The past week, we have been living near the sea. First, we found a great spot with no other people around and where Sparta could run around freely. We love Turkey, but we really don’t like the way people treat nature: after a picknick they just leave their trash behind, either in a plastic bag or all over the place. That means that in most places we want to stop and stay for the night, there’s garbage everywhere. Sparta loves it, because there are a lot of chicken bones and nice-smelling tissues he likes to eat… but also a lot of glass and plastic. So, in those places, we have to keep him on the leash. He really doesn’t like that! And we don’t either.
Fortunately, we found this great place on the beach, without much garbage. Of course, there were tissues and empty bottles around, but not everywhere we looked. Besides, it was so far from the main road, that only now and then another car showed up. And there was enough space for Sparta to run around! We therefore decided to stay for three nights, to enjoy the quiet and to relax a little.
As we were the only ones on the beach, we spent the entire first morning there. Sparta went swimming for the very first time! (And the only time, so far.) The sea was very clear and beautifully blue. The sun was burning, so we had to use a lot of suntan lotion and stay in the shade as much as we could. However, the lotion we had bought in Georgia turned us into snowmen and apparently, it didn’t work at all! At night, we both had a bad sunburn on our backs.
The days flew by and we finished almost all our food. Since we don’t use our fridge (it’s on gas and it uses a lot of it, especially in summer), we hadn’t brought much fresh food. Thus, we ate pancakes, rice crackers and canned food from The Netherlands that was still in the back of our cupboard. We had been using our shower to get rid of all the salt and sand on our bodies, so we were almost out of water too. It was time to get back to the real world!
We drove the beautiful coastal route, approximately 200 kilometers to our next spot. On the way, we filled our water bottles and bought some food. The weather was still very hot, so we were happy to arrive at the parking of an ancient site, 400 meters above sea level. It was a little windy and had a great view over the sea. As the sun went down, we walked through the old buildings and enjoyed being back in this part of Turkey.
The next morning, we said goodbye to the new friend we made and started driving. We passed many huge holiday resorts in Alanya and Manavgat; some of them closed because of corona. Then, we arrived in the little town of Side, next to Manavgat. It’s also very touristic, but it has a different vibe: no big hotels, but only small B&B’s and cute restaurants. We parked on the beach, next to a restaurant where we were allowed to use the shower and the toilet. We had lunch there, went swimming and in the early evening we walked to the center. We were amazed by the way people had used ancient ruins in the new buildings and streets: walls, columns, a theater and a temple were scattered all across town. We loved it!
On Tuesday, we left Side and drove to a restaurant to have breakfast. Have we told you about Turkish kahvalti before? Well, if you’re ever here, don’t miss it! It’s definitely our favourite meal in this country. Afterwards, we continued our way to Antalya, to meet up with Deniz and Ada, where we stayed for a week in December. It was great to see them again! They also let us (and Sparta) sleep in their apartment, because it was too warm in the car to be able to sleep.
Another stop we wanted to make in Antalya was the mechanic. Although the radiator hasn’t been leaking anymore, we wanted to make sure everything was fine. We met with a Turkish man who used to live in The Netherlands. As a retired car mechanic, he wanted to help us by looking at Tiny. He told us that now the radiator isn’t leaking, it should be no problem to keep driving with it. On top of that, he assured us that the other little things we had noticed, were no problem either. So, no garage retreat for us!
After we had used their pool and we had had lunch together, we left the mechanic and his wife. We were very proud of Sparta that he had been such a good boy in both the apartments and with both of the families! At this moment, we are in Kemer, meeting with another family that we met in December. Even though we hadn’t planned to go back to Turkey, it’s very nice to see all of them again. And Sparta loves all the attention too!