It’s Sunday morning (15th) and we’re sat in Muzzy’s Place having a cay (tea) with the sun trying to break through over the Greek deserted village Levissi, which provides the main tourist attraction for the small Turkish town sitting just below it-Kayakoy.
We are parked in Muzzy’s car park of his small hotel and restaurant complex which looks right up to the ruins, so we have a super view and the parking has cost us ..….well we don’t actually know.
We arrived in the village aiming for a campsite here for twofold reasons, to see the ruins and also do some much needed laundry, However, after negotiating the small farming sized roads to the camp site, we discerned it to be firmly shut, as were all other parking options for big Buster. Laybys, were all packed with cars to see the ruins and there really wasn’t any option for us to park up. We took a chance and squeezed into a small hole on a dump ground, whilst we took a walk around the town to see if there might be any realistic options for us to park and stay the night, before heading off for our big golf week in Anatlya. We walked past Muzzy, sat outside his bar a few times and in the usual Turkish way, he was friendly, shouting Hello to us, did we want a break from the sun and have a cold refreshment, perhaps some food. The usual cries you get from those wanting and needing your custom in a competitive market. As despair and the slightly sore heads we both had (another story!) worsened we gave in and succumbed to Muzzy’s ample charms. “What would we like, orange juice, a beer- I have everything” Of course you do we both thought, but sat down to have a refreshing lager shandy, again Muzzy’s excellent idea. Then came the usual array of questions- “where are you from, what are you doing, where are you staying etc” As ever, we were meet with the usual response to from London being, I lived there. Of course you did we thought, expecting Luton as the reply as to the where. But no, Muzzy replied Clapham Common, I worked on Horse Ferry Road. Uhm we thought there might be some truth in this, as we could hear a faint London accent in his English. I worked for Fullers, the brewery for 6 years and loved it, he freely added. Where are you staying, he continued, to which we explained our predicament, and Yes, he had seen us pass (more than once) in the van. “you can park here, in my car park for the night, free” he quickly announced. Then added you don’t have to eat in the restaurant or drink here, it’s fine just park up and I’ll even let you have a shower in one of my rooms he added for further attraction. So, like a fly in a spiders web we were caught. More beers came before we visited the ruins and more chat was had, mainly like everywhere at the moment about the virus, with an excellent conspiracy theory from Muzzy. No money changed hands and nor were there any prices on anything for the drinks or food. We, of course ate in his restaurant and the food, which was beautifully cooked meat with hand made chips, rice and salad was brilliant.
More wine and beers were had and still no price for anything given. We tried to pay at the end of the evening but dear Muzzy said No, wait until tomorrow- see me then. So, at this moment we are waiting both of us rather cynically for the bill of a fortune, or will Muzzy be good to his word and the bill will be reasonable as we have paid in the rest of Turkey. Read on and we’ll let you know, we might need crowd funding on this one!.
As we sat waiting for our bill, we also just had word that our golf friends due to arrive today and join us for a week of golf, relaxation at a luxury resort had at the gates of Easyjet Gatwick been refused the flight, only Turkish people were allowed to board!! Where is it going to end, everywhere but anywhere are is closing their borders.
The rest of the week has also been spent seeing friends, new and old that have relocated to Turkey and it’s been delightful, seeing and participating in their love for Turkey.
We eventually after much toing and throwing checked out of our port hotel. They were sad to see us go and waved us off with tears in their eyes, bless them. We hope not to return as the second night was far noisier than the first as two further ferries pulled in (or whatever the terminology is) and then many juggernauts were loaded and unloaded all night with deafening noise.
We then headed to the lovely seaside fishing village of Gullek, with the drive taking some four hours and the weather worsening to torrential rain as we got closer to where David’s old boss and work colleague Phil and his wife Sandy live, but unfortunately we still managed to arrive in time for his monthly quiz. The next day we headed off on Phil’s near luxury yacht across the water to another little fishing port called Iasos where we were treated to a simply delighful lunch of caught that morning fish served with bread and salad. The sun was not blazing but it was showing itself just enough to make a nearly prefect scene. We headed back home to the 50’s sound of Shake Baby Shake ringing across the bay, as this was the only music that fellow boat owner and friend Sabri had,
The delights of Bodrum were explored the next day and we were glad we were visiting it out of season as you could just imagine the hoard of tourists sweltering in the narrow streets and bars, with no new purchase of an unneeded leather jacket in hand and headed towards Marmaris where we were to hook up with two more Turkish based friends, or rather friends of friends.
The scenery had changed dramatically as we slowly made our way further east along the coast and down a stunning but excessively winding road into the bay of Marmaris.
We parked along the Azmak river watching the ducks and geese and locals paddle and take selfies, not the ducks of course. We took a chance staying parked by the river as it was in fact a clearway, but most of the night was also spend with the younger Turkish community parking up and playing their music loudly from their cars.
. The next day we met up with the lovely Val and Harry, who spared us their time to take and show us the delights of Marmaris. This again like Bodrum is completely different in summer, but on this day we just wandered along the prom, had a few beers and then lunch before heading back to theirs to see and settle the dogs and marvel at just had much and what you can get for a fraction of your UK money in Turkey.
We then spent the evening in their local, a truly lovely Turkish bar that would give any Weatherspoon’s a run for it’s money. Generations of the family were involved in its organisation and it was lovely you see them share their family dinner next to us.
A big thanks to both sets of friends and their friends who have made these last few days and our intro to Turkey so special, after leaving that Saturday we were firmly on our own, but then of course we met Muzzy, who also decided to look after us and take us in and he did.
Muzzy when he turned up was good to his word and the bill was more than respectably affordable and with the cay free to boot. So you can take the cynic out of London, but it takes a long time to for the cynicism to leave a Londoner. Thank you Muzzy for your generosity and kindness of heart.
We now sit alone in a 5 star all inclusive resort in Turkey, with Buster securely parked up, but without our friends for a week, now knowing that the countries of the next stage of our journey have also just closed their borders to anyone travelling from Turkey. Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia we will not get to see you this trip!
Where do we go, what do we do next ???
Top Tips of the week
Simple Soap is the best stain remover – strange as it is supposed to be for sensitive skin.
Stop watching the news.