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Published: September 20th 2015
The water is all of two-feet deep here.
The little ones can't help themselves. They stare in amazement, slack jawed, as shocked as a kid stumbling across the entrance to Ali Baba's cave on their way to school. Their gaze races over your being like a couple of fast moving fingertips. A grandparent's hand may appear to pull small chins back to politeness only to be pushed away like a branch encountered on an explorer's trail.
They discover us on the public buses and while we shop. The adults sometimes think we're locals and they'll walk up to us in grocery stores asking questions in Turkish like 'How much is this stuff?' while they hold up some sundried item. The kids smell something strange about us immediately. Maybe it is olfactory. Yesterday we faced a little girl perched on the edge of a seat across from us. A dead-ringer for Peppermint Patty. She was sitting next to her really big brother who paid Karen and I no mind at all. She looked at us with a bemused, self-assured expression. I think she was six years old going on thirty. She kept a cell phone by her side. We'd smile at her and she'd smile right back probably wondering
where we had parked our spaceship. It is a wonder to be wondered at.
We scooted down the coast to Dardanos which is a little beach ville just south of Canakkale. You can take the C-11G bus down there. There are 3 bus stops in Dardanos but they're small so keep your eyes open and let the driver know when you want off. The stops are fairly close together so if you miss one you don't have very far to walk to get where you're going. From Canakale it takes no more than 30-minutes to get there. The bus runs every half hour on weekends. Every 15-minutes during the work week. The fare is 3 Lira or a dollar US.
There's a long narrow beach with fine-grained sand. There was a stiff breeze blowing when we arrived and few people about. Two of the beach-side cafes have chairs and umbrellas which you can use for free as long as you're ordering food or drinks. In Turkey; ordering a single can of Coke entitles you to 4-hours minimum lounge time. Karen and I play cards in a Canakkale cafe for hours and all we've consumed are two glasses of
Dardanos Bus Stop
At least there's a place to sit down.
tea for which we've paid 2 Lira or sixty-six cents.
The beach is on the Dardanelle Strait. Little fishing boats ride anchor and fat gray Gulls pluck Sardines from the shallow turquoise waters. You can watch the parade of merchant vessels running the Straits. Look left and you'll see the end of the Gallipoli Peninsula and the Aegean Sea. With a pair of binoculars you can see the Greek island of Lesbos. Karen and I were going to head down there to see the refugee situation first-hand but all ferry traffic to the island has been cancelled. I do know a guy with a rubber raft though....
There's a single sand-blown road that comprises the town's main street. Cafes and condos stretch along the way for about 300-meters. There's a big building boom going on in the area with no apparent limit to the number of investors willing to build low-rise condominium resorts. Looks like Florida in 2007. Oh boy.
We platzed in the only restaurant we could find that was serving more than just toastes. Those grilled cheese and tomato concoctions I mentioned earlier. The restaurant has about 50 tables in total. Two of which were
occupied when we arrived. On the beach a chubby bikini-clad girl frolicked with her dog. She had one hell of a tan. The scene was lazy to say the least. While we ate, a teenaged boy swept the floors. When I asked for the bill the manager presented me with a little jewelry box that contained the tab. This was new.
Had the winds been more gentle we might have stayed longer but the day was an unforgiving one for sun worshipers. We played a game of Gin and took the bus for home. A little boy stared at us from his Mother's lap.
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