This time of year on the Bodrum Peninsula is blissful. The tourists have all returned home and all we’re left with are the locals and expats. While some of the businesses have closed or have invoked winter opening hours, there’s still enough life left to keep us fed and entertained. The day-time weather is comfortable, albeit a little cooler in the shade, and it takes until about 10am for outside to be warmer than marble-clad icebox we inhabit.
Jaunt to Yalikavak
We ventured out a couple of days ago to visit neighboring Yalikavak and forgot about checking the bus times before billy-goating down the hill. But the sun was shining so we sat on the wall and eased ourselves into Turkey-time and waited for the next dolmus to show up. Less than 2 minutes later a small car drew up besides us, and a mother ferrying her small child to playgroup offered us a ride. She spoke excellent English and said she always checks this stretch of the road because at this time of the year the dolmus is pretty erratic.
This Istanbul native and her husband relocated to Bodrum a couple of years ago, and although he was initially dragged here kicking and screaming, now he can’t imagine settling anywhere else. Bodrum has that effect on people. We swapped numbers with a promise of getting together to watch some live music at a new hot spot in Gumusluk called Poca’s House.
I was never been offered a lift by a stranger in Los Angeles, but here on the Bodrum Peninsula it’s a regular occurrence. Local residents know how infrequent the dolmus runs when winter looms and aren’t backward about coming forward to offer you a lift, even when then don’t speak a lick of English. Where else is this neighboring spirit alive and well?
Yalikavak was animated but not bustling and we headed to a new lunch spot. Cafe Provence, that has been heralded by the expats and a new go-to destination for a set lunch. 3 courses for 25TL. It’s an odd little place, half shop and half low-key dining.
You’re seated on what looks like tables for sale amid shelves of table and kitchen ware. Our host and owner was a lovely lady called Ozlem, who used to live in Australia and that’s where she went to culinary school. There was only one other customer in the restaurant who sat with his back to use for most of our meal, but when he did finally spin around to say hello, it turns out we’d had dinner with him at a mutual friend’s house about a year ago.
The rest of the afternoon was a series of pleasant surprises of bumping it to people we hadn’t seen in a while (including the eloquent fellow Bodrum blogger Annie from Back to Bodrum).
Now that the summer crowds have gone, the expats and locals are easier to spot.
We ambled back to the dolmus station, just as our earlier “taxi driver” drove past us heading homeward bound! Opportunity missed!
As anticipated the winter dolmus timetable is pretty lame for the Yalikavak to Gumusluk route – it’s a veritable dolmus dead zone.
During the summer we’re spoilt with a service every 30 minutes to take us the 7km from Yalikavak to the bottom of Eiger that leads us home. The autumn timetable is a passable hourly service, but now that we’re in the throes of winter we’re down to a 90 minute frequency.
There’s no getting anywhere in a hurry, but with places like Yalikavak and Gumusluk on our doorstep .. what’s the rush!
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