Hedon: Turkish epicurian delights
Trip Start Jun 29, 2005
235Trip End Nov 30, 2009
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The aptly named Hedon is just south of a large headland in the north eastern corner of the Med, about 60km due west of Antakya in Turkey. History buffs might realise that Antakya is the modern day Antioch, a major metropolis in Greco-Roman times that had added dubious distinction of being the most debauched and depraved city in the late empire. Apparently it would have put Caligula to shame and it seems current day residents share a little of their ancient ancestor's tastes, although in a slightly more reserved manner these days.
We arrived into the small village of Hedon one afternoon and chilled beats were already floating in the breeze as the sun prepared to set. What I saw that day though was enough to convince me to stay as long as time allowed, much to the chagrin of my hapless brain cells. The beaches here are stunning and secluded, the weather warm and there's a fantastic set of cool, well travelled people that gather each night in the handful of funky bars and restaurants set tastefully (and quite ecologically friendly) on the sea shore. Later these turn into impromptu clubs and beach parties so you can groove into the wee hours, something I sorely needed after a couple of months in the Middle East where it's often hard to find even one cold beer.
Dave took me to Carolina's Bungalows and we met up with his mates from London who were already in town. For a mere 10,000,000 lira (about $US7) I found myself in a fantastic bungalow with a sea view - much like Thailand used to be but without all the touristy crap you get lumped with there now. It doesn't look crush hot from outside but inside it was perfect. Refreshed after a proper hot shower for once, we rejoined Team Hedon and hit the beach for food and fun!
I don't remember much of that first night (or maybe I'd better not say) but I wasn't disappointed in the party department. A great DJ was playing excellent house tunes for a very long time, and since the beers and raki were flowing and the girls were giggling and wiggling we had a great time dancing the night away. Outside fire twirlers caused a mixture of awe and pandemonium and inside I even managed to blag my way up and spin a few tunes, not doing too badly despite being a little rusty on the decks. The ladies loved it anyway.
I do remember towards dawn polishing off the last of my duty free bottle of Gammeldansk - recommended as the only proper medicine for hangovers by Goran the Terrible of Malmo fame - and that coupled with copious hammocks we were spared the worst of a bad recovery in this glorious paradise.
From then on the pattern didn't change. Sleep in 'til the sun's rays warmed the bungalow air, vaguely listening to the birds chirruping outside. Head down to Inshelada for brunch and some beers whilst catching up on the latest mellow beats coming out of Europe. Then a wander to one of the neighbouring turquoise beaches for a paddle and some sand soccer or an exploration of the surprisingly wooded forests along some of their shores. Another night upon you - recharge with a sumptuous, cheap meal and then get on down...
There isn't much more to tell (well, not that discretion would allow anyway ;-), but rest assured I did work hard on the tan and this is one nirvana that won't go unnoticed for much longer. Am embryonic Ko Phan Ngang or Ibiza? Maybe, but many thanks to Dom and his crew (Sam, Angela, Elliot, Maxine, Lisa and Shelley) for wonderful times and the wonderful guys at Carolina's (Mehmet, Yasmine, Suleyman and Sian) for your hospitality and for letting me in on your little secret.
Next entry -> a race against time
Old Rossian Proverb
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Check the date ;-)