Dalyan: home of my first full-blown travel meltdown

My well-travelled English friend told me when in Turkey you must go to Dalyan.

So I did.

To set the scene I hadn’t had a hot shower in a week and to get to Dalyan involved an entire day of travel on five different buses, a large portion of which I was sitting backwards next to a morbidly obese Turkish woman, with only one arse cheek on the seat, while a French kid with a rude mullet-esk haircut stared at me.

I also forgot to charge my iPod, so it was impossible to zone out of the driver collecting money, texting and talking on his phone while overtaking on seemingly blind corners.

When I miraculously arrive in Dalyan at sunset I discover my hostel is in fact a two kilometre walk out of town.

I swear I’m the only tourist in Dalyan and have many a panic attack as old cars driven my solo Turkish men drive past me slowly as I’m lumping my huge backpack past beautifully creepy deserted-looking buildings like this one.


I arrive at my hostel at dusk only to discover it’s still deep in winter hibernation.


In fact I’m the only person there, there’s no lights on, the staff don’t speak English and there’s nothing to eat.

I decide I’ll just have a hot shower and go to bed. I strip off and wait for the shower to heat up. Fifteen minutes later and nothing – still ice cold.

It’s about now I loose the plot. I’m sitting on the bathroom floor, naked, crying.

Dark thoughts follow. I’m travelling by myself around the world, I don’t know what I want, I don’t know where I want to go, I don’t know what I want to see, in fact, it’s even a struggle for me to decide what I want to eat for breakfast. What the hell am I doing?

I crawl into bed, it’s 7pm on a Saturday night. I crack open my emergency bottle of Efes beer and watch the heartwarming movie ‘We Need To Talk About Kevin.’

I tell myself all will be better in the morning.

But in the morning I awake to find that no-one in the town will take me to Turtle Beach and Dalyan’s famous mud baths for less than 100 lira.

They’re taking the piss.

That’s it. I pack my bags and board yet another bus this time for Selcuk, home of one of the seven ancient wonders of the world, the fantastically preserved ruins of Ephesus, and the house where it’s claimed the Virgin Mary spent her last years.

Five hours later and I arrive at the bus station. The hostel sends someone to collect me for free, they upgrade me to a private room with a double bed for the price of a dorm, there’s hot water, they’re playing Fat Freddy’s Drop, they crank the barbie, they give me Cadbury’s chocolate, the brothers who run it are Turkish/Australian, and they have toilets which you can actually flush toilet paper down – a rarity in Turkey.


And so that’s me for the next five days as I slip into a food and Efes coma. If it wasn’t for the fact I had to get back to Istanbul for my Anzac Day tour I might have never left.

Ok I admit a ruggedly handsome Turkish/Australian man and his dog (and seriously I don’t even like dogs) might have had a little something to do with that too.

But who knows I might be back – they might make a bar wench out of me yet.


5 thoughts on “Dalyan: home of my first full-blown travel meltdown

  1. Oh dear. I guess u arrived out of season. I still maintain it’s the most wonderful place! Hope my name wasn’t a dirty word for too long. The thought of you sobbing, all lonely tugs at my heart strings. But on the basis of what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, I hope you forgive me for not telling you to go in summer! X

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