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Old 28th September 2004, 14:58   #1 (permalink)
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Travels in Turkey – Part 02


My husband and I spent the next two days avoiding each other. Not too difficult, considering we were sharing a room. Unfortunately, we had booked a day trip with our ‘wonderful dumb blonde' rep and even when she asked for the cheque to be made out to her personally, my enthralled husband was happy to do so. I had taken a total dislike to the girl. First of all, she turned up when we would be eating dinner and say as we were eating ‘Oh you don't want that do you?' I haven't been paid for three months and I am starving. Peter, being very easily fooled by her womanly wiles, would happily give her his dinner and to add insult to injury, buy her a drink!

The trip was to Dalyan, a trip to the Mud Baths, Kaunos with its rock tombs and ancient theatre and then down to the beach to see the loggerhead turtles. A hired mini bus duly arrived and we all climbed on board.

We reached Dalyan to discover that the rep had forgotten to book a boat for our party and we were left standing on the quay side for two hours, whilst she went off to find one.

Where's the nearest Boots?

Linda and I decided to pay a visit to the loo. Very unusual for Linda, because she had this very, strange habit of not using any loo outside the hotel! We discovered the loo, in a tiny wooden shed behind the restaurant as keeping in line with all Turkish Toilets at the time. It was a hole in the ground with a jug of water to rinse the bowl afterwards.

An inch block of strange smelling soap was provided, but no paper towels or toilet paper. Linda, took one look and refused point blank to enter. I thought to myself ‘ I am going on the river, I can hardly dangle overboard if I need to go later' and taking a huge gulp of fresh air, I strode into the wooden hut.

Now for those of you who perhaps find matters of the female body embarrassing or disturbing I suggest that now is the time to hang up your mouse and go and make yourself a nice cup of tea.

I make no excuses for relating what happened next. Because, well it did really happen and to me!

On entering the loo and performing, as one does, I discovered that quite unexpectedly and certainly two weeks early, the decorators had arrived……………..the queasy tummy I had on the journey, wasn't the mini bus drivers lousy driving, but eve telling me she screwed up all those years ago in the garden of Eden.

Muttering under my breath, I found a wodge of paper hankies in my handbag and stuffing them into my knickers, I stepped forth to find a shop selling something suitable for my small problem.

On reaching the main road, I hurried into what looked like a general store, scanned the shelves and couldn't even see a ‘pamper' in sight! A lovely crinkly, old Turkish man raised his huge white caterpillar eyebrows at me and smiled.

Thumbing through the Turkish dictionary, I first looked for Tampax, then protection and suddenly realized that protection in Turkish is condoms. Grinning inanely, I shook my head to mean No. Napkins hardly fitted the bill and nappies were not even mentioned. Not one to give up easily, I asked for a piece of paper and a pen.

I leant over the counter and surrounded by what I swear, was the whole village began to draw a very detailed picture on the back of a cardboard box.

One young guy smiled and said excitedly to the store owner, ‘mum'. Thinking the guy was saying I was a mother! Being rather proud of my child bearing hips! I nodded and smiled.

With a grin, the old man bent behind the counter and bought up a box of candles!! I was amazed, horrified, and very, very amused. Laughing like a hyena, I managed to splutter out no, no. The crowd all smiled and nudged each other and I had the distinct feeling, that they all thought I had been let out of the local asylum for the day.

I did find another shop, opposite selling Turkish sanitary towels which were the size of a small hand towel, made my purchase and rushed off to get on the boat.

Mud Baths

We sailed off to the mud baths without any incidents, unless you count Peter informing the whole boat that the water snakes were extremely dangerous and not to dangle our feet over the side. Typical of my husband, mar bloody know it all.

We pulled up onto a rocky outcrop, staggered down the gang plank and then walked over very rocky ground in the blazing midday sunshine, for ten minutes to reach the mud baths. Not knowing what to expect and having realized that Turkey does indeed have many surprises, I wasn't startled to see a little wooden hut marked Tuvalet, standing in the middle of nowhere.

We strolled past this to a stone lined pool, filled with filthy water. The idea was we went into the sulphur pool and cleansed our bodies. Cleansed? I am sure we were all cleaner before we went in. Then walk, dodging huge clumps of razor grass, dive bombing horse flies to the black, oozing mud.

For reasons only known to mad English people, we then slapped the horrible black, gungy, smelly, gritty slime on our bodies. We were told to smoother our hair and like sheep we did so. For those of you yet to sample the delights of the mud bath…………………Do not under any circumstances, rub it into your hair. It takes a good week to wash out and leaves your normal, shiny, glossy mane looking dull and lifeless. Now comes the fun part. The mud dries quickly in the sun, so you can't stand still otherwise you get stuck! We then hopped, hobbled or walked John Wayne fashion, back to the sculpture pool, to rinse the mud off.

An experience, but not one that I have ever repeated, It has changed with the years and number of visiting tourist and it is now modernized with up to date toilets, showers and even a snack bar. You still get the wonderful rejuvenating benefits of the mud…………….hahaha don't believe it, but without the pain and discomfort only 100 horseflies can bring.


Feeling refreshed and a new woman, we then boarded the boat to return to Dalyan for lunch.

After a hurried lunch of meatballs or fish, we again boarded our good ship Venus for our next destination which was Kaunos, situated somewhere on a loop in the river delta further downstream.

We sailed through the fish locks on the river, with Blondie pointing out the Lycian tombs which overhang the river and informing us that this is where the ‘African Queen' was filmed. Wondering why the hell anyone would wish to drag a dead body so far up a cliff face and then entomb them we ooohed and ahhed at the turtles swimming in front of the boat, the Herons proudly strutting their stuff and the Kingfishers darting everywhere. Occasionally, we caught a glimpse of white in the reeds, which were Ibises.

Kaunos or Caunos, which I know now is rife with Malaria has been dated back to 1 B.C. To be honest, it looks that old, being nothing more than a pile of stones with vague house or dwelling like shapes to them. There is half a theatre left standing and try as I could with all my imagination, I could not picture people from long ago lounging on the stones.

Being ordered not to lurk behind by Peter……… if I would, we carried on down a rock strewn track to reach the boat.Kaunos stands on a loop in the river and the boat had sailed ahead, to meet us at the next point. Well, that was the idea. What actually happened was that the boat man had sailed past the point and carried on sailing. There we stood, a group of twelve, hot perspiring tourist and one blonde bombshell, who had stripped off to her bikini. Scanning the horizon we couldn't see anything that could float anywhere.

Rather enjoying the reps discomfort, I walked down the grassy beach and spotting fishing boat, a little downstream I promptly opened my mouth and yelled HELP!

First, they looked up and waved. I waved back and using international sign language, gestured that I was a damsel in great distress. They looked at each other and slowly began rowing towards me. Knowing that I had summoned help, I made my way back to the flustered group.

By this time, the rep was weeping buckets on my husbands shoulder and he like a gentleman, was cuddling her and mopping up her tears. Pushing him aside, I told the rep that help was coming and as my Turkish was limited to yes, no,please and Bir Bira (one beer to the unitiated), I told her to tell them in Turkish what the problem was. Rather than embrace me with thanks, she sobbed even louder and announced she couldn't speak a word of Turkish!


Thinking may the good lord, or Allah preserve us from blonde reps and mad dogs, I waved at the fishermen to come and land. They threw a rope, which I gave to Peter to hold. Well, I'm a woman; I don't know what to do with rope! They steadied the boat and I explained in my best sign language, that our boat had gone, followed with a dismissive sweep of my arm towards the horizon. Afterwards, I thought that they may have got the idea our boat had sunk and send out a search party, but at the time it never occurred to me.

Introducing myself, I waved everyone on board and demanded that we be taken back to Dalyan. The younger fisherman, said his name was ‘Roger' and we all told him how wonderful he was and that he had saved our lives. Rather dramatic, but a night on a mossie infested atoll was the flip side.

The rep had now donned her clothes and tried to take control of her bedraggled, tired and irate charges. Luckily, my husband was there to tell her, just how marvelous she had been and that she could do her job really well……………….

Reaching dry land, we staggered into the restaurant and ordered beer all round. Sitting in such glorious surroundings, watching the sunset and listening to the night jars soon had us feeling happy as sand boys and it was with reluctance we climbed into our mini bus and drove back through the dusk to Fethiye.

And then what? out for the next episode!

October 1989

Last edited by Mushtaq; 10th February 2006 at 22:31..
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