We are now in our eighth week here at Sundance Camp and as Turkey is starting to lift some of the Coronavirus restrictions.
Local people are now starting to come and stay on the site, and as the restrictions continue to lift the site will fill up. The proposed date for lifting all restrictions is the 1st of June, our hopes were that we would be able make our way to the border and cross into Greece and stay there for the summer. We had thought as EU citizens we would be allowed enter, but getting the information has proved very difficult, we have to thank the Irish Embassy in Greece for getting in touch, unfortunately only making it clear that we are not allowed to cross the border, and Turkey will be one of the last borders they will open up to! So, our hopes have been dashed.
We know that most of our readers are in the UK and Ireland and our lockdown location is idyllic compared to what most of you are experiencing and we appreciate that this is in many ways true. That said we are not in an EU country and our visa expires on the 6th of June, the Turkish government can make any rules they might like, to tax or charge us for continuing to stay. Our health insurance should keep covering us but that could also change. So being in an EU country would be better for us going forward. We hope the Greek government will allow us to cross and isolate there, we would then look to take out Greek residency, and stay there for the while. We will wait and see what the future brings on that front.
Many of you have sent emails asking why we do not just return home to the UK. Buster our trusty Elddis Motorhome is our home so we would need to drive him home. If we are not allowed drive into Greece the only other option is to enter Bulgaria, we would then have to cross a minimum of 7 countries to get back to the UK. When we get there, we would have to find somewhere to park Buster and live where we park, as our home is rented out.(thank you for all the offers we have had for putting us up) Some of these countries are very unsafe at the moment and have very tough restrictions in place making this option far from ideal. Getting any information is hard and that is our main issue. All the advice from governments is based on flying back but they do not give options for driving so we wait and see.
On a final note with the lockdown easing the campsite will start to fill with people from all over Turkey taking a well-earned respite from their lockdown, and we will have to leave and find other places to stay here in Turkey as well, being careful to avoid as much interaction as we can and get into a proper social distancing regime. While we have been here, we have been lucky enough to have a new extended family, so while here, we have been able to have a normal interaction with the other people on the site. Sharing 3 toilets and 3 showers means that social distancing has been more or less impossible on the site. Thankfully, no one here has had the virus or any symptoms, now this will change for us all as the site opens and we disperse, and we hope that none of our new family will come to harm.
Enough doom and gloom! What have we been up to during our 8th week here at Sundance. Our weeks are routine. We shop either at the market at Kemer on the Monday but now our local town’s market has moved to Tuesday due to the we prefer to keep our money local. On market day we have fish barbecue, as the fish is fresh. This is fun and we have had some fantastic tuna and local sardines, sea bass and bream being popular choices. We barbecue together twice a week
and in our smaller group of six, and one of us cooks our Sunday lunch, this week it is Annetta and Joe’s turn and below are some pictures of this week’s feast. Well Joe provided the meal, the starter steamed leeks and Dijon mustard vinaigrette heavenly. For main course, a dish from his home in the Jura, the recipe is as follows easy but was a tour de force. Here is the recipe, this is my interpretation so any errors are mine.
Jura Poulet au Vin serves 8
10 chicken thighs, though Joe likes to use a whole spatchcocked chicken.
20 cl Vin Jaune from Jura or a young white wine
40 cl double cream or creme fraiche
Two large onions sliced
150 gm butter
Flour for roux
500gm Mushrooms cooked separately.
First brown the chicken with butter and put aside.
Using the residual fat, cook the onions until browned then add 1/2 the wine to onions and reduce until creamy and keep separately. Make a roux with the flour with remaining butter. Then add the cream and stir gently to make a bechamel sauce. When thickened add back the onions and the chicken and the rest of the wine and gently simmer until unctuous.
While the chicken is simmering, cook the quartered mushrooms in some of the butter you have reserved until well cooked. Turn them as they are cooking so they are ever so slightly crispy all over.
Serve with rice and place the mushrooms on top! This was a fantastic meal
We sit together each morning for breakfast and discuss our latest escape plans! The fun part of this is they change constantly; with each bit of news or information we get. Katherine our team leader has kept us busy with lots of activities such as Boules, Putting difficult with chickens running across the very rough greens, there are the morning exercise classes including Yoga, Pilates, general core strength classes, these are run by the various stranded people. Plus, as you all know some of us run every two days which is fun. Some of us have worked on the site farm, this is very tough work for those of you that are going to volunteer to pick fruit this summer be careful it is tough! But this weeks excitement was the Eurovision song contest! we drew two countries each and then picked any song from them. Karen was the winner of the 60 Lira prize she beat such opposition as Nana Mouskouri for Greece and Amy Winehouse for the UK to win with her massive Montenegro song from the 2015 competition that came 13th to gain a big victory in ours.
Plus, this week we had a small VE day celebration for the UK, Irish, French and US contingent. It was so much fun listening to the music of the era. Sandwiches including cucumber, curried chicken and roast beef, scones, and Victoria sponge. All in all, very good fun, again, for those of you concerned with the social distancing ‘we are family’!
We also play cards and rummy is the most popular and there must be skill as Joe keeps winning. This week with the lockdown easing we will finally be able to use our bikes to go for a ride other than shopping. We will be able to report on some new sights next week hopefully as the photos have all been of around the site for the past 8 weeks! Karen and I have had our taste of Coronavirus stardom this week featuring in this week’s Alan Dein ‘Don’t Log Off’ program. We had two ½ hour interviews with him, one three weeks ago and one last week, this made two 3-minute segments of this episode. Listening to the other people interviewed certainly does put our situation in perspective.
We will miss the new family we have been part of when they leave, and we hope they will be safe and well.
So until next week adieu keep well and keep safe.