Getting around is a real experience here in Bodrum. We organise our own transport for our groups, from small people carriers to coaches, all depending on the size of the group attending our holidays.
This makes our guests life far more comfortable and worry free, just gazing out of the window at the passing views of forests, high wooded hills and beautiful coastline require all your attention. However for a real taste of authentic life we reckon on the Dolmus (pronounced DOLMOOSH) for a true adventure.
These small crowded minibuses are frequent, quick and very efficient and stop anywhere and everywhere en route, so long as you have got the hang of hailing one.
The word dolmus comes from dolu, meaning full, the bus will wait until it is completely full before embarking on its journey and it certainly can get crowded!
Not everyone will get a seat, but you will fine the Turks very polite and well mannered, so you may often be given a seat if you are a foreigner, or a woman, or over 40, or all three as in my case!
We will probably take at least one dolmus trip during your painting holiday, Bodrum Town takes 20-25 minutes and from our village it is a scenic route, going over the mountain that separates Bodrum from Yalikavak, past the old windmills and through the Ortakent valley.
Once within the city outskirts, the stops will be more frequent and more people will squeeze in, returning from Bodrum on market day can be a real sardine tin journey as you will be sharing with countless bulging bags, sacks and baskets crammed full of produce.
It is probably best, if you don’t want this experience, to take an earlier bus, or take time out in one of the many bars or cafes on the waterfront, then travel back after the rush hour. Taxis are expensive on long journeys, yet local ones are surprisingly reasonable; bright yellow like in the USA and saloon cars or jolly squat van like vehicles, they can take up to five people.
I have been known to get eight into a taxi going to the driver’s fiancee’s mother’s restaurant (don’t ask, but the food was great) Other modes of transport used frequently in our area are donkeys, tractors, and occasionally when celebrating, camels. There are few trains and none where we live.
If walking, which is the predominant mode of transport around our way, watch out for the ladies from Istanbul they drive large 4x4s, constantly talk on their mobiles, too small to see over the steering wheel and in consequence are some of the worst drivers I have ever encountered.