David of The Grey Gappers cleaning their Encore Motorhome

Well, what a week it has been! Oddly enough quite action packed, in its own “this is our life for now” kind of way. 

Monday saw the week begin with quite nice weather. David started the day with his run with fellow joggers, who continued to offer him words of encouragement and motivation. By the end of the week he had completed 5k and reached his own personal best - so a real achievement for him. However, getting to the next step of another few Ks is going to be more difficult, as we only have one route here - so it will mean doubling around, as we have been stopped by the police twice while out dog walking on the beach road. Still, it’s better than nothing.

Walking through the woods with a dog

Oscar out walking with the two Ks

The scenery here is gradually changing as Spring starts to take hold. Small-headed poppies are pushing their way up and through the increasing carpet of daisies and buttercups, and the trees are filling out, with an amazing wisteria beginning to take centre stage on the camp.

On the downside more gnats and mosquitos are out and about and as ever seem to love me. Despite applying Skin So Soft all over every day, more industrial spray is needed to keep them at bay! 

In addition to the daily exercise routine we have been trying to do a different activity each day, challenging our brains thinking of them and actually making them as well as the doing of them. Tuesday was a big dread for me - cards. The Whitney family has never been one for card games at any time, Happy Families was unheard of in our family home (for more than one reason), with board games often gathering dust after the first few outings. But we are now a community and we do community things, so cards it was.

The session, although played late afternoon, was helped along by a glass of vino and a beer- after all, they go together like a Horse and Carriage. The session was ended when the cold and the rain really got to us all and we beat the retreat inside for food, on this occasion a treat for David and I, as Katherine and James had made us a lovely veggie and couscous dinner - yum.

David sewing a water bottle

Keeping busy – Sewing Karen’s Water Bottle 

Wednesday came, bringing April along with it and we with so many others I would imagine, hoped to wake up and find out all this was one enormous Aprils Fool and that our phones, Ipads etc would be ringing out with “Got Yer” … but No. Despite constantly looking at the phone and still hoping, the news remained as ever, not good.

Thankfully that day’s activity was one of international standing, currently under discussion as to whether it should become an Olympic sport. Yes, you’ve guessed it - paper plane making and flying! Each contestant was allowed two entries and no test flights were allowed beforehand. Some competitors however, had taken to Google the night before to see if they could get a competitive edge.

Karen and friends with paper aeroplanes

All to compete for

 

Man throwing a paper aeroplane

The Favourite in action

 James thought he should have been the favourite, being the oldest and having therefore a longer misspent youth in the days when life was simpler. Amazingly, given the core material was only A4 paper, none of the twelve entries were the same and none of them remotely flew the same. A few crashed and burned after inches, some did amazing high somersaults and back flips before crashing to the ground, but the resounding winner of this competition is our favourite neighbour both here and of the UK: the French. Joe has also kept his prototypes in hope of production and also making the Olympics, should or when paper plane flying makes the grade.

Wednesday saw our little bit of Turkey change when Sundance decided to open its doors to other motorhomers, with three more vans arriving over the next couple of days. One having done a 600k drive to get here to safety, the other two having been moved on from a beach not so far away, where they thought they had been safe.

Our Thursday afternoon activity of golf putting was met with some degree of amusement by two of the new arrivals, but was thankfully over before the other two arrived, as them driving over the course would have ruined the greens completely!

Man playing golf

Joe on the tee.

 

For the golf putting we decided David should be handicapped, as it’s his game of choice. (I didn’t think that was fair, as really I have had to listen to every single hole and shot played by him for many a Saturday, so I know his skill base!!) and even playing one wrong handed, he failed to win the competition with James, another golf aficionado coming from behind to beat me to the lead.

Friday brought a glorious day and the arrival of another two more motorhomes, Belgian and German. One couple bringing our first little person to the site, plus in stark contrast, a Big Dane, making a total of ten dogs now on site. A few more and we could make Crufts one of our activities!

Our friends Danny and Lisa, who although with a Land Rover have opted to rent in Kemer, joined us for a BBQ. Social distancing is maintained as much as possible and like everyone our hands are now skin-free from over washing, but it was a lovely afternoon and lifted everyone’s sprits. Social gatherings here aren’t banned, other than on the beaches at the moment, and given the life style we are living here, it would be hard for each of us just to sit on our outside 20 square metres looking at each other, given that we then share toilets, showers and washing up facilities.

Grey Gappers and friends around a campfire

Friday BBQ marshmallow time

 

David cooking food on a bbq

Anyone for red mullet?

 Man cooking food on a bbqJoe doing the veggies

 

More restrictions were brought in by the Turkish government on Saturday, and when we went to the market, masks were compulsory. Along with the over 65-year-old ban, no under 20s are allowed out now either, plus no crossing of territories, along with the other usual rules.

As ever, the market was fun, with the stall holders now recognising us. We left again, despite our shopping list, with more than we need and marvelled at the upselling of one particular vendor where we only wanted to buy one melon. We came away not only with said melon, but a monkey-sized portion of bananas and a huge punnet of strawberries, all the while the vendor chasing us down the road with his apples!

Selection of spices at a Turkish market
Saturday market Spice Heaven

 

So here we are, at the end of the week, a merry band of motorhomers living in our own little groupings and having already been defined by Ennis (Kamp Commandant). The two more rustic self-made vans by the beach - The Hippies; our Buster (Elddis) and Jez (Adria) being the luxury section, the others the Roughie Toughies. Oddly Buster and Jez do stand out, because they are white, shiny and obviously wouldn’t be seen dead off-roading getting their tyres dirty!

 

Tortoises are now so common we barely bother to mention them, but are considering collecting a few and making tortoise racing another activity. The chickens now hand feed from us and thankfully the dreaded Viper has not made a re-appearance.

A pair of tortoise in a bush
Another tortoise picture

 

The excitement didn’t end there, as David and I were interviewed by Radio 4’s Alan Dein for ‘Don’t Log Off’ on Tuesday - although we’re not sure we’ll make the grade, as our tale of woe didn’t seem to cut it when we listened to one of his broadcasts, and the sad storIes of other poor individuals trying to live a life in these altered times.

The Grey Gappers and friends enjoying a meal
Regular Sunday Lunch – Damn, our turn next week!

As we publish this blog, another van has arrived. This time bringing not only two adults, but another two children. They will stay in the kindergarden section, hopefully not straying into the luxury area!

April has certainly arrived, but it’s no fool and will bring with it many challenges, good and bad as we all settle down in our new little community.

 

Top Tips of the Week:

Don’t suddenly have White Coat Syndrome when you have your temperature taken in the market.

Do try and exercise every day, not only for sanity, but also to counteract the inches being gained from Katherine’s delicious homemade cakes.