All last week I practiced with Jack Barker, Diane Barker’s husband at 6:30 am at the beach courts. We started at 6:30 because the teams began their warm ups each day at 8:50 so we had only till 8:45 to play each day (then we had to “bag”, or sweep the court). We played on the beach courts because they were unlocked at that hour whereas the rest of the courts were behind locked doors. We had the courts to ourselves most days except for the Ali Bey employee who was rolling each of the four courts each morning, which took him about 20 minutes per court.
Sunday though, since the team event concluded, and Jack was hitting with Diane, I arranged to practice with Vicki Buholz from the 50s team. There had been a leak though down at the beach courts and other players who had arrived for the individual world championships found our spot. However, not to worry, since matches didn’t begin till 9, we got onto the main courts and practiced from 7 till 8:45, which felt like noon.
A group of players had decided to take a day trip, Susan Wright, Anna Zimmermann, Erika Smith, Alissa Finerman, Julie from Australia and I were initially going to Side, but after running into Carolina Blouin, and her group, I decided (somehow I was put in charge of this excursion) to go to Alanya. I arranged for a taxi to take us down and back and wait while we toured around (which is customary.) Alanya is a beach town east of Manavgat about 45 minutes, in a bay on the Mediterranean. It was a gorgeous day and a beautiful ride down along the sea, which was a shade of blue we don’t see in the Pacific or Atlantic.
When we arrived I saw the castle at the top of the town, quickly googled it and the taxi driver (who spoke some German but no English), did understand we wanted to go up there. Erika was still on crutches from her foot/ankle injury so we couldn’t hike up too much. The views were spectacular and it was a really fun visit. We saw Carolina with her group on the way down…they had walked all the way up but of course we could not. We then went back to the center, had lunch near the sea (the homemade pita bread and hummas were fantastic) and bought some Turkish pottery after some negotiations. It was relaxing and a lot of fun!