Tag Archives: Paradise Beach Altinkum

Turkey, Final Days

Turkey Souvenir Shopping Bag

On the penultimate day we were running out of things to do.  We were awake early and taking breakfast on the balcony and decided to take the bus to the nearby town of Akbuk which was recommended for its Friday market.

This being Thursday I was smugly certain that a bus ride there would do no harm.

So we walked to Altinkum and to the bus terminus at the bottom of Kemal Atatürk Boulevard and waited twenty minutes or so for a Dolmus to turn up.  The bus arrived and we set off on an uncomfortable forty minute ride to the town situated around the bay on the opposite side of the peninsula.

When we arrived I was in for a shock because on account of this being a religious holiday weekend the Friday market had been brought forward to Thursday and the bus dropped us off at the market car park and there was no way of escaping it.  Kim didn’t want to escape it of course and I had some difficulty in keeping up with her as she set off into the labyrinth of stalls like a child visiting a Father Christmas grotto!

There was nothing I could do but tag along.  A week ago in Didim market I was able to volunteer to take the grocery purchases home but here in Akbuk I was thirty kilometres away from sanctuary so there was nothing for it but to grit my teeth and put up with my hopeless predicament.

Poseidon Altinkum

Actually, it wasn’t that bad I have to say, it was a relatively small market and within a very short time we appeared to have seen all that there was to see so we left by a back exit on a dusty street and made our way to the sea front where we wandered around the boats in a way that we hadn’t been allowed to at the Didim Marina and then we found a comfortable bar next to the sea and stopped for a drink before taking the Dolmus back to Altinkum.  Akbuk had been an interesting distraction for a morning but I won’t be rushing back!

For the rest of the day we didn’t do anything that we hadn’t done before so I have nothing really to tell you about except that we did go out for dinner rather than stay in and cook for ourselves and we took the Dolmus to Yesilkent and back and in between we enjoyed a final last evening meal before returning to the apartment.

On the final day we did even less.  Got up late, cleaned the apartment, replenished any supplies that we had used and then went for a final swim and a lunch at Paradise Beach.

The mood there was much calmer today and the owners appeared to have settled their differences because there was no arguing.  The man had a smart new hair cut so perhaps that was what the savage argument had been about? Who knows?

Today we threw calorie caution to the wind and ran through the entire menu of pancakes, meatballs, salad and fries and then we washed it down with an Efes or two and just sat and looked out over the sea and let the afternoon slowly slip carelessly through our fingers.  It would be a long time before we would enjoy the sea again so we were reluctant to leave but eventually it was time and we made our way back to the apartment for final packing.

In the late afternoon the airport transport bus (not IMX) arrived to collect us and soon we were making our way out of Altinkum and Didim and making our way around the southern shore of Lake Bafa and towards the airport at Bodrum.

As we drove I drew up a balance sheet of our visit to Turkey.  I had enjoyed the antiquity and the ruins, the temples and the ancient cities; the long walks along the coast; the friendly people; Bodrum; our excellent apartment courtesy of our friends Steve and Kath and the weather.  On the other side of the balance sheet were the dogs, the litter and IMX Travel but overall I declared the holiday a resounding success and look forward to returning to Turkey as soon as the travel itinerary allows.

Temple of Apollo Didyma



Turkey, Pancakes and Domestics

Altinkum Turkey

Wednesday began early for me, I was beginning to return to my UK body clock regime and I was up at six o’clock sitting on a chilly balcony with a first cup of tea.  Even the sun wasn’t up yet, Kim certainly wasn’t!

It was a crisp, clear morning with a faint orange glow crawling slowly over the hills to the east like a creeping red wine stain on a tablecloth and I sat outside and watched the sunrise just because I could and I knew that there wouldn’t be many more opportunities this year.

Suddenly the sunrise became rapid and considering how long it took to clear the mountains within an hour the sun was surprisingly high in the sky and was a reassuring ball of yellow flame.  It was becoming warmer by the minute, I stopped shivering and had a third cup of tea.

The days were slipping away in the way that final moments of a holiday seem to accelerate at a disproportionate speed to the start but we weren’t in the mood to do anything dramatic because we were staying in an excellent apartment, there was a shop around the corner that sold cold beer and splendid beaches nearby.

The day after the dog walk we decided to go back to Paradise Beach and have a swim and a pancake lunch at the beachside bar/shack.  We had already declared them to be the best food we had eaten in Turkey all fortnight so were happy to go back.  This didn’t take an awful lot of planning so I had a fourth cup of tea and waited for sleepy Kim to make an appearance.

About mid-morning we left the apartment and before going to the beach we did the Yesilkent walk again, strolled along the road, stopped for a drink at a favourite bar and then walked back along the coastal path to Paradise Beach.

The brief period of indifferent weather had passed now, the winds had dropped, the temperatures had risen again and the beach and the sea was back to its very best.  There were only a couple of other families on the sand so there was plenty of room to spread out so we left our things and went for a long refreshing swim.

Turkey decorated containers

After half an hour or so we dried ourselves off and made our way to the shoreline furniture which belonged to the shack.  I really liked it there, the furniture was old and storm battered, faded, creaking and as dusty as an undisturbed library, it was shabby and worn and Kim said that it suited my style down to the ground.  I think this was meant to be a compliment?

We sat for a while and waited for service but something didn’t seem quite right today.  The owner seemed to be sulking and his wife had a bit of a face on.  Eventually he came across and took the order and took it back to his wife.  I don’t think she wanted to do the cooking today and snatched the order from his hand and passed it on to her daughter who set about it straight away.

We had stumbled across a domestic!  At first we could hear them shouting at each other in whispers in the way people do in the hope of not attracting attention to themselves but as the minutes passed the volume was raised and they completely abandoned any attempt to keep the dispute in any way private.  Soon they were yelling at each other, arms were waving and there was the dramatic posturing and gesturing that accompanies an argument such as this.  We felt rather embarrassed but we had ordered now so we turned our chairs to face the sea and tried to ignore them.

I confess that I found this impossible so gradually turned my chair around again and watched the dispute play out.  Finally he had had enough of the ear bashing that he was taking and tried to make a get away. He got into his car and started to reverse away.  She heard the engine and chased after him wielding an empty beer bottle and threatened to smash it over the windscreen.  He obviously thought better of his plan to escape and as he got out of the driver’s seat she threatened to smash it over his head if he tried it again.  I was convinced that we were only seconds away from physical violence.

But then it seemed to suddenly calm down, she went off to sit in a shady corner, he went to the shoreline to rake up some sea weed and the daughter finished cooking our food and brought it to our table.  It was delicious again and as we finished a second bottle of beer we agreed that we would come back here in a couple of day’s time for our final meal and perhaps some more entertainment.



Turkey, Grocery Shopping and Self Catering

Altinkum Grocery Shopping

It was another glorious morning and after breakfast on the balcony we put our agreed plans immediately into place.  Kim stayed in the apartment sitting in the sun and I went food shopping at Carrefour.  I really must try and remember that Kim is so much better than me at seven card stud poker!

Carrefour was about three kilometres away along the Kemal Atatürk Boulevard and rather than wait for the Dolmus bus I decided to walk a while and see if one came along, which they frequently did but only between bus stops!

This reminded me of going to football matches with my dad in Leicester about fifty years ago.  Very close to my grandparents house where he parked the car there was a bus stop with a direct service into the city but dad rather cunningly always started out for the match at a time that was certain not to coincide with the bus timetable.  I never caught on to this little trick of course and he had a very brisk walking pace that required me to run along side him just to keep up as he strode out ahead.   It turns out that dad just didn’t like paying bus fares which he considered to be an unnecessary expense in life.  I have inherited that trait!

I eventually arrived at the supermarket and filled my wire basket with the items on Kim’s list and was feeling rather pleased with myself until I was suddenly aware just how heavy the trolley bag suddenly was and how uncooperative the wheels were when trying to steer it.  I really didn’t fancy walking all the way back with that because the town planners in Altinkum have done some curious things.  They have provided nicely surfaced pavements but then every few metres planted a tree in it, and trees so big that you are forever having to go up and down the kerbs to go around them and into the road so instead I waited at the bus stop until a Dolmus came by.

After only a short wait the bus turned up and the driver did that thing that bus drivers do everywhere and pulled up several metres after the spot where people were waiting so that they had to pick up their bags and walk to the door.  This is something that must be hard-wired into a bus driver’s brain at birth.

Altinkum Shopping

With the shopping completed and water supplies replenished it was time for a swim so we took a dusty track off the main road and made for a place called Paradise Beach and when we arrived we could only agree that it was so aptly named because here was a golden crescent of pristine sand shelving slowly into the sea.  A sea that was changing colours like a kaleidoscope – butter milk cream over the wave polished stones, vivid blue over the butterscotch sand and imperial purple over the swaying weed.

After the walk in the hot sun, the shopping expedition and the fight with the shopping trolley it looked so inviting so there was no time wasted diving in and taking a refreshing swim.

There is currently a beauty salon fad in the United Kingdom and elsewhere which involves parting with substantial amounts of cash, taking shoes and socks off and dangling them into a tank of fish which will nibble away at the dead skin and provide a natural pedicure.  The toothless fish are called garra rufa and are also commonly known as ‘doctor fish’, they come from the Eastern Mediterranean, mostly Turkey, and there were some in the sea today and when we stood still long enough they congregated at our ankles and shortly got to work.

Doctor Fish

While we enjoyed our free foot treatment it became obvious that the discerning little creatures preferred my feet to Kim’s and I could easily steal her fishy medical companions by standing close to her.  Kim became irritated by this so I explained to her as best I could that the only explanation I could think of was that while some men are ‘babe magnets’ I really couldn’t help being a bit of a ‘fish magnet’!

This alternative beauty treatment sounds weird but it might be considered positively normal compared with some others.  For example, bull semen, a moisturising hair treatment that uses the sperm of Angus bulls. Ox bone-marrow shampoo from Brazil, Nightingale droppings used in Japan as a facial cleanser, snail slime used in South America as a hand cream and snake venom in Africa which is claimed by some to have the same face-freezing effects as Botox – if you want to freeze your lips, simply kiss a cobra!

After the swim we walked back along the coastal track and came to a small cove with a shack made of driftwood and what looked like old canvas and curtains for shade.  This turned out to be Ray’s private beach and as we approached he came out to meet us and invited us to swim – so we did.  Having made use of his beautiful beach but not having hired a sun bed from him (5 Turkish Lira) it seemed only good manners to take a drink with him so we bought some beer (8 Turkish Lira) and sat and chatted to him for a while.

After the beer we wandered back to the apartment and as evening approached and the sun went down we now prepared for our evening meal and assembled a feast of barbeque delights and Turkish (Greek) salad and when it was gone we congratulated ourselves on a wonderful gastronomic effort (well, Kim’s mainly if I am completely honest) as we sat under the stars and reflected on an excellent day.

Ray's Beach