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Rainbow motorbike   Leave a comment

As I looked out of the kitchen window while getting breakfast for the dogs I saw it was raining. I went outside to have a look (rain has been scarce for about 5 months) then came back inside to get my camera. This is what was going on out there:

The whole rainbow was too close for me to get into one image so I chose a portion of it. I like this because there are a few things going on in the picture. First there is the rainbow of course, most vivid colours that I’ve seen in a rainbow for a long time. Then there is the secondary rainbow but also you can see that where the rainbow ends on the ground it gets darker the further down you look, this was shortly after dawn and the sun coming up in the east was gradually lighting up the mountain on the western slope opposite my house, it hadn’t lit the bottom of the valley yet. Then you can see a brown part in the tree on the left where the tree is slowly dying. Another tree died a while ago and has been chopped down. The highest part of the mountain that you can see is where the ancient Lycian city of Phellos is located, how bad must civilisation have been in those days for everyone to have wanted to build towns on the top of mountains to try to avoid attack from enemies? Not the “good old days” anyway.

The work on my new bike is continuing and increasing it’s scope. I’m afraid to say that there is a lot more wrong with it than I first thought when I bought it. I have gone from “fixing a couple of things” to pretty much a full restoration because something quite drastic happened to it before I got it. The previous owner was very pleased to tell me it had had a “full cosmetic renovation”. Well the trouble with that phrase is the scope of the work didn’t just include cosmetics. It seems everything had been stripped off the frame and left lying on the floor somewhere while it was all painted. Then someone, not necessarily the person who took it apart, put it back together again, badly, including trying to stop a front brake hydraulic leak using PTFE tape, I kid you not! Then I, with stars in my my eyes, came along and bought it. Well alright I shall own up to not checking it over as much as I would have liked but you can’t really start stripping a bike in the showroom before you’ve parted with at least some of the price. Anyway having got it home and fixed a couple of things enough to be able to ride it I started fixing more things and one badly put together thing let to another badly put together thing. The job, as happened to someone in a book I seem to recall, “growed and growed”. And it’s still growing but more slowly now. By the time I have finished it will be an excellent bike capable of thousands and thousands more miles in comfort and safety, I’m hoping to have a trip back to U.K. on it sometime next year, covid permitting. In the meantime I will keep restoring and documenting. I will publish a complete story along with a list of everything I buy. It’s going to give me an interesting occupation over the winter, I’m not going to rush it, I have time and can afford to do it properly so if this interests you check back around Easter next year for (hopefully) the end of the story.

I hope you enjoy the photograph of the rainbow.

Posted October 14, 2021 by cukurbagli in Uncategorized

Esra – 27 dogs in her garden   2 comments

I met a lady this morning who, at times, has more than 30 dogs in her garden. She looks after them, her name is Esra and she has her own dog sanctuary in the village of Gökçeören a few kilometres from my house.

I have known of Esra for some time, she has often helped at the Kaş dog shelter and has been very active in street dog welfare circles for some years but I recently found out she had a lot of dogs in her own garden. I thought that she could probably do with a donation of dog food so this morning I set off over there with the car loaded up with dry dog food and bicuits.

There are various road resurfacing projects going on at the moment so it was a slow and very dusty drive but eventually I got there. Gökçeören is a beautiful old village lying in the bottom of a steep sided valley running north/south in the hills between Kaş and Kalkan. A crossroad junction in the centre of the village leads west to Kalkan and east to Kaş, turning to the north or south the road soon becomes impassable to vehicular traffic and only foot or goat tracks remain.

As you may imagine with around 30 odd dogs running around at any one time the garden is a busy place, most of the dogs get on with each other to a large degree but if one finds a bone the ownership of it is bound to be contested. Some of the dogs love to play with water and turn it into mud.

There are others who are recovering from injuries or diseases and need looking after a bit, this sort of care and fostering dogs who are waiting to go to new owners in European countries or UK are the main reasons that Esra started her sanctuary. The plight of street dogs along the south coast of Turkey is well known and quite a lot of people try to do what they can to make life better for them, I look after 4 of them at my house but there are other people who have many more than that. I’ve not heard of anybody with as many as Esra though so I though I would show her a bit of support.

I asked Esra about the dog’s stories and of course they all have one, usually heartbreaking tales of hardship, traffic injuries and abandonment by previous owners. It’s all very distressing but there are places in the world where they are treated even more badly. It came as a bit of a surprise to find that the latest one I adopted had been looked after by Esra for a while. Little Sevgi had been abandoned, run over by a car, had her right back leg and tail amputated and finally been rescued while dodging traffic on a horribly wet night in Kaş and it turned out that Esra was one of her saviours. Here is her story : https://whiskys.blog/2021/05/22/whiskys-still-here-now-shes-got-a-friend/

Like most animal sanctuaries, Esra is in need of constant support, there is only so much that any of us who care about animals can do and she is pretty much giving up her life to look after them. I can’t go as far as Esra does so I think I will continue to support her as much as I can.

Posted August 22, 2021 by cukurbagli in Uncategorized

Wolfie and the artist   Leave a comment

A few weeks ago I was introduced ( virtually ) to a lady, Lindsay Midali, an artist who makes portraits of pets using pastel colours. I was immediately impressed by the quality of her work and wrote to her to find out what I should do to have some pictures done of my dogs. Good quality head and shoulders are all that is necessary so because I had some of Wolfie already I sent a small selection by email and waited to hear how the project was going. I received a photo by email after a week or so showing the picture in the early stages, it looked great and then the other day a photo of the finished picture came. I am mightily impressed, he is not an easy dog to draw or paint but the result not only looked like but gave a glimpse into his character too.

A lot of people who have seen it are also impressed. Lindsay is going to do portraits of two more of my dogs and I will post the results for you all to see. If you wish to get in touch with Lindsay yourself then here are her contact details.

Posted August 5, 2021 by cukurbagli in Uncategorized

Goings and comings   4 comments

It’s not often that I find myself having dealings with the clergy, a wedding, a few funerals, a christening but I never would have guessed that I would sell a religious man a motorcycle. It happened a couple of weeks ago, my friend Ahmet who used to be the Imam in the neighbouring village of Pınarbaşı called me and asked if he could come for a visit. Well of course, why not, he arrived a few minutes later.

Ahmet is quite famous, he is a young man who became an Imam (a Muslim priest) and performed these duties to the best of his ability as far as I know. Here he is making the call to Prayer.

While he was working as the Imam for the village he founded a rock band and began writing and singing songs on stage with accompanying musicians, something the Diyanet (the religious ministry) were very against.

In the end he was dismissed from his job and now seems to have a lot of time on his hands. Well he was quite interested in my bike, a BMW F650 GS Dakar model from 2004.

I had hugely enjoyed having the bike in my life, the roads to Kalkan and Finike having been resurfaced with nice smooth tarmac had become my playground. Lately I’d experienced a few little problems with it and went to great pains to tell him about them and make sure he understood that I was being completely up front about all of these. He was happy about everything and still wanted to buy it so I quoted a very good price to him (low and good in his favour) and he bought it. We went to the notary office in Kaş and sealed the deal. I didn’t think of it as losing money on the bike, I sold it for quite a bit less than I had bought it but because I had enjoyed it very much for 4 years or so I was very happy to pass it on to someone else to enjoy.

The next few days of seeing an empty space where the bike used to be were a bit sad for me so I started looking for another one. I found one that had a few small problems so it would interest me to put it right and once fixed I could have an enjoyable time with it. Another BMW, this time an R 1150 GS, another enduro style machine, this one a bit bigger both in engine size and general body size.

It was in the middle of Antalya city so I went to see it. I don’t know Antalya very well so I was a bit unsure of how to get there but it all worked out fine. A very small motorcycle dealer who only had three bikes on the front of his shop when I got there. Anyway he was very helpful and I went back a couple of days later to have a test drive and make a decision. I was surprised to find that I could put both feet flat on the floor while astride the machine and that helped to decide to buy it. The seller, Erkan, was very helpful and took me around the city to the notary’s office and the registration plate maker to get the official stuff done then to the industrial site area (sanayi) to get some mirrors. He also found a bike transfer company to transfer it to my house and I could drive my own car home, saved a lot of trouble.

Now all I have to do is fix a couple of things and get some insurance in Kaş and I’ll be ready to have some fun. Ahmet is very happy with my F650 and I’m very happy with my new bike so there’s proof, men are happiest with a motorbike in their lives.

Posted July 30, 2021 by cukurbagli in Uncategorized

Storks   4 comments

I had a trip to Fethiye on Tuesday, only an hour and a half by car but by far the furthest I have been since the Corona/Covid shit hit fan last year. It was really nice to get out and see more of the country and notice changes that have taken place over the last eighteen months. The purpose of the visit was to take a friend of mine to hospital for her periodic eye check and to visit a few shops that we don’t have in Kaş. On the way back near Alaçat I spotted a sight that is not unusual for this part of Turkey, a stork in a nest on top of an electricity pylon. Storks have lived in this area for probably many thousands of years, they feature heavily in the art and mosaics of the ancient archeology around here. We were going a bit too quickly in a stream of traffic to be able to slam the brakes on and stop for a photo or two, also my good camera was at home so I decided to go back to that spot on Wednesday armed with a long lens and a fully charged battery pack to get some good photographs. When I got back there I was delighted to see that not one but four storks were in the nest. Three of them had their back to the only accessible place I was able to stand but the other one was moving around.

The nest was enormous and had obviously been built over a few years, not only that but there were a lot of other birds perched on the wires going to the pylon. I walked around the pylon and tried from different angles and to get the best shots but with it being such a big nest and very high it was difficult, I really needed a fire truck with a high ladder, there was nowhere to get any better angle.

It wasn’t until I got back home and was able to zoom in on the photographs on my large screen that it became more obvious that the other birds had burrowed into the lower portions of the nest and created their own nests, so that was the reason they were all hanging around there, I had thought they were taking advantage of the shade afforded by the nest.

Whether the four were made up of Dad, Mum and two chicks or one parent and three chicks or even four chicks I have no idea, the one standing seems to look like an adult to me but I could easily be wrong.

Posted July 3, 2021 by cukurbagli in Uncategorized

Twelve Camels For Your Wife   4 comments

My friend George lives about 175 kilometres north west of me in a village called Kaplan. He’s holidayed in Turkey since 1972 and eventually decided to live here full time. His book about life as a visiting Turcophile and expat resident is an excellent read, his take on the realities of this wonderful country sighing in sympathy and laughing in agreement.

The ups, downs, adventures and misadventures are, by turns, hilarious, frightening, funny and sad. There are a lot of ex-pat foreigners living here from various countries and most of us can relate to some of Georges experiences, I doubt that many of us have had such a wide range of them though.

The back cover says this:

Charmed by the fulsome hospitality of strangers, enthralled by breathtaking archeological sites, dazzled by beautiful beaches and scenery the author fell in love with Turkey in 1972. The lifelong romance that followed has included many incredible, sometimes sad but more often comical situations as a regular holiday destination later became a permanent home. They include being arrested as a spy, watching a man swallow a snake, judging a beauty contest, being given a front row seat at a circumcision and seeing Turkey’s most famous criminal crash a plane. Whether you are a casual traveller, looking to live abroad or a seasoned ex pat the book seeks to explain Turkey’s sometimes crazy but endearing customs, habits and culture.

Anyone interested in Turkey would enjoy reading this book either for amusement or as an eye opener to the lifestyle of an ex-pat.

Get the book from Amazon.co.uk

Posted May 5, 2021 by cukurbagli in Uncategorized

Become a Pen-pal   2 comments

A good friend of mine founded a website with the aim of introducing people with others who would like to write real letters with paper and pen then post them in a post box or post office. ( You don’t have to use a pen, typing is also acceptable )

It’s an old fashioned idea but something that feels more real and takes a little more thought. You can be as clever or interesting as you like and hopefully you will receive an equally interesting letter shortly afterwards, although the two letters I’ve sent so far have taken a long time to get to their addresses but then I am writing from Turkey. Perhaps I should ask for the airmail option in the Post Office?

Have a look at the site and see what you think, it could be fun. If you sign up you will receive a list of very different people (men, women, married, single) all with different backgrounds in very different places all over the world, choose one and pop an introductory letter in the post, you could have a new friend for life. By the way, it won’t cost anything.

Here’s the address: https://www.letterinthepost.com/

Have fun.

Posted April 28, 2021 by cukurbagli in Uncategorized

Jan 2021   3 comments

I’ve had some complaints about my lack of activity so in order to placate a vociferous minority here is another blog. I’m going to gloss over a lot of last year’s aspects, too much bad news for and from so many people and places for me to even start writing about it. I took a few photographs during the year and I’m going to include them and some stories about them in no particular order of date or importance.

You will have seen that a new water pipe was installed along the road and I was furnished with a new supply to it. I had to connect to this new pipe because the old supply from the other side of the road was severed when the trench was dug. Previously I had bought and fitted a new water pump to and the arrival of this new pipe made me think that I had wasted a lot of money by getting a very quiet and modern pump but it turned out that I inadvertently did the right thing because the pressure from the new supply can be too much for some of my water fittings. I’ve had trouble with some of the taps and valves being over powered by the main supply pressure so now I just let that keep my forty seven litre tank full and allow the new pump to supply the house from that tank.

 

Since I have lived here (17 years this year) I have found that having to cook for myself has meant I have grown to enjoy cooking and trying out new recipes. Successful pie pastry has eluded me though, at least until now. I have had to resort to the frozen millefeuille pastry which although turns out nice as seen below it’s not home made.

I must admit that my early attempts were failures but persistence pays off and although it has been a long time between attempts I think I have finally managed to make pie crust that I don’t need a road drill to get through. My goal is to make a raised pastry case pork pie, apparently this is one of the most failure ridden recipes but I will try. I will post more photos of my successes in due course. Until then this kind of pie crust will keep me going. I put all sorts of filling beneath it and especially in the winter months I find the pies not only tasty but comforting and they usually last for a few days too.

A young lady in Kaş brought me a kitten.

Cute little thing with very nice colour marking. It had been named Mayıs because she found it in May. There are a lot of unwanted or unplanned dog and cat births around here that considerable effort is made to try to control. A very difficult task for local veterinarians made harder by the natural wish of the local people to let nature be nature. Consequently there are always lots of puppies and kittens who are being put up for adoption and I find it quite difficult to refuse sometimes. This kitten, however, caught my attention and I relented. She even came with her own bed. She’s a very exuberant little thing and has caused me a number of scratches and wounds and reminded me that I cannot leave things lying around if I expect to ever find them again. The dogs are trying to avoid her too, even big Wolfie will go out of his way to avoid walking within talon’s reach of her.

The tortoises in my garden have come in for some attention but they don’t move quickly enough to hold her interest for more than a minute or so.

Talking of dogs I was very upset recently to lose my favourite dog Minnie to the curse of the Leishmaniasis disease. She had been with me for 12 years since joining me when I was taking two of my previous dogs for a walk up the road near my house. They started looking around behind them and in the end I stopped to look too.

This little brown dog was following us and eventually when we got to my gate and went in she carried on down the road. About fifteen minutes later when I was having a coffee on the patio she came trotting up my drive. I gave her some water and then some food and she stayed ever since. I never had to put her on a lead, she always trotted right behind me everywhere we went.

I’m really sad to have lost her, just wish there was some medication that cured this rotten disease but no-one has found one yet.

 

This is the time of year when we get nice skies and beautiful sunsets. I need to go to the other side of the hills to get the sun going down past the sea horizon but I’m not allowed out that late during the day for now. I’ll post the good ones that I get from my patio for now.

That’s all for now folks, I’ll post some more soon. Hopefully I’ll have no more complaints, you know who you are, hee hee.

 

Posted January 13, 2021 by cukurbagli in Animals, Food, Turkey

Water pipe   4 comments

Oh joy of joys, yet another water pipe is being buried along the side of the road outside my house. This is the third pipe, the first was a big twelve inch diameter one made of hard plastic that was buried about a metre deep. The second was smaller probably two inch diameter and is being ripped out to make way for this one which is four inch. The works for this new pipe include cutting through everything that crosses the road too, including the pipe that supplies water to my house and my neighbour’s house. It also includes ripping up the concrete “bridge” that I made to cross the gulley that carried rainwater down the side of the road. I expect it will be up to me to make a join from my drive entrance to the road surface but it would appear that a bridge will not be necessary because the digger driver is filling in the the gulley level with the road surface.

Here are a couple of photos, the result will be shown in a day or two.

I’m cut off from the world! Good job I left my car down the road a piece.

 

Neighbour’s drive entrance.

While a point could be made that I wasn’t informed it was going to happen and other complaints, the fact of the matter is that I am delighted because the lack of mains water in the summer months is something that has plagued us for far too long. There has been very little planning in the expansion of Kaş over the last twenty years and none at all in the development of Çukurbağ village. Of course local businesses wish to take advantage of the expanding tourism and making more hotels and other rental accommodation is an important part of that as are the other aspects of tourism like beach facilities. Kaş cannot remain as it was even though I and many others wish it could, summer tourists are going to come whether we like it or not and they will resort to sleeping by the sides of the road if nothing else is available, sympathetic planning and provision of infrastructure must at least keep up with growing demand. I hope the people in charge can figure this out and react accordingly.

Posted July 29, 2020 by cukurbagli in Building, Environs of the village, Kas, Tourism

Corona Virus, short personal update   2 comments

I’m now into week two of the official internment at my place here in Çukurbağ. I’m trying to keep up with events in Turkey and the rest of the world but it’s a bit difficult with all the wild exaggeration from some quarters and the blase attitudes of others. I just hope that as many people as possible can survive to see another year.

I have been keeping myself out of the way for about a month, easy to do in winter here and my stock of food is usually fairly plentiful anyway so no problems here.

Tourism is going to wiped out in most of the developed world by the look of it and that will be a shame for the people running tourism related businesses but it will undoubtedly be good for the planet not to have so many people travelling, particularly by air. Reports of fish returning to the Venice canals is just one of the examples I noticed.

My efforts in the coming weeks are going to be focused on tidying up my garden, repairing my BMW motorcycle, finishing off building a wall and constructing a stone pizza and bread oven.

My pets are all safe and well as am I so good luck to all.

Chris

Posted March 29, 2020 by cukurbagli in Uncategorized