The Lotus Eaters

After The Rain

If it were possible, life became slower and even more relaxed the longer we stayed at Çalis beach. The weather was good – 21° and warm enough to sit out during the day; mild overnight too, dropping to 10°. We did have the odd rainy day but it was usually possible to fit in a walk when the rain eased. Our local weather app was a great help in planning our day.

The Beach Shacks

Behind us, amongst the wind blown acacia trees at the top of the beach were half a dozen “beach huts” – temporary dwellings that included a shepherd’s hut, a modern chalet, a couple of dilapidated touring caravans and a brightly painted but elderly camper van. One or two of the huts were permanent dwellings and we regularly waved hello to a group of three or four men sitting outside in the sunshine playing cards. At the weekend they were joined by large family groups arriving in vehicles of all sizes and bringing bulging bags of food and drink. A fire would be lit, music played and they would enjoy the convivial life on the beach until sundown.

One evening just as it was getting dark, the inside of our truck was illuminated by blue flashing lights, we looked out and saw an ambulance outside the huts. We heard no more until the next day when we were told one of the men had died, apparently after drinking illegal raki (alcohol). Later we heard that the deceased had a bad heart and was a heavy smoker. No one seemed particularly concerned, shoulders were shrugged and everyone seemed very matter-of-fact about the death. Later that morning the card players were sitting outside as if nothing had happened – just missing one player.

We were still waiting for the catalytic filter for our toilet, the parcel was now gathering dust at the Turkish customs due to a problem with the delivery address. Storage charges were accruing and we were in two minds whether to abandon the whole thing and move on. We sought the advice of Hasan who occasionally helped out on the site and who spoke good English.