|Saturday 26th September 2015
The villa is absolutely wonderful! The internal decoration is tasteful and fresh, the kitchen is about four times larger than ours and the westward-facing terrace with its little infinity pool is simply exquisite. There’s an excellent Wi-Fi connection, to which I’ve connected seven devices – yes, seven! It all lives up to our high expectations!
The flight from Gatwick was only three and a half hours and the transfer down to the villa near Bozburun took less than two and a half hours. The weather was a little cloudy as we reached our destination, but the skies cleared in time for the most amazing sunset.
The only problem came when I switched on my mobile and received a text from Winnie’s care home telling us that she’s been admitted to hospital again this morning with a chest infection. We alerted Carly and Laura, both of whom dashed to see her and make sure that hospital staff are fully au fait with Winnie’s medications. She’s on an intravenous antibiotic and at present her condition is said to be OK with a good prognosis.
Sunday 27th September
The blinking ‘Call To Prayer’ woke us at about 6am, even before dawn had begun to break. Still, we shrugged it off and slept on for another hour, catching up after yesterday’s long and tiring day.
At 9.30am we had a fresh loaf delivered and had breakfast as we waited for the sun to come round on to the pool and terrace. After that it was reading in the sun until 4pm when we set off in the car to explore the area. Just down the hill, in the hamlet along the shore, there are several restaurants, one of which we decided we’d come back to this evening.
We then set off for Bozburun, the town five miles away that we’ve visited several times before and where we had a family meal when we all came here on my birthday in 2010. There are a couple of ‘supermarkets’ where we stocked up with provisions for the week.
Back at Villa Duru we had tea and Baklava before setting off back down the hill for a meal by the shore as night was falling. At 120 Turkish lire it seemed a bit expensive until we calculated that this was only £28 … for two of us!
We took with us the torches made available in the villa and were very glad of them as we made our way back from the car in darkness. Mind you, the moon is enormous at the moment and the moon light was helpful.
In the morning Gill wants to go to a nearby market, but after that it’ll be back to the pool!
Monday 28th September
The market took place on the road about two miles inland from our villa. That’s right, on the road – for the whole morning the road was completely blocked with stalls, cutting us off from the rest of Turkey!
The market was quite a small one, offering fresh fruit and vegetables and also household wares and clothing. We stocked up on fruit such as peaches and pears and treated ourselves to peanuts covered in honey and sesame seeds and also cashews. Then it was back to the villa for the rest of the day.
This is our fourth holiday in this area but the first where we’ve had such an amazing view of the sun setting. As it goes down below the horizon you can actually see it move until, ’pop’, it’s gone. Tonight we ate in ‘Manzara’, a restaurant on the hill above us, which is noted locally for its exceptional view of the sunset, and I took some amazing photographs with no effort at all.
As for the meal, we made the same mistake as last night, finding that we’d ordered so much as starters that we struggled with the main course, for which we’d chosen fresh fish (grouper). We resolved that we wouldn’t do this again!
While parking back at the villa I noticed that we had virtually no diesel left in the tank, so our priority for tomorrow will be getting to the only filling station in the area, which is at Bozburun.
Tuesday 29th September
Every morning at 9.30am a local brings us a loaf of fresh bread, and an hour later his wife comes to do the cleaning and water the garden. When she’s gone we can really relax and call the place our own.
This morning we set off at 10am for the filling station in Bozburun, five miles away. We had another wander around the town and treated ourselves to Baklava, which we bought in a shop that we’ve visited several times before.
Back at the villa it was sunnier than yesterday, and it was nice to feel that we didn’t have to go anywhere. This evening we went to ‘The Captains Table’, a restaurant in the next bay, near to the villa that we stayed in with the whole family in 2010.
We’ve noticed that all of the restaurants that we’ve visited so far have no menus. Instead you’re taken to a chilled display cabinet where everything on offer is displayed and you can choose your starters and main course. And yes, we over-ordered yet again – will we never learn? ;o)
Tomorrow we’ve decided to go further afield, along the Datça peninsula, taking in some ancient settlements.
Thursday 1st October
Yesterday we stayed at the villa all day, relaxing. Gill finished her second book of the week and I raced three quarters the way through The Girl In The Spider’s Web, the new Lisbeth Salander book written by an author commissioned by Stieg Larsson’s family; it’s as good as the first three.
Today we made an early start, leaving the villa at 8.30am and heading for Datça on the nearby peninsula of the same name.
At 10.30am, as we approached the town, we spotted signs to The Olive Farm, so pulled in out of curiosity and looking for refreshments after a slow journey on bumpy roads in a car with no ‘oooomph’ at all. Gill said later that she could have spent a lot of money in the farm shop! We then had fresh orange juice and a dish of delicious fresh fruit (melon, grapes and figs) in the bar outside before setting off into Datça (pronounced like Thatcher).
It was a very pleasant, medium-sized seaside town, and we wandered round the harbour for a while before setting off westwards again. We toyed with going to Knidos, an ancient Greek settlement at the furthest tip of the peninsula, but when Gill spotted signs to Palamutbükü, where she had read that there was a 2 kilometre-long beach, we diverted and resolved to save Knidos for our next visit.
There was indeed a long beach, but it was all stones and virtually no sand at all. However, we decided to stop for lunch anyway at a beachside restaurant with its own sunbeds and umbrellas. Gill couldn’t resist a quick dip in the Aegean before we settled down with our books for a while.
At 3.30pm we set off for ‘home’ stopping off on the way for another orange juice at The Olive Farm and for some provisions in Bozburun. We got back at 6.30pm, just in time for another utterly breathtaking sunset across the sea and the mountains of Simi.
We’re really glad that we ventured further afield for a change. If/when we return to the area we’ll make a point of going out to Knidos – by all accounts it’s well worth the long drive.
Saturday 3rd October
In a couple of hours the taxi’s coming to take us back to Dalaman airport, so we'd better start packing soon … well, in a while … in an hour, maybe?
We've had a couple of quiet days to round off the holiday. Yesterday we stayed at the villa until late in the afternoon when we drove to the nearby town of Selimiye to eat. When we were on our honeymoon in this area we ate in a lovely fish restaurant there and were half-inclined to go back. In the event there seemed to be so many other well-regarded restaurants in the little town that we thought we'd wander around and see what we could find.
The sun went down behind us as we drove eastwards to Selimiye, and when we got there dusk was creeping over the sky. It's a very pleasant little place that seems to be a magnet for people in sailing boats, and the harbour is packed as a result.
Gill got talking in a harbourside shop to the proprietress, who was English. She asked for a recommendation on which restaurant we should visit, whereupon she left her shop unattended and took us down an alley to the street behind and pointed out The Falcon.
We were shown to a table and were initially unsure of whether we'd made a good choice - there were few other diners and a TV at one end was blaring. However, we were seated in an outdoor area, underneath foliage which must shelter the area from the intense summer sun, and the restaurant proprietor was incredibly friendly.
Learning from earlier mistakes we skipped starters and just had a main course each. Gill had lamb casserole and I had meatball casserole. The dishes were made from scratch for us and so took a while to arrive. When they were brought to the table they were in cast iron dishes set on wooden boards and the contents were still bubbling. Together with local bread that we ate with excellent olive oil and balsamic vinegar it was a superb meal, and all for only £17-£18. On our way back to the car Gill bought some baklava for us to have with a cup of tea back at the villa.
So, now we have to tidy up, pack our bags, have showers and get ready to leave. We already both have a hankering to come back here because of the seclusion, peacefulness and luxury of the villa … and, of course, the gorgeous pool!