With the weather set fair, we accompanied semigrey hedonistas Greg and Sam on a road trip to reconnoitre some of the tumble down sites north of Bodrum, establishing ourselves at a secluded hotel on gorgeous Lake Bafa. We wanted a cute log cabin with charming rustic fittings. We got a Spartan concrete bunker decorated with blood red squashed mosquitos, a lumpy hard bed and stiff, thin towels. The entire complex is shabby chic but without the chic. However, the views across the lake are spectacular and the genial proprietor, Wilhelmina the beefy, bearded lady, is welcoming and helpful. She attempted to persuade us to participate on a five hour eco-trail walk. Not unless there’s an organic bar at the end, I thought.
Our first excursion took in Euromos where there’s little to see apart from the well preserved Temple of Zeus so a five minute stopover is enough for most. Onwards we drove to Didyma in search of the Temple of Apollo. We journeyed across miles of tedious, treeless, tatty flatlands broken only by occasional heaps of building rubble and skeletal erections. This is not the best ofand provides an unappealing gateway to the truckloads of tourists who flock to Altinkum during the summer scurries. Now I know why Thomas Cook prefer to ferry their clients after dark. We passed through dire Didim, an ugly and unfinished urban sprawl, and arrived at the temple to find it fenced in by a shanty town of scruffy establishments. Despite this encroachment and the vandalism of Christian fanaticism, earthquakes and frequent plunder, the vast shrine is an impressive pile and well worth the entrance fee.
The hilarious highlight of our visit was tripping over a pair of horny tortoises. The smaller, younger male pursued his ardour with all the steely determination of a spring-loaded waiter chasing a VOMIT, banging his head on the rear of her shell until she relented. Typically, the no nonsense, no foreplay intercourse ended as soon as it started and the old broad looked bored throughout.
After a couple of hours surveying the ruins we travelled onwards to Altinkum, the playground of choice for those on a budget. We expected little and the resort lived down to our expectations. Few seaside towns look appealing out of season (and Southend looks unappealing in any season) but the pretty beach is utterly wrecked by the paltry parade of trashy hassle bars lining the frayed promenade. I don’t mind down market resorts for those on a fixed budget. I’m partial to a full English and a tuneless, tanked-up karaoke myself from time to time. Nevertheless, Spain does it so much better. It’s small wonder that a holiday home in Altinkum is cheaper than a Bournmouth beach hut.
We returned to the woods to drink the night away, star gaze and UFO spot. The frequency of alien sightings rose as the wine bottles drained.