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Author Topic: A-a-a-a-a-a-h Kalkan!  (Read 18134 times)

Offline Chris_S

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A-a-a-a-a-a-h Kalkan!
« on: September 08, 2015, 06:20:28 PM »
Day One - An expected Journey (with apologies to J R R Tolkien)

Now the question to start with, is this going to be Antler-stle, Lizilu or Shirl?  The answer  is probably none of them, principally because watching the dawn with a coffee is an alien concept, and I have no-one downstairs making cafetières for me...

Unlike a certain creature who's exploits have filled the cinematic screens for a few Christmases, this journey did not start out with an unannounced visit from a grey-cloaked Wizard!  No, this was planned twelve months ago when we re-booked at the hotel for the following year.  Essential when there's only 30 something rooms.  As there's only the two of us Villas are out of the question, and apartments tend not to be cost-effective at the moment, so the same hotel, same room (generally) and same routine turns into a comfort zone like an old cardigan.

The anticipation of counting down the days (courtesy of apps - only 343 days to go, 342, 341....) and getting everything in place prior to setting out is more than likely the same everywhere - we just make it more complicated by splitting everything between two cases (no His and Hers), in case one ends up in Reykjavik.

Anyway, this totally expected journey meant, like the aforementioned creatures with hairy feet, that we leave Middle Shires and face the Dark Riders, sorry, Battenberg decorated vehicles searching for miscreants on the M25 to Gatwick (Remember when it was Airwick Gatport?), fortunately, though it was Monday Morning, the delays on the Western side were annoying but not enough for panic to set in.  (Apologies to those who have no idea of the purgatory that is the M25).

Valet Parking at Gatwick avoided the 'who thought this scheme up?' thoughts that accompany both 'Park and Ride' and 'Meet and Greet' systems, which both consist of 'We've got your car, off you go/there's the bus, (in 20 minutes), and we'll let you have it back when we're ready', by a smooth process , though the two minute walk to the terminal was 5 minutes because they've moved the drop-off to a tent somewhere else.  It was efficient, polite and worth doing again, though.

For once, BA was on time, near enough, the Dalaman flight being notoriously late all year due to the aircraft always being late in from Bari (Italy). suffice to say that although pushback was a meagre 8 minutes late, the engines didn't start for another 25 minutes;  but when they did, the ground traffic meant we didn't stop until the end of the runway.  I suspect this saved about a ton of fuel, so it's probably quite smart! It took us a few minutes to realise the drinks were free - damn these habits the budget airlines get you used to (I mean you, O'Leary!).  Landing at Dalaman was only ten minutes late, which as far as I'm concerned is on time; and queue-jumping  Passport Control (Special Assistance - an advantage), the usual wait while the cases seem to be the last on the carousel.  Then the mayhem that is 'Find your taxi driver', as every man and his dog waves pieces of paper with names on, none of which, are of course, yours.  The same hotel, but not the same people!  Eventually all was resolved as the 'Man from Define Tours' (no relation to the Man from DelMonte) made some calls and found our driver.

One hour twenty-five minutes later, we're at the hotel.  All the usual hugs and welcomes, bags dropped in the room and down to the bar for a quick drink.  Well, would have been if there weren't a dozen or so familiar faces to catch up with, or at least start to catch up  with!  A couple of Efes and a similar number of glasses of red wine, left us suitably invigorated to unpack, get ready for the morrow, and sleep.  And it was still only 1130pm UK time -  and we're in Earth's answer to Paradise, as well.

As Scarlet O'Hara, says, 'Tomorrow's another day'

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Offline keith

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Re: A-a-a-a-a-a-h Kalkan!
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2015, 07:02:15 PM »
Looking forward to reading your blogs Chris. First day back at work today and already missing Kalkan.

Offline janeb

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Re: A-a-a-a-a-a-h Kalkan!
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2015, 07:21:56 PM »
Yay, thank goodness. So pleased that you've taken up the reins Chris. Very much looking forward to your posts. Sounds like a great start to your holiday. Have fun.

Offline Babs

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Re: A-a-a-a-a-a-h Kalkan!
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2015, 09:17:56 PM »
I knew, hoped, there would be someone who would take up the reins.......look forward to hearing about tomorrow Scarlet!  :laugh:

Offline Lizilu20

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Re: A-a-a-a-a-a-h Kalkan!
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2015, 10:42:47 PM »
Well you're a dark horse Chris_S  ;)

Thank you for carrying the baton and enjoy lots of lovely walks down Bougainvilla boulevard. Can't wait to hear all about it.  :)

Offline BarbH

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Re: A-a-a-a-a-a-h Kalkan!
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2015, 11:09:26 PM »
Nice to have someone staying at our favourite place in Kalkan. Hope everyones well there. I know you will be well looked after so have a great time.

BarbH

Offline kalkan4eva

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Re: A-a-a-a-a-a-h Kalkan!
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2015, 04:40:28 PM »
Great first post, Chris_S...hoping you are there for a while yet and there are lots more tomorrows to come.
How lucky are we..?
Better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt :)

Offline Chris_S

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Re: A-a-a-a-a-a-h Kalkan!
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2015, 06:23:56 PM »
Day Two – Familiar Territory

So, up with the lark (do they have larks in Turkey?), or what passes for that time of the day for us.  It’s certainly not dawn or anything close.

Breakfast at the hotel, more greetings, hugs, handshakes and catching up with the perennial regulars, or rarer bi-perennials.  Breakfast thus takes longer than it should, but for all the right reasons, combined with all the headline tit-bits of what’s happened to whom over the past year.

And then the recce.

The early morning descent into the town, via Nilüfer Sokak, aka Bougainvillea Boulevard, to complete the mission for the day.  No Mr Phelps, or self-destructing tape machines here, just that first morning explore to see what’s changed first hand and generally soak up and appreciate what we’ve been looking for all year.

Needless to say we can’t get past Chillies without being stopped by Ewan and his wife, which would be a first!  However we may just get away with it another time, if Ewan is not looking, because Mr Happy is still recovering (as his family) from the serious accident, and what Ewan misses, Mr Happy didn’t!  With promises to return, we move onto the town, stopping only at Lucky for those few essentials that you can’t be bothered to bring and carry 1700 miles onto the Old Town.

Here we have to do the first important thing of the day.  New battery for a watch!  Why is it these inanimate things always seem to know that you’re on holiday and then decide to stop?  Do they sense the changing time zone, the temperature or what, and then give up the ghost?  No doubt Douglas Adams would surmise that, in accordance with Einsteins laws, the speed of travel with BA has obviously stopped time on the journey and the watch is in fact working, you are just several hours younger and time is relative.  A few TL lighter and the cash left in the safe keeping of Yardan, we manage to intermittently get to Göz via the circuitous route of Wella to book the Boss’s hair appointments, with the usual hugs from Yusuf, more from Husseyein outside Samphire before we get to Alternatif to book a table for the evening.

Next stop, Göz, to get the bent spectacle frames (long story) put right, unfortunately Barbaras is doing a sales pitch, so we retire to a local hostelry for a brief pause.

History and tradition dictates that this is normally Sunset (more hugs), where we chill out (or chillax, if we were a politician), because the view is one of the best of the bay.  Well was, someone seems to have been feeding the tree in the front and it’s rather obscuring the view – I wonder if it’s the increased potash from the earlier adjacent fire?  However, a few Efes softens the relative disappointment while we blame nature.

Suitably refreshed, Barbaras sorts out the frames and fixes another problem with mine I didn’t know I had!  How he knew is beyond me, but that’s professionals for you!

And so the climb back, pitons and climbing ropes at the ready, we ascend the easier South face of the Old Town up to Moonlight, and so to Chillies for Lunch and the hotel to recover, and get the UV doing it’s job.

Alternatif’s heaving this evening – who said it was quiet in Kalkan?   Certainly not with someone’s birthday with the addition of the flares and fireworks – EU Health and Safety weren’t anywhere to be seen…

 After a delay presumably by people who don’t know they’ve overstayed their welcome and are destroying the table schedule for the night, we get seated, having consumed a couple of glasses of red beforehand and then to enjoy the Liver starter, Shrimp Casserole and Jack Daniels Steak.  What were they like?  The shrimp Casserole is on the ‘have again’ list, though shrimps fall into the category we Brits call prawns; and the JD steak, was perfect – I NEVER have steaks in the UK as they NEVER cook them as you order them, always tending to the cremated end rather than the ‘just stopped walking’ point I prefer.  This was medium rare, and the creamy sauce was light and enabled you to still walk afterwards!  Turns out, with huge apologies from Mustafa, someone had forgotten our booking and seated someone else! Duh! At least they admitted it.  The late start meant we skipped dessert this time, stuck with the coffee and Strawberry Daiquiris and down to the Pirat for a taxi (the Sherpa having been given the night off) and back to the hotel…

Where the bar was busy, and much recounting of apocryphal stories and more updating on what everyone’s done this year!  At least until 0130am when it seemed desirable to retire – another busy day tomorrow, checking the suns rays, the food and drink and so on.

Tough Job, but someone has to do it….



Offline Haybo

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Re: A-a-a-a-a-a-h Kalkan!
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2015, 06:34:19 PM »
Loving your reports Chrid_s!  Our trips into town were very much like that! Walk Down, taxi home! When Barbaras was busy, we were to be found enjoying Sarkan's iced coffees in cafe del mar!   Keep up the reports x

Offline janeb

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Re: A-a-a-a-a-a-h Kalkan!
« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2015, 08:10:44 PM »
Enjoyed your report Chris. Never tried Alterntif, must put it on the list, although that list keeps growing. We love Bouganvillia Avenue, it's so pretty.

What hotel are you staying in, we've stayed in the Yeni Korsan which was lovely. We're staying in the Oasis soon.

Carry on having fun.   

Offline Babs

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Re: A-a-a-a-a-a-h Kalkan!
« Reply #10 on: September 10, 2015, 06:13:03 PM »
 ;D ;D

Offline Chris_S

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Re: A-a-a-a-a-a-h Kalkan!
« Reply #11 on: September 10, 2015, 06:24:18 PM »
Day 3 – Situation: Almost Normal

The travelling’s out of the way, and recovered from, body clocks adjusted – almost, the recce’s done and the brain’s nearly in 100% Kalkan mode.  Now to get on with the serious business of capitalizing on the year’s highlight, and making the most of being here.

10am and Adda deliver the car – no marathon trips planned, this is more taking advantage of, and going to, those attractions that aren’t walking distance or outside the precincts of Kalkan – this enables us to do it on our terms, timing and most of all, whim!  Halil on reception has decided that the car is pronounced Jook, with an upturn on the ‘oo’ and clipping the whole word.  It must be amusing in Turkish!  Trouble is, in the UK they are having the same pronunciation (why do most seem to be driven by young women in the UK - answers on a postcard…)!

So the Jook sits there, waiting our bidding, with just enough fuel to get us to Kaş and back if we wished, but that’s not on the agenda (at the moment).  I wish car rentals would deliver with a full tank and return on the same basis, then you wouldn’t have to guess how much fuel you might need (gripe over).

Just time for some initial horizontal UV absorption before lunch, with occasional visits to the bar for coffee (trying to be sensible and refrain from anything stronger until Lunch, at least – where’s that yardarm again?), then the first excursion.

Once again tradition rears it’s head (ugly or otherwise) and Jook heads out to Adem’s for lunch.  Being one of those people that’s lived in a few countries that drive on the right, the adaption kicks in after a couple of hundred metres, fortunately without incident, as the Bougainvillea is still there. And Adem’s place is entered after some cautious manoeuvring because of that awful entrance on the bend; it doesn’t take long for him to spot us approaching without killing anything and all the usual welcomes take place, followed by a précis of the past year.

A sensible lunch, looking out across the sea to the islands with a Calamari and Menemen on opposite sides of the table accompanied with white wine for the passenger and a much safer and cautious option for the driver (the downside in one sense, but probably the saviour of the liver in others).  Reflecting on how Adem seems to have weathered some downturns over the years, things seem to be ticking over quite nicely now, and seeing the family grow up and contribute is encouraging.  The new addition, Lily the goat, seems unperturbed by the attention all these strange visitors give her, and as she seems to have become a family pet, may well be unlikely to be a goat stew in later life!

With the requisite notes made in the guest book (we may well have identified Antler in there – but then we’re not Holmesian enough to deduce much apart from guesswork and a clue or two), we return to the hotel to recover and digest enough to enjoy the evening without discomfort.

Which, ultimately, is Sofra.  But before then, the car rental needed paying, so the more agile of us (that’d be me, then) abseiled down from Moonlight to Adda and returned by a solo climb without aids back to the base camp, where the VAT was waiting. Breath restored and chatting to a couple, who coincidentally, had been waiting at Alternatif with us the previous night (3rd year in Kalkan – Novices!), and having done the obligatory wave on the Mavi webcam for the footfall counters we take the short ascent to Sofra.

It’s been off the list for a couple of years, as we had previously been disappointed, but we couldn’t find much wrong this time.  Our table was ready and waiting, on the edge with the breeze and the view, where we agonised over what to eat.

Imam Bayıldı for me, because I find it irresistible, and fascinated how different it can be as you choose it in different places – with only one starter between us means the diet is assisted by some discreet sharing.  Main courses are the Moussaka and Veal Liver.  The first because it was the special (again?), and the second because it wasn’t lambs liver, and not in cubes.  The Moussaka was enjoyed with the meat content and the spices, though it could have done with being a bit moister, but – hey – it’s nothing to get worked up about!  The Liver was in slices and one of those opportunities that take you away from the ‘standard’ menu items that occur everywhere.  Personally, I’m in agreement with Raymond Blanc on liver, it should be in 1cm thick steaks, but this seems a step too far for restaurants!

After a ’which way to the harbour’ discussion we get to the Pirat for a taxi back to the hotel via a well known watch shop, and thence to a few more glasses of wine with the other guests on ranges of topics that would take all night to recount here.

Tomorrow?  Hardly a Dick Barton ending this – maybe we’ll have a cliffhanger in another episode?

Offline Chris_S

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Re: A-a-a-a-a-a-h Kalkan!
« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2015, 06:53:58 PM »
Day 4 – Excursions and unplanned events

Oh, you know how it goes – wake up, look out of the window, peer round the damn palm tree and there’s Mouse and Snake saying ‘here I am’!  Or is that ‘here we are’?  Another bloody day in Paradise!

Suffice to say, it is readily apparent that I’m no Antler.  No dawn rising and cups of coffee, no meal preparations, no family to consider (here anyway), just the big decisions of the day, viz. what do we do and where are we eating tonight?

Basically the mornings are predictable, get up, get ready, have breakfast, lie down to recover.  Coffee, lie down to recover. Decide where lunch is, got to lunch.

Today, that’s made – slightly – more adventurous by the presence of Jook outside.  Waiting for instructions, we board and, noting that, according to the SatNav built in, there are no roads in Kalkan.  There’s a D400 nearby, but, according to the incumbent electronics, you need a 4WD or tank to get there.

Fortunately we have Joanna.  Really this is a TomTom with it’s windscreen mount that seems know more roads than any car manufacturers expensive devices, and more ways to get there!  Fortunately for us, our approximate destination is pre-programmed via LatLong co-ordinates gleaned via Google Maps and we set off for lunch at Değirmen in Islamlar.

As usual Joanna gets us unerringly to our destination (she did this equally well over 2000 miles in Australia too – pretty smart girl!), where we find that they are actually quite busy, with 10 other people there and preparations afoot for another 12 to come (obviously an organised jaunt, for those ex-Tapestry customers).  These dozen turned out to be either German/French or Dutch – difficult to tell – as they tended to change language and revert to accented English as a common fall-back.  What a legacy for Empire!

Then we over-ate on Grilled Cheese, Fried Aubergine, Shepherds salad (Turkish temporarily forgotten – I’ll remember as soon as I’ve posted), and of course bread.  All this before the arrival of the grilled trout, which was possibly the best trout we’ve had.  We just didn’t need the Chips (mental note: skip next time – greedy pigs!).  Washed down with the bottle of water, and Lykia white, we spent half the time looking out across the valley as Mouse and Snake continued their siren calling like a pair of harpies through the haze.  Soon my friends, soon.

Anyway, not a bad lunch for 95TL.  In fact a bloody good lunch, 95TL or not!

Joanna, directed us back safely to the hotel, where the regulatory lie down is required to recover; when our local friends arrive at drag us with arm-locks to the bar and force us to drink for the remainder of the afternoon, while we talk and catch up with all the goings on.
Being English and resident, there’s more gossip that I can mention here – my lips are sealed…!!

The recovery period having not taken place, and due to the previously mentioned appointment with Yusuf (excuse for Large beer at Zula – hic!) we at least get a lift most of the way. To relieve the boredom whilst Yusuf does his magic, I wander down to the harbour and confirm to Osman that we’ll see him on the morrow for the trip on Yildiz 2, and noting that the hill is noticeably steeper than yesterday, and go and have that beer at Zula.  Which, at 6pm is deserted, but after 12 minutes someone notices I’m making the place look untidy and provides fluid refreshment.  No sooner started than shared as Yusuf has done his magic.

Time not wasted at Zula as we have also booked for Samphire tonight, Husseyin makes his studious notes (after the obligatory hugs, etc) and we arrive back a couple of hours later to a grateful balcony edge table – fully appreciative of the breeze that’s present.

Needless to say the Garlic mushrooms starter, and the Swordfish Fishcakes and Ottoman Leg of Lamb were very good, and recommended.  Washed down with a Majestik white (the fishcakes taking priority over the Leg of Lamb), and getting the latest updates on Husseyin’s family and so on.  Dessert was Apricot Pie.  Now, this was a surprise – it looks heavy and stodgy but it is really quite delightful, with the ice cream to enhance it.  Apparently a family recipe handed down (who am I to dispute it?) this is another recommendation that shouldn’t turn the replete customer into Mr. Creosote (it’s lighter than a ‘wafer theen mint’).

Curious event, though.  Overheard some customers arriving shortly after us, known to the Samphire staff, who arrived telling announcing that, as they had booked a specific table somewhere else (probably edge/balcony), and arrived 5 minutes late, they had been told that, as they were late, they had assumed they weren't coming and let the table go. When politely queried they denied they’d ever said such a thing.  Mad, Bonkers even, I may be, but deaf – No!  I respect their choice not to say, but I just wonder where it was….

Back to a much quieter than usual hotel bar (some people have no staying power!) for a nightcap and thence prepare for tomorrow…

ps  The TomTom’s called Joanna, because the voice directions are Ms Lumley.  Guaranteed to make you sit up and pay attention, especially when she says, “No Dahling, turn around when possible”, and “You have arrived at your destination, dahling!”.

Offline Lizilu20

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Re: A-a-a-a-a-a-h Kalkan!
« Reply #13 on: September 11, 2015, 07:33:23 PM »
Oh Chris I've really enjoyed this post. You've made me laugh out loud, especially the wafer theen mint bit!

Keep 'em coming!  ;D

Offline Bob & Jayne

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Re: A-a-a-a-a-a-h Kalkan!
« Reply #14 on: September 11, 2015, 08:19:30 PM »
Yes another great post Chris_S, and so pleased that Degirmen was busy, we went in August and we were the only ones there, but what wonderful people they are.  Looking forward to your next instalment  :D

Offline Charlie

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Re: A-a-a-a-a-a-h Kalkan!
« Reply #15 on: September 11, 2015, 08:23:46 PM »
Great post Chris.   if it makes you feel any better my holidays are more like yours than Antler's!  Lazy.com

Offline Babs

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Re: A-a-a-a-a-a-h Kalkan!
« Reply #16 on: September 11, 2015, 08:45:22 PM »
Not to worry.....Antler puts us all to shame. The beauty of kalkan is that you can do just exactly what you like and have a brilliant time doing it!
Your posts are great Chris......looking forward to the next one!

Offline Haybo

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Re: A-a-a-a-a-a-h Kalkan!
« Reply #17 on: September 11, 2015, 09:49:24 PM »
Great report...slightly off topic, but why do posters have calendar icons nest to their names today?

Offline keith

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Re: A-a-a-a-a-a-h Kalkan!
« Reply #18 on: September 12, 2015, 05:23:16 PM »
Another great post Chris......keep them coming. ☺☺

Offline Chris_S

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Re: A-a-a-a-a-a-h Kalkan!
« Reply #19 on: September 12, 2015, 06:22:18 PM »
Day 5 – My name is Ishmael

Well not true really, he was Osman actually, not tattooed, and it was Yildiz 2 we boarded at 0950.  So there were no whales (although Moby Dick WAS spotted, but not the same one as the book).  The boat was already fully occupied and we were the last, fully expecting to be early!  You just can’t trust people to be late sometimes, so all the best spots were gone.

Doesn’t bother me so much, I enjoy the day at the back with the fishing line where possible, relaxing.  No excitement this year, no catches – though other passengers remembered my Tuna catch last year (eaten at lunch – how’s that for freshness?).

Regulars to the boat trips don’t need the details of the days at sea, though.  You know how it goes, chug-chug – stop – drink coffee.  chug-chug, swim.  chug-chug, Swim, Lunch.  chug-chug, Mud bath.  chug-chug, swim, Fruit, etc.  You know the food’s good so I don’t need to detail it, do I?

Though I find Osman’s Flamingo impersonation amusing.  He tends to stand on one leg sometimes and steer, or cook in the galley.  The pinny in the latter case just makes it even better!

Then it got interesting as the wind had got up and crossing to Mouse was more reminiscent of The Cruel Sea.  You could see Osman was re-planning the target stop, and we tried to stop in the lee of a cliff on Mouse, but Yildiz 3 was there first.  After three attempts to keep station and failing due to the breeze, (cue mutinous famililial fall out on marine techniques) we came back to harbour with the tail wind whilst consuming the remaining Tea/Coffee and cakes.  Fortunately thing weren’t bad enough to donate an arm or an eye on this nautical expedition, nor the even worse punishment of being called  Horatio, though I suspect it would have been easier for the ladies to be renamed Emma.

Jook awaited at the harbour, and after a 15million point manoeuvre due to the tight parking we got out unscathed, albeit pointing in the wrong direction – so another 23 point turn to get out of the harbour was called for, and return to the hotel.  Now to do what we keep doing:

Lie down and recover.

Anyone that‘s done a boat trip knows that a full meal in the evening is not really on the agenda, so, chickens that we are, we opted for omelettes at the hotel.. Just enough to keep the blood glucose levels ticking over, not enough to cause rampant indigestion.

All this Maritime stuff makes one weary, especially working as deck one, oar three, so it was a relative early night, for a change.


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Looking for Advice by Cihan-USA
[October 17, 2019, 02:18:38 AM]


Re: Current Weather by lucasvdb
[October 16, 2019, 02:09:01 PM]

* Random photos from our Kalkan Photo Gallery

Patara beach Jan '12

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By: headroom
Fener Bar

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harbour

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By: irfan