View from the fires at Mount Chimaera, Turkey.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Antalya, Turkey.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Arrive in Arusha, Tanzania on January 20th!

Thursday, December 31, 2020

We will soon be back to exploring...without glasses!

I know that this eye surgery stuff has been taking up a lot of our daily activities for the past two weeks. But it's almost over! By next Monday we will be back to our normal programming showing you some more of the sights of Turkey.

An interesting thing has happened since we stopped posting to Facebook. Now, maybe it's a combination of factors, since it seems that many of you have been interested our progress with this eye surgery, but our daily readership has actually increased since stopping the Facebook posts.

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Eye Surgery #2... no more glasses!

My first new eye... the one that was done last Friday, is now at about 90%. It will still improve a little more over the coming days. But it was time to get the second new eye!

Yesterday, Tuesday, was a total write off. It poured with rain all day and we just stayed inside. So it felt great to do the 8.2 km (5.1 mile) walk to the hospital this morning. Our appointment was at 9:00am, so we left the apartment at 7:30am... it was still dark out.

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Our highs and lows of 2020

Most of the world is happy to be leaving 2020 behind and watching it disappear in the rear view mirror. 2021 just has to be better. But while there were some challenges for us in 2020, we certainly wouldn't call it a disastrous year, as it has been for many people!

The first three months of 2020 were fantastic. January, February, and March we were in Mexico leading a group of other motorhomes on a four and a half month tour. It was a great group of people and we enjoyed the trip as much as we think the participants did. It was a lot of fun!

Monday, December 28, 2020

Things continue to improve

Yesterday was another lock down day and we didn't leave the apartment. But, we have our freedom back for the next three days until the four day New Years lockdown happens here in Turkey. While Christmas is not a big deal here, New Year's Eve normally is. It's going to be tough to get out and do anything though over the next three days. We have an eye doctor appointment at 11:00am today, and then it's supposed to rain for almost 24 hours through to Tuesday afternoon.

And then of course Wednesday is eye surgery number two! Of course Wednesday is supposed to be a beautiful day. We don't know at what time yet though, so we're hoping it will be in the afternoon so that we can get out and do something Wednesday morning.

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Eye report... the day after surgery

Woke up Saturday morning with a 9:30am appointment at the eye doctor ahead of us. 

The first thing I wanted to do was to remove the patch to see if I could see! The doctor had said it was okay for me to remove it in order to confirm that I would be okay to drive.

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Christmas Day eye surgery

Christmas Day morning, we got out and went for a walk in the big park across the road from our apartment. We figured we had better get some exercise since Saturday and Sunday we are back to weekend lockdown.

The park across the road is huge... in fact I read that it is the 9th largest park in the world that is located in a suburban city area. For comparison, Vancouver's Stanley Park is 405 hectares, New York's Central Park is 340 hectares, and here in Antalya, Zeytin Park is 263 hectares.

Friday, December 25, 2020

Merry Christmas from Antalya, Turkey!

By the time most of you read this, we will be at the hospital having our Christmas Day eye surgery done. It's being performed at 4:00pm this afternoon Turkish time, so that's about 8am Eastern time in Canada and the U.S..

The eye surgery is our Christmas present to each other! They are only doing the one eye today... the second eye will be done next Wednesday.

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Got our new car, and time in Turkey extended

At about 11:30am Wednesday, only 14 hours or so after the car accident happened, another car was sitting outside our apartment building delivered by the car rental company from 200 kms (125 miles) away. I don't know what to say except that I am amazed by the great service!

We had to drive the two men (one was the owner of the company) who brought the new car back to the place where our damaged car was sitting. I had to pay the owner 5,000 lira ($850 CAD, $650 USD) in cash. No paperwork, and no receipt. I'm confident it's all good though. And if he's putting it in his pocket, well then it's none of my business.

Killing Time on Long Train Journeys: 4 Excellent Tips

 Killing Time on Long Train Journeys: 4 Excellent Tips

Train journeys can be very frustrating. Unless you’ve prepared well, you’re usually stuck staring out of the window for hours, waiting to arrive at your destination. It’s even worse when there are delays! Fortunately, there are lots of ways to start enjoying your train journeys more. The trick is to realise that by not driving you're actually giving yourself some time. That time can be spent on work or play, but sitting and staring out of the window does not have to be your only option. Here are the best ways to kill time on even the longest of train journeys.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

This car accident story takes up a whole blog post!

This is part two of yesterday's events. If you missed part one, you should read it first...

https://www.travelwithkevinandruth.com/2020/12/hiking-eye-doctor-and-fairly-major-car.html

So we're driving home from the eye doctor's appointment at around 6:30pm. It's dark out by this time, and I don't enjoy driving at night to begin with. And we had a bunch of tests done to our eyes, and they maybe haven't totally recovered. But, they are probably 95%. However, none of that had anything to do with the accident.

Hiking, eye doctor... and a fairly major car accident!

Well, what a day we had. As Ruth says, our life is never boring! But as you'll see, sometimes boring might actually be a bit better.

There is so much to tell you that I think we will break this into two blog posts!

Let's start at the beginning. As I explained in yesterday's blog post, I woke up feeling quite a bit better. Almost totally normal. And, we had been cooped up in the apartment for three full days. It was time to get outside and get some exercise.

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

We thought I had Covid

Slept well Sunday night, and woke up Monday morning ready to go for a hike and looking forward to our eye doctor appointments.

But it didn't take long to realize that something wasn't right. In the time frame of less than half an hour I went from feeling fine to running to the toilet. I had some kind of a stomach bug.

Monday, December 21, 2020

Another video of our new motorhome

We survived another two days of weekend quarantine and now have five days of freedom in front of us. But, we won't know what that five days is going to look like until we have our eye doctor appointments this afternoon. It could be that surgery happens fairly quickly. And we'll probably have to alternate somewhat who gets what done when to allow at least one of us to be able to drive and look after the other depending on how things go. We'll find out more later today.

And Christmas is coming up on Friday, but we're not sure how much that will affect things here in Turkey... a mostly Muslim country that doesn't typically celebrate Christmas, although we have seen some Christmas trees and things in some of the stores. From what I have read, this coming Friday could be a fairly normal work day here in Turkey.

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Good news received yesterday, and some Kilimanjaro planning

Now into Sunday, day two of our weekend quarantine here in Turkey. The weekend quarantine is supposed to last through the New Year's Eve weekend which will actually be a four day lockdown lasting from 9am Thursday December 31st until 5am Monday January 4th.

Too bad, because it's been a beautiful weekend. But, we are doing our part to follow the rules. Fortunately, we can get out and about for the next five days. We feel bad for the locals who have to work for five days and then quarantine for two.

Saturday, December 19, 2020

A new twist in our eye surgery story!

If you haven't read yesterday's post, you really need to do that before reading this one.

And so, given the events of Thursday, we had pretty much given up on getting the corrective eye surgery done while here in Turkey. But you never know when fate is going to change your direction in life. And so it was yesterday. What a strange story!

Friday, December 18, 2020

The eye doctor visit didn't go exactly as planned...

Yesterday morning we had our eye doctor appointments here in Antalya. 

Turkey is known as one of the cheaper places in the world to have corrective eye surgery performed. They even have a (normally) booming medical tourism industry related to that fact. But in trying to research it, I had a really difficult time coming up with actual prices. We figured that since we are already here, we would look into doing away with our glasses!

Thursday, December 17, 2020

The ancient city of Termessos... possibly the best ruins site yet!

Only 30 kms (18 miles) from our apartment in Antalya is the ancient city of Termessos. But while Antalya is virtually at sea level, the city of Termessos was built in the mountains, 3,000' above.

I had done some research and seen some photos, and the site looked spectacular. Despite it being so close to Antalya, it is a fairly quiet ruins site because it's not accessible to the masses. Most people drive from the entrance gate to the parking area, and even then it is a fairly steep 1 km (.6 miles) hike to actually get to the ruins.

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Moving day, and the ancient city of Olympos

We were out of the apartment in Finike at about 10:30am and headed for the big city of Antalya (pop 1,000,000). But we didn't want to arrive in Antalya until mid afternoon, so we planned to do some sightseeing along the way.

First, we headed towards the little village of Karaoz, with the thought of maybe doing some more Lycian Way hiking. But the weather was still not great and there was a 60% chance of rain. Besides, with all the rain we had three days prior to that, the trails would likely be pretty muddy.

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

It felt great to get outside again.

Our weekend curfew was over yesterday morning, but we woke up to more rain. The forecast called for a break in the showers after lunch, so as soon as that break occurred, we put on our raincoats and headed out the door!

I carry a set of exercise bands with me, and between pushups and other exercises I managed to get some activity in during our almost three days stuck in the apartment. But getting out for some fresh air and a fast paced walk really felt great. 

Monday, December 14, 2020

The credit card is getting a workout!

Pouring rain here all day yesterday. Not nice being cooped up due to the weekend quarantine here in Turkey, but it does make it a little more bearable knowing that we likely wouldn't have been outside anyhow. Man, did it pour buckets!

So, I spent a lot of time on the computer yesterday. 

We knew when we made the decision that a trip to Tanzania was going to be expensive. It's one of those countries where tourists pay far more than locals to do just about anything.

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Why do they make things so difficult?

Seems that anything the government in any country touches, they make it difficult. It's either complicated... or it's confusing.

We need to have tourist visas in order to visit Tanzania. It's really just a money grab, because I haven't read of anybody being turned down for any reason. As Canadian citizens, we qualify for Visa on Arrival. It's a fairly simply system whereby you get off the plane and fill out some forms and maybe stand in lines for two hours while you get your visa processed. Then you pay your $50 USD, get your passport stamped, and away you go.

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Appointment with the hospital

Not an emergency though... don't worry! Full story below.

Yesterday was an interesting day. We had to get a legal file printed off and mailed back to Canada. Just some stuff related to Ruth's father's estate. So we had to find somewhere to do that. I thought about a library, and a computer store, or an internet cafe but couldn't find any decent looking options using google maps in the town we are in. Guaranteed there would be somewhere, but instead we chose to drive a half an hour to the larger town of Kumluca.

Friday, December 11, 2020

Having lunch with the goats

Well I guess now that we have confirmed that we are going to climb Kilimanjaro, we need to stay in shape! Or hopefully get in better shape! 

We've been making an effort though... doing regular hiking and walking, and whenever possible involving some climbing. So yesterday we did a fairly short 1,200' climb to another ruins site. I know... you're probably getting tired of ruins sites.

Thursday, December 10, 2020

We decided where we are going next, and it's booked!

We got ourselves settled into our new apartment for the week. It's okay, except that it has no WiFi, and the cooking supplies are not the best. Ruth showed me one of the fry pans, and I said "you wouldn't use that in your own house" so why are they supplying us with it? But, that's what you get for $20 a night!

And we realize that. But in looking at more expensive places, you really need to spend double that and even then you have to be selective. The problem is that many Airbnb rentals are used by people on holiday, and generally people on holiday eat in restaurants.

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Moving day, and the ancient city of Kyaneai

Tuesday was a travel day, so the blog post was a little late. If you missed it, you can read it here...

https://www.travelwithkevinandruth.com/2020/12/more-beautiful-turkish-scenery.html

We were only going from Kaş to Finike, a distance of about 75 kms (47 miles). Slow going on some curvy roads though, so we figured maybe an hour and a half drive.

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

More beautiful Turkish scenery

Kind of surprised that we didn't get a little more audience participation on yesterday's post. We think we have made a decision, but we won't tell you about it until we actually book the flights.

Yesterday we were released from our weekend quarantine, and it sure felt good to get out for a hike. It was only two days, but when you have no backyard you do start to feel a little cooped up. We could not do 14 days of quarantine in an apartment... or a motorhome, for that matter.

Monday, December 7, 2020

Where are we off to next? Help us decide!

Our tourist visa to Turkey expires January 11th, so we are trying to sort through the options of where we want to go next. The plan is to arrive in Germany around March 22nd in order to pick up our new European motorhome. Of course that is still a ways off and we don't even know if that will be possible at the time. But that's the plan.

So we have between January 11th and March 22nd to go somewhere different. Almost two and a half months.

Sunday, December 6, 2020

That was the final straw

The last in a series of unpleasant events that finally makes you feel that you cannot continue to accept a bad situation.

And that is exactly the way we feel about Facebook.

A few weeks ago I wrote a blog post detailing the problems we were encountering. Since then, with no explanation or apology I was able to start accessing my account again, and the temporary block that was on Ruth's account was lifted.

Saturday, December 5, 2020

Curfew, market day, and more Lycian Way hiking!

The whole week they had been calling for rain. But fortunately their original forecast of steady daily rain has turned out to be wrong! Instead, we've had some rain overnight, and an occasional hour or so of late afternoon rain, but otherwise it has been a very pleasant week with high temperatures of between 18C to 20C (65F to 68F). 

Turkey announced new lockdown measures earlier this week that include a full weekend curfew, among other things. This time, compared to previous announcements, it didn't specifically mention an exception for foreign tourists.

Friday, December 4, 2020

Hike to the ruins at Phellos

Once again, the weather turned out better than forecast. Yes, there has been rain every day but it's either in the evening/overnight, or maybe a shower in the afternoon. Otherwise, it's been really nice. And perfect temperatures for hiking.

So on Thursday, we drove inland a bit to the tiny village of Pınarbaşı to find where the Lycian Way hiking trail intersects the village.

We had to go up a steep road to get from Kas, and the views were spectacular!

Thursday, December 3, 2020

We could almost swim to Greece

It's a bit odd that all of the major islands in the Aegean Sea belong to Greece, when so many of them are so much closer to Turkey than Greece.

On Wednesday, we walked the Kaş peninsula... an area of land sticking out into the beautifully colored Agean Sea. It is home to many high end hotels and private villas. It also offers up close views of the Greek island of Kastellorizo.

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Day trip to Simena Castle and the ruins at Kaleköy, Turkey

Yesterday's weather turned out to be far better than what they had originally called for. So we decided to drive about 35 kms (22 miles) west of where we are staying to a castle and very different village and ruins site called Kaleköy.

The village of Kaleköy can only be reached by foot or by boat. The village has been continuously inhabited for over 1,600 years.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

What does it cost for a month exploring Turkey? - November Expenses

Our expense reports are always the least read blog post of the month. It seems that most people simply don't care how much or how little money we spend! But I publish them because they occasionally have a little bit of information in them that might help a fellow traveler.

And for anybody thinking of a visit to Turkey, this will be an informative post.

We arrived in Turkey mid month, and so October's expenses didn't give an accurate indication of what prices are like here. But November was a full month of exploration within the country so it tells you what it costs for a whole month if you do things the way we did.