We are now technically illegal here in Turkey our Visa expired last week and still await news that the border is again open. The latest we have is that Turkey has open the borders for people to drive in but as yet the Greeks are waiting until the 15th to formally announce what they are going to do. We are ever hopeful and are leaving this coming Tuesday to head for the Greek border 700km away! A lot depends on the Greek government but if they decide to open, we will arrive there next Friday. Fingers crossed.
We have been renting a flat in Gulluk near Bodrum, sharing with our fellow motorhome travellers James and Katherine. We have been able to meet up with friends of mine who live here and visit nearby sites. Essentially a two-week holiday in the sun of old. Turkey has virtually lifted all restrictions; social distancing is 1 metre and you must ware a mask when you are out and about. Pubs and night clubs are still closed, but restaurants can serve alcohol and it seems to make little difference.
But we wanted to ensure that we as safe as possible and keep to ourselves as the big cities in Turkey are now open and the cars have arrived from Istanbul and Ankara in droves. But took the time to visit nearby sites and treat ourselves to a little holiday cheer.
We settled ourselves into the apartment and discovered a few bars. A great ice cream parlour, the cheapest place to buy wine! It is very hot, so my running was getting earlier and earlier. Then I succumbed to ‘shin splints’ so my shins ache like hell seeing it is from running in the wrong shoes and hard ground. So have to refrain for a while. Pity as have done quite well on the weight front having lost over 8 KG since lockdown and am hoping to get that to 10!
The after we arrived Danny and Lisa friends from Sundance dropped by it was great to see them once more and we had a lovely evening together before they continued their journey back to the UK.
There is a shared pool in the complex, Karen and Katherine had a dip and had a welcoming committee … wanted to know where they were from and where did we quarantine. All this in German, but the chap brought along a granddaughter with school English in case neither of them 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.
We then got into tourist mode and hired a car and went to explore the area.
We took a run out to Lake Bafa wild imposing country walking the dogs and eating out again well worth it, though it was hot, and the dogs found jumping in any water source fun. Lots of ancient ruins to look at and the girls had fish for lunch.
Next day to Labranda which 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 an ancient site due to the spring water and the cleft in the rock said to have been caused by the war like Zeus’ axe.
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.
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. But really a disappointment and we headed home.
Next up Bodrum, which is lovely town and the castle had reopened on the day we arrived, the one advantage of the situation is it was noticeably quiet.
To avoid the heat, for us, but more so for the dogs, we set off at 7am! Gulp!!!! Having parked, we walked along the marina which is in the process of been refurbished and found somewhere for breakfast … mine a bacon sandwich. It is amazing how much you miss pork!
We had the castle to ourselves. It is being restored and is worth the visit. The people were somewhat amazed to see the first tourists from the UK, when we explained we had been locked down in Turkey were concerned that we were looked after.
We shopped and had lunch and wandered around the town, the freedom is liberating you must socially distance and wear face masks but no hardship.
We had two more days out, but the highlight were the seaside villages od Golturkbuku and Gumusluk, Lonely Planet says that these are so posh you should wear diamond encrusted shoes to go on the beach. This is where the Turkish high end goes to swim and it showed. Very exclusive indeed but needs must, and we treated ourselves to a lovely lunch and the girls really did well with their choice!
My friend Phil lives in the town and it was great to meet up and spend time together, he seems to think he is taller than me, but you can be the judge. Sabri a truly local icon tried to persuade us that we needed a kitten for the van but though Karen was tempted, we decided against.
Now I must show you the damage I did to poor Buster that I owned up to last week, as we have had a number of requests so here you go. Again very sorry ‘Elddis’.
There is no recipe this week as we have eaten out so much and I don’t have one for you at the moment!
So if it is light at the end of the tunnel next weeks blog will be coming from Greece, if an oncoming train we will be somewhere in Turkey. So keep well and TTFN.