Wednesday, 30 May 2012

The Days After 26 - 29 May

That was going to be the end of the blog but I have decided to keep going until nobody reads it, so it's up to you. If you are reading this there is no excuse.

The ride is over and I am enjoying doing generally nothing with the morning highlights being multiple turnovers and honey nut cornflakes mixed with some rabbit food I have carried halfway across Europe. My knees were giving me a bit of jip at first but they seem to be improving slowly. I just need to get used to walking again. Also, after a few days in the sun the tan lines are beginning to fade slightly but I doubt if they will disappear or even join up.

Following is a brief and quite boring account of the days after the ride ended. You were warned.

After the fantastic reception event on Friday we, that is the family and I, planned to take the water taxi from the front in Fethiye and eat in Calis, apart from Keith and Marg who would take the bike back in a jeep they had access to for a couple of weeks, and meet us later. We found that the last water taxi had left at 5.30 ish which seems a bit early to me. Never mind, we ate in the Kemal Hotel on the front in Fethiye. I changed from my cycling gear which was still a bit sweaty despite the short nature of the day's ride, in the WC. We made our way back to Calis on the 'dolly' and eventually had a beer or two in Brothers.

Saturday was a nice rest day for me. In the afternoon I went to PJ's bar and made use of their wi-fi to record the final blog of the ride. I watched a bit of cricket there and Grand Prix qualifying. We had very kindly been invited to eat at the Monta Verde in Ovacik by the Manager, Barkin, at the reception after the ride. He does a lot for FIG and we were happy to accept his kind offer. Siobhan and Liane and Adam were leaving late that night so we had planned to eat quite early. Our transfer man and good friend, Murat, picked us up in his beautiful new minibus at 5.30 and by 6 o'clock we had been greeted by Barkin and were sitting down to a lovely meal with a few drinks in his really pleasant hotel dining room. He was a really nice chap and we enjoyed his company as we ate. It was quite a busy place, really well set out and nicely decorated. He refused payment so we left a nice tip for the waiters and set off back at 9.30 ish.

On Sunday there was some early confusion over the arrangements for an afternoon party/barbecue at Zakkum. When it was agreed that it was actually to be that afternoon we all set about organising food and drinks. With major input from Marg P and solid backing from everybody else, everything went smoothly and a great time was had by all. The guitar gang from PJ's/Meri Bar performed admirably as usual and everybody holidaying at Zakkum joined in. My personal highlight was the unveiling of a bowl of pork scratchings, the contents of three packets of the originals from Wigan Market Hall which Siobhan had brought over after much pleading from myself. They didn't last long. Keith's home brew seemed to have quite an effect on several participants, including myself. I thought I did well and saw off quite a few of the other revellers but finally I retired well-sloshed and left the hard core to it. Apparently it didn't go on much longer so I didn't miss much.

Monday morning saw me being interviewed by Janet from the 'Land of Lights' newspaper. I think it went quite well but we will see when the newspaper comes out next week. She insisted on a photo of me holding a packet of Uncle Joe's Mint Balls. (they keep you all aglow). Jane has co-written a book on the nearby tourist attraction, the ghost village of Kayakoy and very kindly gave me a copy. In the afternoon I took advantage of PJ's wi-fi again to add my bike to my flight, complete the API form and to book my transfer. I forwarded the emails on to John from the guitar club and he has taken a load off my mind by offering to print the necessary stuff for Friday's early morning flight. I called at the Doga Bisiklet, the proper bike shop near to PJ's and the young man, Ali, agreed to give me a bike box to take my bike home in. He also offered to organise my bike in the standard way for shipping, which was very kind of him and another load off my mind. We ventured out in the evening and had a nice meal at the Chinese Breeze, which was Megan's choice because she had had to put up with the old person's music at the barbecue the night before. We had one of those classic Calis sunsets which we seem to take for granted but you just don't see anywhere else.

Tuesday was a very quiet day. The knees were much better and Keith had a call from John to say the printing was done but it might be best to meet at the Meri Bar for me to check and he could nip home to make any amendments necessary. The printing was fine but we had a pleasant couple of hours drinking in the sunshine and it was well worth while.

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