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.
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!
Lisa’s evening birthday meal started with some excellent English fizz, followed by a Turkish poor relation … we’ll stick to the non sparkling Turkish whites! We had a curry theme starter, main and then a huge vanilla birthday cake, complete with candles!
The dog bed airing tree.
We set off on one of the two Sunday’s 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.
Not the best way to secure a diesel pipe!
It as been a little warm … so much so that we instigated ice cream sundae afternoons …
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!
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.
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.
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.
The labyrinth on campsite beach that I walked most evenings: review the day walking in and set targets for the next day. Very therapeutic.
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.
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.
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. He’d been found in a plastic bag in a skip.
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!?
This baby orphaned hedgehog was being fostered by Anna from the Hippy Camp. It has just been fed by syringe.
Oscar like to pick up sticks on walks. But often finds bones … we ended up with quite a collection on the bonnet.
Farewell BBQ night as people started to test the waters by either leaving, or trying a few nights away wilding.
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.
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.
Main road to the port.
Leaving preparations … left my ‘garden’ by the toilet block, with …
… 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!
A couple of pix of my last morning’s walk before setting off.
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.
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).
Kas harbourside parking.
Our first Hadrian’s Temple for a while!
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.
Kalkan view from where we parked.
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.
Evening view from our lakeside parking.
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.
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!
1554: Stratonicea and Gulluk
Thursday 4th June
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.
It is interesting as the change of use continued into recent history … ruins now …
And gradually being restored …
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 …
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.