A new Facebook group, Antalya Expat Social Group, organized a barbecue/beach day at Sarisu on Sunday. Sarisu is a public picnic and beach area, where ovens are provided for grilling, and water fountains are provided to stave off death from heat stroke. We were lucky enough to have a spot next to one of these fountains (thanks to Alison and Alper having arrived in the morning to secure a table in the shade), which I used repeatedly to douse my sarong. I found that keeping myself wrapped in this wet schmatta was the most efficient way to keep cool.
Sarisu Park is huge, so I was glad I’d taken Tina’s phone number with me. When I arrived at the parking lot (via the 08 bus on a short ride from Konyaalti) I knew I’d never find my way. Tina told me to stay put, and her husband Ersin came with Alper on an electric bike to pick me up. When I arrived there were three couples, two British women married to Turkish guys, and a Canadian guy married to a Turkish woman.
Later Iyad and Don arrived by bicycle from Konyaalti, which would have been suicidal for me in this 45 degree ( 113 Fahrenheit) heat. But Iyad had lived in Dubai for many years and was used to hot weather. He found the temperature “a bit hot” on his bike ride, but compared to the 55 degrees in Dubai it was manageable. Don, however, is English and has no excuse for biking in this weather. But his whole body is covered in tattoos, so I guess he’s just a tough guy (or a “nutter”, as the English would say).
After a snack of potato salad and chicken satay ( I’m so glad Tina likes to cook!) we decided it was time for a swim.
The beach was crowded, as you’d expect on a hot Summer Sunday, but there was room for us to park our things near the water.
The water was warmer that it is in Konyaalti. It was barely cool enough to be refreshing. By next month it’ll feel like a hot tub.
I couldn’t believe that some folks were lounging on the beach without umbrellas. As for me, I was either in the water or in the shade, so as soon as I finished swimming I went back to our table under the gazebo. Of course, by this time the sun had moved and the area under the gazebo was in direct sunlight. Fortunately there were big, strong men to move the table to the shade.
Every table in the park was occupied, and there were also folks picnicking the traditional way by just laying out a blanket. Some of them even brought hot tea, which Turks seem to find refreshing no matter how hot the weather gets.
My drink of choice for most of the day was cola, although I did have some beer later on. I was afraid that beer plus extreme heat minus food would be dizziness inducing, since I’m prone to that reaction. The rest of the group had no trouble drinking a good many beers. In fact, a neighboring group was going out for a beer run and offered to pick up some more for us, since our supplies were dwindling.
Once the guys got the barbecue going and I’d had a few chicken wings (marinated in a delicious but not spicy sauce) it was safe to imbibe a bit, and that was when Billy arrived bringing more beer.
It was such a lovely day, we stayed until we were kicked out, at around 9:00, when the park was closing. The group decided to make this a regular event, every other week. So, if you’re in the Antalya area two weeks from now be sure to stop by.Google+