pressed, accepted with a schooled Thank You.  They were feeding ice cream to a tiny puppy … don’t know if it actually belonged to one of them, but much better than tying firecrackers to its tail!

A few food purchases made and back home for slow cooked cuttlefish in red wine.  

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Our pitch.  Just missing the chicken and dogs.

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View of the estuary and just by us.

1477:  Zero Spend Day

Thursday 19th March 

Pilates morning after a lie in!  One of the resident dogs attempted to join in!  J’s second experience ever and a loooong time since the last, so he had to recourse for an early nanny nap.  I got busy, grooming CO2, making Greek Big Beans stew, marinating chicken, filling Jez with water, laundry onto soak, sausage training CO2 and cleaning our shower block … another camper may have used it last night!  cant have that!!!  Woke J and led him on a walk over to an ancient site.  As we approached, a man came out of the woods and ordered us back … it was closed.  And, other than the campsite fee, we’ve not spent any money.  Unusual for us!

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BBQ … in love with this new battery fired gadget, courtesy of Karl and June in Crete … the batteries create an air flow through the coals so it is ready to cook in about 10 mins. Hardly uses any coals and super easy to clean.  The air flow means you can control the heat too.  Recommended.

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Comfortable Oscar?  Sunbathing!

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 Local resident.


1473-1474: Ephesus and Loos

1473:  Efes or Ephesus

Sunday 15th March 

Only a 5 minute drive to the parking.  We could have cycled, but didn’t fancy leaving Jez unattended on the beach … we are still feeling our way with regards security in Turkey.  And the garage is pretty jam packed, so it would have been a lot of unpacking to retrieve the bikes.  At Ephesus we paid our car rate parking fee of £1.90.  Conscious that I’m quoting the prices, but still in a delighted state about how cheap (inexpensive is a better word) most things are.  Sultan the shuttle bus supervisor popped over with chat and a map.  He sold us the idea of the ‘free’ bus (car, actually as insufficient tourists) to take us to the top of the ancient site.  What we failed to comprehend was that a) there is nothing free about it … a £3.80 tip exchanged hands and b) the taxi took us on a selling detour to a carpet and jewellery shop!  To be fair, the staff stopped the hard sell when we said we lived in a camping car and had no room nor money.  Interesting to see modern and traditional designs.  And the shop had very clean loos!!!

I had visited Ephesus about 3 years ago with ex Mark, Stuart – his then 17 year old brother, Gill and Bron.  On our return, Mark was in trouble for ‘letting’ Stuart stay behind to learn how to become a croupier!  To save money on our tour from Istanbul to the south coast and back up, we bussed and stayed in cheap hostels.  As there were 5 of us, we were sought after and locals bartered themselves to get our bus and accommodation business.  I do remember it was an amazingly cheap trip.  I don’t remember much of the trip detail, but I did recognise the iconic gate at Ephesus.

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No purchase made … I did ask how long they take to hand knot … at least 5 months.  I did NOT ask how much … if you have to ask, you can’t afford it!!!

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Sunny, so the hat made it out of the closet since last year.  After more than 150 years of excavation, they reckon 80% of the city is still to be unearthed, but it was still a 3km walk from the upper to lower gate.  It was significant for being the capitol of Roman Asia Minor, with over 250,000 core inhabitants … traders, sailors and pilgrims increased the population.

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The Odean, used for municipal debates. 

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 The Great Theatre AD41-117, under restoration.  It is thought that St Paul preached here.  Wonder if he had a full house of 25,000.

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Curetes Way, the grandest street, once lined with shops and statues.

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Marble Street and there was a long wide road out to what was the harbour … all giving the sense of sheer size of the place.

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Lots of temples along the route.

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Library of Celsus AD2 … the really impressive iconic image.  It was designed to protect 12,000 scrolls from extremes of moisture and temperature.

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Our combined ticket included the Terraced Houses.  Sadly, the impact of it was sadly lost due to the orange dust over it.  These tables ‘apparently’ had pieces of wall marble … some jigsaw.

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A number of impressive wall paintings.  The 7 Terraced Houses are all under a massive roof.  These houses were extremely luxurious.

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We were back at our beach parking overnight and whilst walking CO2, the mystery of flares going off on the beach was solved.  I asked the organiser, who spoke some English.  It was a wedding proposal.  The friends gathered, the groom arrived at the appointed time and pops the question.  We’d seen a few proposals from a distance, but not know what we were looking at.  In this case, she said yes!

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1474:  Ephesus Museum

Monday 16th March 

We really cannot tell if it that the season is too early or if people are not here due to the virus.  The Museum was very quiet; just us and 2 other couples.  It was also pretty small  and we were through quite quickly … wonder if we’ve seen too much of similar artefacts.  We’ve used all the components of our combined ticket.

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Terracotta. AD1

After soup in Jez we drove a couple of hours to Pirene, another ancient site.  We parked up in the car park, arriving at about 5.00 p.m.  The toilet block was still open … I’d a bag full of laundry and having been told launderettes are few and far between … this was too good an opportunity.  The twin tub was deployed.  I sheltered from the wind, placing its waste pipe over the standy up loo and ran the power cable from Jez.  I was getting well into it, when a member of staff came to lock the toilet block.  Bugger .. caught!  But he was a sweetie and walked me up to the ticket office and showed me a tap.  Jez and twin tub were moved.  A washing line was strung up in a gazebo, and given the wind, the first items through were dry by the time I finished.  The wind didn’t abate and I can clearly state that who ever penned Rock a bye baby was an idiot.  I hardly slept.

And finally … here’s link all about Turkey Toilet customs!

http://www.thisisturkey.net/toilet.php