The countdown for this seven day October holiday with my twenty-three year old daughter was now at last over. After a one hour delay due to a passenger becoming ill and needing to be taken to hospital, we were finally on our way.
We landed in Turkey at Dalaman around 2pm and were soon on the transfer bus – all part of our all-inclusive Cosmos package. An hour later, we arrived at The Green Forest Hotel in Hisaronu. The beautiful pine forest setting and blue skies gave us a delightful welcome and we couldn’t wait to strip off our jeans and jumpers and get into our summer clothes whilst there was just over one hour left before the sun hid behind the mountains.
After a wonderful evening meal, we decided to retire early as we had been up since 3.30am. Although our single beds were rather narrow and the walls were not very sound-proof, overall we were happy with our clean modern room and slept well on our first night.
We awoke to rich blue skies and felt very refreshed after a good night’s sleep. The breakfast spread was splendid after which we took the hotel’s free shuttle down to Olu Deniz beach and the Blue Lagoon.
We hired a pedalo for an hour and this is where our fun started. We didn’t need our men to be with us for a little adventure – or did we? Once away from the beach, we decided it would be a good idea to snorkel around the rocks. We found a place to tie up the boat and happily jumped into the warm water to explore – yes guys, we are so capable! When we decided it was time to head back, we swam back to our pedalo and discovered we had made a big mistake. We couldn’t get back on. We slipped and we slid, we tried forwards, we tried backwards to no avail. There was nothing low enough to step onto. Eventually – don’t ask me how – my daughter managed to get enough elbow strength to hoist herself aboard. She then tried and tried to help me aboard, but I was getting weaker and weaker.
The hilarious laughing at the beginning didn’t help either! I then had a bright idea (yes, women have this ability guys when strength fails them). If I swam to a nearby jetty which had a ladder and my daughter could untie the boat and peddle over to there, I would be able to climb aboard in a dignified manner. Now a pedalo is a very hard boat to steer precisely where you want it to go and my daughter couldn’t get it to the jetty. There was another boat moored at the jetty, so my daughter pulled up alongside it. I climbed onto this boat and was then able to walk across to our pedalo. Now we were free to burst into laughter once again and feel very proud that, between us, we had managed to solve a very serious problem. My tip therefore to anyone taking a pedalo out is not to go overboard unless you are sure you are able to climb back!
This was a cloudy day. Those of us who have a good book in hand that we are dying to finish, without the glare of the sun and know that we can still tan through the thin cloud wearing our costumes (as it was still 28 degrees) enjoyed the choice of sun beds around the pool and free food and drinks all day! With free Wi Fi connection, I could also spend time writing or catching up with friends and family on email (better than postcards). Can we get this at home in October? No – that’s why it is still a fabulous holiday – time, time and more time.
We walked into Hisaronu after dinner and enjoyed the welcome into the town by a Johnny Deppe look-alike dressed in pirate gear! Being the end of season, it was not the buzz we thought it would be and did make us feel guilty not eating in any of the many restaurants we were being beckoned into. We strolled back to the hotel and found that a show had begun in the open-air theatre. This was traditional Turkish dancing where holiday makers who dared to sit in the front row were pulled up to join in. We were glad we were late and at the back!
This was a serious tanning day. Still enjoying our books, swimming in the pool, enjoying the stunning mountain and pine forest backdrop, we had to call this our ‘perfect day’.
Well, until nightfall that is. We were just dozing off, when we were awoken by an argument which broke out between neighbours opposite us. A middle aged lady was complaining about the man next door’s TV being too loud. It was not a pleasant conversation.
We were just dozing off again when we were awoken by two women wobbling down the corridor and laughing, in and out of their room. The doors cannot be closed quietly – you have to slam them – so this was extremely disturbing. The hallway echoes so when the doors shut it makes you jump, but after mucking around a bit more, they finally fell into their room.
We said ‘night, night’ hopefully for the last time (now gone 1am) and started to doze off again. Guess what came next to hound us? A high pitched ‘zzzzzzzz’ in our ears! We both leapt up to catch the little blighter! Could we see him? We searched till we drove ourselves mad, but no, he was hiding. We eventually turned the light off again and decided we’d sleep whatever befalls. But sure enough, just as the mozzy knew we would be dozing, he says ‘zzzzzzzz’ and settles right on my cheek! It’s a long story but eventually my daughter found him in the corner underneath the dressing table. I swatted him with my book and we celebrated! We then at last fell asleep for the night!
Although cloudy, it was still warm enough to swim and my book was keeping me in suspense, so I was quite happy to remain in this lovely setting around the pool. It also meant we didn’t need to spend money if we stayed put and we both found the variety of excellent food irresistible. We had to shelter in the bar for about half an hour whilst it rained, but with our books and the laptop, we could not be bored. The rain had only intensified the wonderful smell of the pine forest. We both determined not to look like many of the holiday-makers around us – cross faces – complaining about the weather as if it was somebody’s fault! The sun appeared here and there and actually, when we got back to our room, we were amazed to see new sun tan marks.
Before dinner, we decided to catch a Dolmus down to Olu Deniz beach front. For those that do not know, a Dolmus is just the local name for a small inexpensive bus. The dusk atmosphere was beautiful down there and a photographers paradise. We had fun clicking away with our mobile phone cameras as the sun set and taking videos of all the Para gliders coming in to land on the beach. We found a bar which had bean bags on the beach and took in the warmth of the evening over a gin and tonic. We giggled like two teenagers as we messed around with our cameras trying to take shots of ourselves together at arms length.
The cloudy weather seems to have divided guests into two halves today. Those of us who are book worms and puzzle solvers (and writers of course!) still contented to be around the pool. Then those who have ‘misery’ written all over their faces and hopelessly wondering what on earth to do.
The sun eventually decided to stay out and roast us all nicely. My daughter is now calling this hotel ‘Noah’s Ark’ as everyone walks around two by two! There is not a child in sight, just young couples, middle aged couples, retired couples, a father and son, and mums and daughters. It also reminds us of a zoo where the animals try to amuse themselves as they wait for the next feeding time. We have noted laughing hyenas, roaring lions (those we hear snoring at night), seals (in the pool), pigs (who never stop eating) and monkeys (on the outdoor gym).
Our last day. It took us a while to decide ‘pool or beach’ but by the time we had breakfast, the poolside looked so peaceful and quiet that the pool won the vote. Most people had gone down to the beach to watch the air show, so it was even more quiet than usual. During the afternoon it clouded over with thunder and lightening. It created a very dramatic sky to photograph and I managed to capture lightening on a video clip. Within half an hour, it was all over and back to glorious sunshine and swimming again in between lunch, 3pm ice creams, and 5pm tea and cakes!
Well, it’s now time to pack ready for the morning transfer back to Dalaman Airport. All in all this holiday has been everything we had desired from this last minute top-up-the-tan break to delay ‘Sad Syndrome’ kicking in during the long winter months ahead. This was amazing value for money and we would certainly return.