2010 - West from Shanghai travel blog

A picnic breakfast

Love the road signs

Tombs in the cliffs

Similar boats to ours

Our turtles

About a metre long

Blue crabs

Very tasty

A motley crew

We decide to go on an extra excursion today – not on our original itinery, The down side a 5am departure. We stop for a picnic breakfast after a couple of hours. Lots of tomatoes, olives, fetta, cucumber and fresh bread cut into large chunks. We usually sit in the outdoor areas in front of cafes…they don’t mind that we have brought our own food, they get to provide us with beverages.

We pull in for petrol – with a tank full comes a free car wash so our little bus gets the treatment. Cannot get over the waste of water in this country. There are pipes outside petrol stations and on the verge of the road with water just pouring out non stop. The cars just pull off the road, drive through the water and then drive off. Pretty useless really as only the top of the car, the boot and bonnet get wet, not the sides. We see huge hoses gushing water just left lying on the grass in parks – a sort of flood irrigation.

We finally arrive at Dalyan where we board a boat and travel down a channel towards what is considered to be the 2nd best beach in the world – not sure what the 1st is.

We wind our way through the water weeds and stop just before reaching the beach. The reason for the stop is to look at Caretta Caretta turtles. A number of boats stop with us and one of the boat drivers casts lines with blue crabs attached. This immediately attracts the turtles which have shells probably one metre in length. The water is clear enough to see them underwater but obviously the best view is when their smiley faces come up for air. Two particular turtles spend their time chasing each other – not sure if trying to woo a mate or they are fighting.

Finaly we get off the boat and make our way to the sea – the view is spectacular, the water clear and torquoise but the sand is not as white as some of the previous beaches. The water becomes quite deep very quickly whereas our other beaches have been waist deep for a quite a long time.

After our usual hour of swimming we board the boat and spend the return journey eating bar b qued blue crabs. Not particularly big but very tasty. Sweets is ‘gozlame’ (pronounced goz la may and are thin pancakes both savoury and sweet). Our tour members are becoming quite the experts for these treats. After a browse in the markets we head along the channel in the opposite direction to a fresh water lake and some mud baths and hot mineral springs.

David and the others enjoyed the mud baths – I was in and out very quickly. Then half an hour to dry, wash off and into the lake, then into the mineral springs. The springs very hot so didn’t hang around there for long either.

Finally we leave and travel to our next spot Fethiye – very strong British influence here. Apparently they own a lot of summer houses. The prices listed in shops are quite often in English pounds. Many yachts and outdoor eateries.

We wander in the evening. I find a pair of black slacks – my others were wrecked – they don’t quite fit so the store keeper offers to adjust them – we tell him we are leaving at 6am in the morning (it is now 8.45pm) so he phones a seamstress and has them altered in 15 minutes. That is service. The staff are usually young muslim girls wearing their scarfs – most don’t speak good English so there is always a male boss around somewhere – I assume a family member.

In Egypt and Turkey where most of the population is muslim there are very few female staff members – in shops or restaurants or even the hotels. If we do see them it is usually in a small family run business.

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