After a delicious Turkish Breakfast at Etrim, where we were served a feast worthy of a Sultan, it was back to Annie’s house (she of Back to Bodrum blog fame) – a short 10 minute ride away – to help with the grape harvest.

We all had a role to play. Annie was chief ladder holder and grape director, Red was the scissor touting harvester, Tracey and Jake were on the moral support and quality control committee, and I was the capture-the-moment archivist.

Tracey and Jake on the moral support committee

Tracey and Jake on the moral support and quality control committee

Core Team

Red and Annie picking grapes Red and Annie picking grapes

Annie’s courtyard is an ideal location to write, and I would have loved to crack open my laptop and sit amid the dappled shade to write some blog posts or poetry. Lucky her, Annie also has a little art studio (hint hint Red – when you building mine!!?) – where she has her watercolors always out and available when the creative mood strikes her. She’d done two studies of poppies that I coveted and was very envious of the talent Annie shows as a painter. They would look beautiful framed as a pair in white frame and hanging in my home.

This little corner of Turkey that Annie calls home is stuffed with objects that would make inspiring water color studies … here’s one that caught my eye.

watering can

But I had to shelve my creative cravings for writing and painting until another day, as the day was far from over and we had another adventure planned.

We drove away with 2 carrier bags jammed full of sweet seedless grapes and headed to a out-of-the-way cove a couple of bays over from the famous Çökertme for a refreshing swim on what was turning out to be another excessively hot day.

Mugla Bay off the beaten path

36.998956, 27.776952 The bay to the left of the image with a hair pin bend at the bottom

Saved by Annie’s Grapes

The bay doesn’t seem to have a name, but based on the state of the dirt track we had to navigate to get there it’s a beach perfectly suited for mountain goats and donkeys.

It wasn’t until we were plotted up on the narrow shingle beach that we realized we hadn’t brought anything to drink with us and there were no shops for miles. Not a problem when we first arrived, but after an energetic swim in crystal clear water we were all gagging.

Annie’s grapes to the rescue.

As well as being super sweet and seedless, they were juicy little buggers that kept us bordered on the safe side of dehydration. Once the sugar rush kicked in we all went out for another swim before heading off to the civilization of Çökertme.

Leaving the bay was more difficult than arriving. The steep and sandy hill made the wheels spin so Red and I had to get out and push while the car fishtailed dangerously close to the edge. Then as the car sped off up the hill, Red and I, lips still sticky from grape juice, tried to lick dust off our teeth with a sandpaper tongue.

That drive to Çökertme seemed endless, but an ice cold bottle of water was the gold at the end of our rainbow.

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