Our ninth week at Sundance has brought something new, heat lots and lots of heat, seemingly the hottest May days in 75 years. As I write in the shade of the bar area drinking ‘Cay’ odd that a hot drink can cool you down, it is 38 degrees in the shade. The van is like oven and to top it off though site is on the sea and we have a river flowing through it. We are not allowed into the water, we can go to shopping malls, drive around and get a haircut. You can’t go into the sea and the police are on hand to enforce this regulation.
One poor sod having to sit on his own, all day on the beach to fine anyone who dares to break the rule. We went over to see him and offered some water as in the sun it was over 40! But he was observing the Ramadan fast and thus was unable to take up the offer. He sat there from 9.30 am to 6.00 pm in the scorching sun and each person went to the beach was turned away. On our side a private beach we tried jumping in and the whistle blew, and we ordered to leave the water or face a 500 Lira fine. OMG!
But with the Turkish lockdown now easing, some of our campsite family are leaving and before the camp fills up with local holidaymakers and we had a farewell party, the need for social distancing has been moot for us all, while we were here, sharing the facilities. So, a barbecue was organised, our multi-cultural mix that includes British, Irish, Germans, Austrians, Belgians and of course Turks got together to celebrate our very own lockdown in Turkey. A fun night was had by all, and slowly people are now moving on to tour more of Turkey as it opens.
Our contribution was a loaf of Irish Soda Bread and rosemary roast potatoes the advantage of Buster having a fully equipped kitchen with a good oven. Our special gift to you this week is my recipe for Irish Soda Bread
Irish Soda Bread
200 Grams plain wholemeal flour
40 grams wheatgerm
40 grams pinhead oatmeal
220 grams plain white flour
2 teaspoons of unrefined caster sugar
1 heaped teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon of salt
420 – 450 ml od buttermilk
Extra flour for dusting.
- Preheat your oven to 200C fan 220C ordinary
- In a bowl mix all the dry ingredients together. Note you can remove the wheatgerm and oatmeal if you wish and just mix the flours 50/50. I prefer the flavour added by the oatmeal and wheatgerm. If you want a white loaf just use white flour. It works as well as I found out because I ended up buying just white flour, but the loaf was fine.
- Add the buttermilk, (if you can’t get buttermilk sour some full fat milk with a lemon. Not perfect but will work). Them mix until you have a sticky dough.
- Flour a worksurface and tip dough on to it.
- Gently with your hands roll and fold the dough a couple of times to full mix all the ingredients together. Do NOT knead it.
- Shape the dough into a ball then flatten it a little with your hand. The with a sharp wet knife score the dough with a deep cross dividing into quarters this allows it to rise easily and cook better in the middle. Dust with flour, if I have them I like to put some caraway seeds on top.
- Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake for 30 – 40 minutes. The lofe should be golden brown and if you tap the base slightly hollow when cooked.
- Leave to cool on a wire rack, when still warm take a slice cover in butter and enjoy. Best to eat within 24 hours.
We have decided that we will wait for the border to Greece to open and leave Turkey as soon as we can. But now our family disperses, and the lockdown of 2020 hopefully become a positive memory of this crazy virus with lifelong friendships made.
This week also allowed us to take ‘Buster’ out on the road to go shopping his first trip in 8 weeks and not a problem. We also took the opportunity to refill his gas and diesel tanks as at these prices it was too good to miss. We have over the weeks shopped in the market in Kemer the selection of fruit and veg is fantastic.
It is a sort of family day as we usually go together and ferry back a weeks’ worth of shopping for all. We finally got the bikes out and gave them their first real outing. The next town down really showed just what sort of affect the lockdown is having on the local tourist industry, all the hotels and shops closed no one around deserted streets. The desperate hairdressers trying to entice in custom from us, though I still have little hair since the dog clipper incident with Katherine.
The local wildlife again brings joy and interest with sightings of Kingfishers and Woodpeckers common. The fruit trees nave moved from blossom to the production of fruit the first available have been the Mulberry’s white and black, something we had never seen let alone tasted before and worth the wait. Hopefully, we will have been able to move on before the Orange, Lemon and Pomegranates are ready in late September! Florian and Anna found a lost baby hedgehog and are looking after it so cute but it’s survival is still touch and go as it’s mother was taken by another creature, we think a snake.
On Sunday we took the opportunity to have a drive out and see a bit more of the local area, as James is not allowed out as in Turkey no one over the age of 65 is allowed leave their home along with anyone born after 1st Jan 2000. Unless they are in work. But now once a week for three hours at set times they can. We went a little further afield in Katherines van. But before we could get 100 yards diesel started spewing out from the engine compartment. Motorhomer’s have to be a resourceful bunch, and the team Sundance swung into action, the problem was caused by a badly installed fuel isolation switch done back in the UK last year. Why any company would use insulation tape to attach a fuel pipe is beyond me, anyway Danny happened to have some of the correct fuel pipe and we were able to remove the jerry rigged install and redo it all in half an hour.
A big thank you to the local Sundance staff and guests and of course Danny.
Soon we were all ship shape and Bristol fashion we were able to set off for our first new journey in Turkey for 9 weeks! We visited the picturesque village of Carali with it’s famous turtle beach, yet again we were not allowed onto the beach as the police had closed it off. We had a little wander around, and Katherine was able to buy a dress and I a mug. Not much, but something to help put something back into the local economy,
I do fear for the situation here there is slight desperation in the air. Tourism represents over half the economy. After all the excitement we were by then very hungry, and after a little struggle we found a restaurant that did take away! So some Kofte meatballs, Pide (Turkish Pizza), Chips and a salad we sat in their van and enjoyed our first meal out in months, such a treat for us.
It is the little things in life that are now so special, friends, family by ‘Zoom’ and ‘WhatsApp’, eating together and sharing. Though we hope our and your lockdowns end soon, in the ‘New Normal’ we hope that we might just have become a little more generous, kind and thoughtful to others as well as ourselves. Hope you are all well if you have any questions please drop us a line we would love to hear from you.
Take care until next week.
Motorhome Tips for the week.
If you decide to bake bread and roast potatoes in the van remember that if it is 35 degrees outside it will be 50 degrees inside when you finish!
Drinking hot tea on a hot day cools you down! I don’t understand either!