BackPacking Granny and Sassy recently went on holiday together. This is how they got on…
SASSY: BPG was my neighbour when I first moved out of my marital home. We didn’t see each other much at first as I was a bit of a hermit – still in shock and traumatised by the end of my marriage. But she was always there with a shoulder to cry on, a sympathetic ear, full of worldly advice and a glass of wine! Over the years we have become much closer and socialise together on a regular basis. She says I remind her of her younger self (I am flattered). I just adore her – she has the same kooky sense of humour and her never-ending zest for life and enthusiasm for adventure are infectious.
BPG: I have known Sassy for about five years. She is much younger than me, but we share a sense of the ridiculous, both have oodles of energy, and both love G & T’s and food! Anyhow we decided on a trip to Turkey. Why on earth are you going to Turkey friends have said. Gosh, I wouldn’t travel there, far too dangerous. Well, my mother who lived through the Blitz in London had a saying “When your number’s up it’s up.” So defying all these harbingers of doom, we went on our first holiday to Turkey together.
SASSY: I don’t think anyone can say that anywhere is 100% safe anymore but if we let terrorists dictate where we can and can’t go then they will have won – dividing us all.
BPG: If you care to look at a map you’ll see that the little port of Kalkan is a pretty long way from Syria and indeed Istanbul. Terrorism is everywhere and we are not going to bow down to it. So that’s how we came to set off bright eyed and bushy tailed at Gatwick at 4am. Sassy had full make up on and high heels!
SASSY: I should have known what kind of adventure we would have right from the start! With 2 litres of gin in my carry on and a litre of water and 2 weighty paperbacks I was decidedly happy our gate wasn’t the usual 2 mile trek along moving walkways. However I stopped dead in my tracks seeing a shiny new penny before me. Now I had “See a penny pick it up all day long you’ll have good luck” drilled into me since childhood. I stooped gingerly hoping to grab it and as soon as I bent down I knew I was in trouble.
BPG: It was the high heels that caused the problem. Unfortunately the weight of her rucksack acted as a fulcrum, pulling her backwards. She crashed to the ground with legs flailing and knickers on show to the world. Meanwhile the full force of the concourse traffic continued to pound down on top of her. I was paralytic with laughter and am ashamed to say did nothing to help.Fortunately she saw the funny side and our flight went smoothly after that. Kalkan is a charming little port and holiday town on the Lycian coast. In times gone by before the road was built it was nothing more than a port of call. Therein lies its charm. It has only moved on in the past 20 years. In the centre is a small harbour. Fishing vessels, the occasional yacht, and day trip boats , bob up and down below terraces of restaurants and bars and lovely old houses. You could say it was a Turkish version of Puerto Banus but without the bling or pretension. The sea is pristine clean and clear and the old and new housing rises from the harbour in steep layers of terraces . It’s bougainvillea time and the pink flowers fall like waterfalls over balconies and terraces.
SASSY: We were both totally relaxed in each other’s company and happy to read, chat or just have companionable silences and snoozes! So chilled ! Well until the chilling was shattered by BPG spectacularly falling off her sunbed (sober). Every evening, post showers, we would sit and watch the sunset with a glorious G & T and debate where we fancied dinner that evening. We had glorious fresh amazing healthy meals (ok and a fair bit of gin!) but we never had particularly late nights. We both read avidly, sharing books and laughing about characters and who reminded us of people we both know at home!
BPG: The Turkish men kiss your hand on introduction and they certainly know how to turn a woman’s head. Talking of that we met a real middle aged Adonis. Sadly neither Sassy nor I got a photo of him to show you! If you look at Leonardo’s David you would be close.
SASSY: Yes, on our last day we booked a boat cruise. The Turkish captain (the Adonis) was charm personified and well what can I say – BPG had to mop up my drool!
BPG: Yes, he was perfectly formed – tall, with twinkling eyes, and a body to die for. At lunch time he stripped off to serve us our food (a charming Turkish custom I believe). I honestly don’t think he was aware of how beautiful he was. He was also the owner of the most delightful dog.
SASSY: After lunch we all stripped off to swim in the gorgeous clear sea, including the dog. Our Adonis, of course, did a fabulous no fault dive from the poop deck and his dog followed, swimming like an Olympian and smiling as dogs do when they are really enjoying themselves. It swam to the shore, some mean distance and proceeded to scamper up the rocks and onto the top of a steep escarpment. Then with a loud bark – just to make sure everyone was watching – he did a brilliant four legged swallow dive! We had a glorious swim ourselves….thankfully it cooled us off a little. I wasn’t in the water as long as everyone else and when I climbed back on board, Adonis was on the deck doing sit ups and push ups and generally moving his fabulous body in all sorts of contortions! I think he thought everyone was still in the water. I barely knew where to look! But he was so sweet and so totally unaffected. Unlike a lot of men I don’t think he had any idea how easy on the eye he was! Swoon…
BPG: Yes, thank you Sassy. If any of you readers are out there and are single, I couldn’t recommend Kalkan more for a girlie holiday. We had lots of laughs, nothing was too much trouble for anyone that we encountered, we had fun shopping and we felt appreciated. The numbers are down this year, you can get into the restaurants and the prices are reasonable. Best of all though is the view!
SASSY: Back home we will be straight into Henley Regatta – parties, picnics, boat trips and entertaining – full on. At least we have come home glowing, refreshed and relaxed ready for the onslaught!
BPG: So Sassy, where do you fancy going next?