11.15am prompt pickup from our hotel. We booked our flights online in the UK before our departure. We managed to get a really good deal through Turkish holidays agency that works with Ikarus the paragliding company. We paid our 45GBP each in advance (bargain price since it is usually 65GBP or 90GBP). We were told in advance that we should wear trainers and comfortable clothes. We were warned that there would not be anywhere for us to put our bags so it was best if we didn't bring anything. I took my camera - latched a long chain on it so that I could wear it round my neck to keep my hands free. We climbed into a full truck full of people. We were the last of 10. The pilots all squeeze into the front of the truck and even on the roof top if they did not fit.
We were sat against the open back of the truck, only a flimsy metal ladder keeping us from falling out the back. The ride up the mountain was dusty and very bumpy. Don't expect a comfortable ride. An hour later we arrived at the 1700m take off point. Hair and eyebrows all white full of dust and mouth all gritty. There were many other paragliding companies setting up their gear and taking off from here. Our guide paired us off with our pilots and no other instructions. I got Oguz. Big sturdy professional looking guy I was pleased with that. He introduced himself and then put my pack and helmet on. He put me out on the edge of the face of the mountain as he laid out his gear and sorted out all his lines.
Another guy then came along and started strapping me onto Oguz's pack and instructed me to not touch any of the attachments. Oguz and the guy exchanged a few words and the next thing I knew i was being told to run and the guy in front of me pulled me forward. I managed only a few steps before i could actually no longer reach the floor. Oguz was doing all the leg work now and then we were off in the air. Very swift, very light, very calm. Oguz knew I wanted to take off from 1900m so he flew me right up to the top take off point so that I could witness the height. He was very good at flying and I found out that he had been doing it for 9 years. He works through the summer and saves it all up for the long winter when he is out of work.
Up in the air shot
He did many tricks, spinning around and the deep heart stopping drops. He even let me take the reins for a while and taught me to go left and right and did a few dips myself. The wind does rush through the chute while you are up there and when recording that is all you can hear, the wind. The view of the blue blue sea, the strip of beach and all the roof tops of the hundreds of hotels. You see lots of other gliders all up there at the same time. We were flying for about 30mins before we started to come down quite fast. The roof tops of the hotels and their pools suddenly seemed so close and before you know it we land safely on the patch of grass. BRILLIANT flight. BRILLIANT experience. I would absolutely do it again and again and again.
As we didn't have our beach gear we headed back to the hotel to grab our things. We came back and headed straight for the blue lagoon. We had high hopes of the place as everyone told us how sandy and beautiful this place was. We paid the 3.50TL for entry. The paved path way is supposed to lead you into the beach front. The path is very long and the place was packed out. I guess everyone had the same idea as us to come to the sandy beach. We walked and walked for about 15 mins and we were still in pebble territory. We stopped off at a water sport hut and paid for a ringo ride for two 30TL. You get life jackets strapped on and then they put you in the ring and tell you to hold on. The guy warns you to look after your bikini bottoms.
Aerial view of the beach
EEEEEKKKKK!!! The driver races off very quickly and the two of us bumped into each other a few times. Your bum takes a real beating from the waves and ripples caused by the speed of the boat. A few screams when we collided into each other quite badly. Annie was the first to fall off and it took her ages to jump back on. A mouth full of salt water and a few adjustments of her bikini and we were on our way again. The driver races around for about 10 mins and you just have to hold on for dear life until the time is over. As we started to make our way back the driver turned back and gave me a cheeky grin... and I knew that he was ready to flip me out. With one swift turn of the boat, I was flipped like a pancake. One word of warning let go of the ring.
I stupidly held on for longer than I should have and got dunked and re-dunked pretty badly. My brain had been washed out through my nose. My bikini top was pretty much around my neck at this point (thankful that I had a life jacket on to cover my modesty) and my bottoms... luckily was still attached to me. I swam back out to the shore and got pulled out like a heavy wet blanket, exhausted from the battering.
Hungry and still not reached the sandy beach we stop off at the cafeteria for lunch. There is an chicken donor kebab, meatballs and a burger 7TL each. There are chips and other sides too. You sit in the benched seating area where there are roosters and ducks wandering around. There are signs all over the place warning customers not to be noisy, not to bring their own food into the park and not to feed the animals.
geared up and ready to go
We gobble our burgers down very quickly and head off in search of the sandy beach. We reach a small sandy patch but it is packed out with lots of families with children. All the seats are taken and the water here is brown and murky. Instead we decide to find a quieter part of the beach, even if it is pebbly. We find a couple of loungers next to the jetty area and set up camp. Again umbrellas and chairs cost us 18TL. We stayed till after 7pm, the lagoon area was emptying and all the people were heading out of the park at the same time. We walked along the main beach to watch the sun setting over the sea. The sun was bright red. It looked amazing.
We came back into Oludeniz
in the late evening for dinner and to check out the night life, in hope that it would be better than what we had experienced at Hisaronu
everyone on the face of Mount Babadag
We stopped off at a nicely decorated restaurant, decent menu and friendly staff. The food was highly disappointing! I ordered the mixed seafood plate in white wine sauce, the food was soaked in what tasted like a gallon of cheap wine. It was so strong I was drunk on one mussel. Annie ordered the trout in lemon. Again they over did it with the lemon. The fish tasted like it was a lemon. Too strong. We couldn't finish out meals instead we washed it down with some cocktails.
We went in search of a place to party, shake a leg. No such luck. The bars all played very heavy electro, club music. Instead we chilled out on the beach with a hubble bubble.