When the first murmurings of this year’s SW monsoon came rumbling in, we cancelled our plans to meet friends in town and stayed aboard. Squadrons of clouds hurled lightning across the sky at each other for two days, while we sheltered in the cockpit and collected rainwater in buckets.
We came across a number of restaurants and bars, but for once had to pass them by because we needed to shoot as much footage as possible before driving back to Essex. There were marquees packed with everything you never thought you needed in the galley, alongside fantastic bits of gleaming machinery for engines and decks. The atmosphere was buzzy. Exhibitors shiny with anticipation and visitors wide-eyed with the intent to buy.
Last time we left you we’d been wandering the back streets of Madurai and offered plenty of photographic evidence of its energy. In this post Liz gives a more cerebral account of our experience in this fabulous city, taking in the huge Meenakshi temple, which wouldn’t look out of place in Disney World. Her guide teaches Liz about the five sense, and they’re not the sense you or I learned about at school. Strangely every single photograph taken inside the temple ‘disappeared’ from Jamie’s camera, but we have plenty more images of the huge ‘gopurams’, as well as the people of Madurai. Liz’s prose is what travel writing is all about…
Having finally made it to Madurai after our fairground ride through the Western Ghats, we were able to relax, put on the walking boots and go for a romp through the back streets of this great city. It is full of strange wonders and fascinating people. This post, with its many photographs, captures just a small part of this: street vendors, manual labourers, layabouts, kids, beggars and strange architecture…
In the previous post we finished somewhere in the middle of the Western Ghats, lost, yet the journey up until that point had been fascinating. Not only were the local people preparing for the fantastically named ‘Pongal’, a celebration not too dissimilar to Harvest back at home, but Tamil Nadu was over-run with pilgrims from all over India. As we drove in one direction, so there were thousands of pilgrims walking barefooted the other way, heading towards the temple in Palani that wouldn’t look too out of place in a James Bond film.
Fethiye is very definitely a ‘working’ town, despite its attraction for both tourists and yotties alike. There is an abundance of restaurants and cafes if you’re just wanting to relax or dine out. If you’re working on your boat or your house then you are spoiled for choice when it comes to shops, suppliers and repairs.
I’ve tried to capture this sense of work with a little photography project I’ve titled ‘Fethiye At Work’.
In this feature we take a light-hearted look at shopping in Turkey. We examine the customs, the expectations and the heartache. Somewhere in the article are a few tips, but don’t take it too seriously.
Pubs, beer and good paintbrushes vs good food, space and great climate. Which would you prefer? My extended trip back to the UK has been a real eye-opener but I frequently caught myself saying things like ‘it’s not like that in Turkey’. I can’t help it. I’ve made Turkey my temporary home but I’ve just spent a month back at my parents, in the bedroom I grew up in, and I quickly became British again. Now I’m returning to Turkey and I can’t help but compare and contrast. It’s an interesting exercise, but which is better? Turkey or England?
When you’ve lived the life of a gypsy, on a boat, in southern Turkey for a couple of years and have had scant access to the delights of western commercialism in one of its purest forms, it’s a little disconcerting to find yourself in a shopping mall… at Carrefour… next to Debenhams and round the corner from Ikea.