When the cows come home!
Trip Start Apr 05, 2012
30Trip End May 05, 2012
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Where I stayed
What I did
Real Rural Turkey
When we got to Pamukkale we dropped our bags in our hotel room and went out to see what was what. Obviously first stop was the incredible travertines, but we decided we'd wait for our tour tomorrow, and just did a bit of an explore in the open areas. We then tried to find a shop where we could get some supplies - like bars of chocolate, milk etc. Didn't make much progress but as Pete went into one shop I popped into one with a big information sign outside - just my sort of shop!! I asked if they could tell me where I could buy milk. Well, the fellow's eyes lit up - I'll take you to just the place he said (or I thought he said!)
I was a bit apprehensive - and when I told Pete he was very unsure of all this. How much would it cost? How long would it take? You can imagine. There was no stopping the plan though -the guy had the bit between his teeth and had us uploaded into his car in the click of a mouse, and after much gesticulating, phoning, chatting to colleagues and so on we headed out of town - just three miles. Well he chatted all the way there, we got to his sister's, she wasn't there but her young (approx 15 year old ) son was there. He was despatched by uncle to make us tea, whilst we were made comfortable on the verandah. And yes - there were about 15 cows in a nearby shed lowing for milking. Sister arrived - quick chat, tea served, brother left - assuring us that his brother in law would be back soon and he would take us back to town! Brother in law arrived and was apparently delighted to see us and gave us such a lovely welcome to his home etc. More tea. Then the vet arrived - after we all had another glass of tea we headed to the barns, watched while Mr. Vet donned plastic raincoat and extra long plastic glove, stuck his arm up the cow's rear end and proclaimed he'd be back in the morning to make her pregnant! Sister then proceeded to milk the cows - washed the udders with water from a bucket, plugged the cows, two at a time, to an electric powered milking machine, and we wandered around patting the calves, watching them eat, be milked etc. The two sons, the one who had made the tea and another who was helping shovel manure around the barn - were both helping the parents and very much a part of the action. In fact the one boy was blond and really didn't look a part of the family. After milking, the young son was given the task of driving the milk urn (containing about 100 litres) to the village depot. Everything they do - they do as a consortium, whether it is the milk, wool, meat, farm produce. We then sat on the verandah again but this time sister boiled the milk and we were given fresh milk to drink. It was delicious! She also filled up a water bottle with the hot milk and it is now sitting in the fridge. Then sister and hubby took us to the village centre where they opened up the carpet making rooms and showed us where they make the kilims and carpets which they sell - not to the tourist trade but direct to wholesalers for export. We were under no pressure to buy, they were just very interested in sharing their lifestyle with us! We also saw 100 year old grandma who is apparently in great health. This was a most fascinating and enjoyable evening. The sunset from their farm on the hill top was spectacular although Pete was freezing - I had his jacket. We certainly hadn't needed jackets when we left the hotel for our little stroll a few hours earlier!
When we got back into town we dashed to our hotel, grabbed a few things to make a sort of gift for the sister and her husband - we had a packet of tim tams, a box of factory fresh Turkish delight, a couple of clip on koalas, and a packet of Australian serviettes. We returned to the "information" office and handed the little parcel over to the brother who'd organised it all and asked him to pass it on to his sister.
We have the milk in the fridge - but to our dismay this is a rare occasion when we have no tea or coffee making facilities in the room!
What a real treat this has all been. It will be one of the highlights of our travels. Tomorrow we have a big day - hopefully everything goes according to plan. We spend the day touring Pamukkale, then travel to Kusadesi. So much to look forward to.