Cirali, Turkey – Year Three!

Cirali has developed in our absence, and seems to have jumped forward since our holiday last year. The main village street has been paved, there are more shops, a cash point, and most surprising, rows of umbrellas and sun-beds are colonising the beach supposed to be reserved for the breeding turtles.  There was no sign of the wire cages that are used to protect their nests. I was alarmed to see this, but Derya, our landlord, assured me that 7000 eggs have hatched this year, and the turtles have now all left for the sea…… 

   Sadly, development does not necessarily bring more business, many Russians are staying away due to their economic situation, and Brits seem to be afraid to venture to Turkey.  People don’t seem to realise that this is an absolutely huge country. One is far more likely to encounter desperate Syrians and disaffected Kurds in Hastings.

   We have been here nearly a week out of two weeks, this week overlapping with old friend +Shaun McKenna.

    This time, we are staying at the Yavuz Bungalows, right on the beach, next door to last year’s crazy hotel, the Olympos Lodge. This is a lovely place at a quarter of the price, with once again, little hut bungalows in an orange grove.  Our hut, ‘Hera’, is spacious, with an excellent shower.  The family and staff are very pleasant, and the beach-side restaurant area serves breakfast, lunch and evening meals if required. Usual chickens and peacocks wandering round. Battleaxe would recommend this place to anyone wnating to come to Cirali.
     Here is our little house, and the view from the food/bar area to our bit of beach.

     It is beautifully quiet and peaceful. We did have a large Russian family move in opposite, who soothed their baby (and I don’t exaggerate, you can ask Philosopher) by playing it martial Russian music. Felt like we were taking the salute in Red Square. However, they left after two days…

     Most of the time we have had a quiet, hot beach life, lying on our sun-beds and snorkelling around.

    The other night we ventured out to Tekirova, a purpose-built resort town about 20 miles away. The shops are full of very expensive blingy jewels, very high quality fake designer bags, and astonishing clothes that could only appeal to prostitutes or drag queens – much glittering Lycra, furs, snake skin etc. Once again, hoping for affluent Russians.  Shaun wanted a ‘Hermes Birkin’ for a friend at home – shops were full of them.  I succumbed to an only moderately blingin’ ‘Chanel’ number. I think we were almost the only shoppers in town, and our progress was accompanied by a chorus of cries from desperate shop keepers.

       Yesterday we went to sea on a lovely big old gulet, the ‘Antik Olympos’. I imagine she was a pensioned-off holiday gulet from somewhere like Fetiyhe.

       Usual routine of cruising along the coast with frequent swimming stops. Being a big boat, ours could only stop quite far from the shore.  We had to be ferried out to the boat on an inflatable dinghy – heaven knows how those poor refugees manage to go miles in the open sea in those things. At the first stop we were told there were natural mud baths on shore, so we all swam in to look.  I rejected the murky looking fly-ridden mud pits, even if they were going to convey eternal youth. Swimming all the way back to the boat was like swimming back to Cirali. Then when you reached the boat it was really hard to haul yourself up onto the ladder and over the side onto the deck.  We had a lovely day but by the end I was exhausted.  Here is a snorkelling Battleaxe, and misty mountain views.

      Shaun is off home tomorrow. One final Scrabble game tonight, and a meal in one of the classier restaurants along the beach.  I have a bit of trouble with my low-fat diet, but so far all is well. I have to have my gall-bladder removed when I get back to England. Ugh.

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