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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