Long Road Home


Just look at those boots! I think these sum up my summer, apparently hand made, gary to the point of how could you not love them? But thankfully I’d never buy them let alone wear them, they’re just that bit too much whilst remaining fabulous.

I’ve definitely gone slightly potty this summer. It wasn’t till we were on our way back that I really looked at the map properly to see that in my bonkers determination to see my friends out west, we had driven half way across the country. Not only that but along some pretty hairy roads, stayed in a couple of diabolical ‘hotels’, had the excitement of chasing and killing ‘beetles’ (don’t let the kids know they were actually cockroaches), and found outrageously expensive penis jars in the same bling shop as the boots in Datca.

Clearly I’m touched. As we were driving out of Datca and I think before the first set of scary cliff face drives on our way back, I saw windmills. Not just one but at least 6. Most of them derelict, but two were definitely done up. It was at that point I totally freaked M out by declaring that I wanted one, I most definitely, without a doubt, wanted a windmill. And bless, despite him knowing me to have off the wall tendencies, he did call an estate agent to ask (after I’d nudged him a bit). This is something I intend to follow up on. That Datca windmill is just waiting for me, probably at some stupid trumped up price but far cheaper than any windmill I’ll ever find anywhere else, plus I doubt I would want one anywhere else.

Blimey, bling boots and windmills. Who knew a trip west would bring such delights? Certainly not me, especially as last year none of these treats came my way despite making the exact same trip, but alone, on a bus, and a rental car. Had I known that the night bus actually hid the true horrors of the narrow, windy, sheer drop mountain roads I doubt I would have suggested embarking on a journey that took three days and rather a lot of white knuckled screams of ‘SLOW DOWN!’ Actually it was the journey back that involved far more of this and even a few tears of terror–yes I cried, I’m not ashamed (I’m writing this aren’t I?). It’s hardly reassuring to see larger roads and tunnels being built when you’re approaching a hairpin bend, with no barrier, a sheer drop to the sea, and being faced with a mahoosive lorry coming at you. Yay death! I embrace you, just like I did on the horrific flight in April. Anyway we didn’t die, not one of us, we all made it there and back.

The whole point of the trip was to catch up with a couple of old friends who either live westwards or come to visit family and that’s the only way we’ll ever get to see each other again. Both of them I know from my Ankara days, one who joined me in my absolute hatred of the city and the other who seemed overwhelmed by ambivalence. I am glad to report that all three of us are far happier now having made our respective escapes from the loathsome pit. Apologies to anyone who actually likes it there (though not very sincere apologies, each to their own and all that), but I didn’t and I’m not going to pretend otherwise. I have travelled a lot in this vast country and must say there are worse places, such as Dogubeyazit to name just one, but I can’t be bothered to justify myself…..

Last year, as there is no direct bus from Mersin to Datca, let a lone flights, I had the insane plan to get a 14 hour night bus to Fethiye and visit the no longer ambivalent friend and her boys. That was so much fun, seeing as we were both actually smiling for real. Our lives had taken radical turns and both of us, her more than me because she still lives here permanently, were seeing the good in the country and how it benefitted our kids. Then I hired a car for the three hour drive to Datca, despite only having been driving a year and never really driven in Turkey. I admit all I did was drive to Datca and then back again 3 days later, being ferried about by others whilst there. Between cities fine, in cities in this country? No way. I leave that to my other old friends who have become accustomed to the anarchic style. Anyway, proud of myself and over confident that this journey was doable with kids we planned that the 15 hour journey should be divided into 3, 5 hours chunks. We would stay in Alanya (blerch, seriously people go there for a holiday), Fethiye, and then Datca and the same on the way back.

I do love Datca, it’s relatively quiet and hellish enough to get to that foreigners don’t really go there. In terms of holiday destinations it’s not really developed, though M was disappointed that the peaceful idil we had stumbled upon 13 years before with freshwater pools filled with terrapins behind the beach, couldn’t be found again this time. Apart from windmills and friendship drawing me there, Datca is an unusual coastline, a tiny peninsular really but it’s sea is fed by natural cold springs which  make swimming there an interesting experience of ice cold oohs, followed by warm sea ahhhs.

My boys had a great time because my friend has 3 kids, but they don’t speak Turkish or English, and mine know no German, so communication was achieved in an interesting fashion. Totally defeating the object of improving their Turkish, but hey ho that’s proving harder than hoped as we can’t find Turkish kids to play with them. Though Fatso, and the discovery of the Wii in Fethiye did mean he was prone to outbursts of how much he wanted to go and see no longer ambivalent’s boys, who sadly though appearing to like my boys, did seem overwhelmed by their onslaught. That said, despite his angry face and vocal protests about going to the beach, once there and with his arm bands on he was all about seeing how deep he could go. The discovery of crabs along the diving platform/pier thing at Kargi added a new dimension, along with pinching the other kids fishing net and going in a canoe to catch tea. 

Our holiday was topped off by this discovery



Jet, the Hermit crab, found in the strangest place just outside Anamur. I’ve never seen rock pools here before, I thought that with the Med being non tidal they didn’t really exist. Yet we managed to find a beach, part of a campsite, just before the road started going up the mountain on the last leg of a journey. We found it after I’d stormed out of a flea pit of a restaurant on the foul main road through town, that M had insisted on stopping at because the kids were hungry and driving us mental. Sometimes good things can come out of blazing, irrational rows. And Jet was it, but he wasn’t the first hermit crab we found. My kids are obsessed with Octonauts (look it up on CBeebies). Through it they have learned quite a lot about sea creatures. Poor Fatso though, he was the first to make the discovery and I didn’t believe him, I thought he’d just found a shell and wanted to believe there was a crab inside. Happiness in being proved wrong, my little man had found a hermit crab, but profound sadness at having to leave them behind when we left. No end of explaining that he would die if we tried to take him home, and that Lai lai’s crab was just a shell with a stone in it.

Trips west always make me think about perhaps moving there, or at least buying something there. Pro’s are that it’s so much cheaper to fly to in summer, that there would be smaller places rather than a big city like Mersin, and the fact that family in Mersin is dispersing. Con’s are that it would pretty much defeat the object of being in Turkey, to be in a coastal resort town would give the boys a false view of Turkish culture, there would probably be more foreigner’s kids than Turks, or mixed to play with so they would have less need to speak Turkish. Plus M would never agree and he’s taken quite a bite by agreeing to the compromise I put forward.

Perhaps, one day, if it’s a windmill and I can buy bling boots that fit.



About 5yearsmybrainhurtsalot

Once a stay at home mum in Ankara, now a working mum who makes regular lengthy trips to Mersin with my brood
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