SUNSHINE holiday time, when the tension drops from the shoulders as easily as a Love Island contestant’s towel, when the warmth on arrival immediately suggests a comfort week, of soft fresh sheets, scrummy food – and doing little more demanding than catching up with Roland Garros on a large, flat screen television.

But here’s the reality. It’s late at night in Turkey’s Dalaman Airport and I learn my destination is a long, winding two-hour taxi fare away. (Head for Marmaris on the Bozburun peninsula and keep going. Then keep going some more. )

As the taxi crunches it’s way along a dirt track, the silhouette of a dirt-poor hotel (booked by a friend, always a lazy mistake) suggests late 1970s concrete misery. Meanwhile, the ugly rooftop aerial looks large enough to receive a signal from most broadcasters. Inside the hotel, the “manager” – not long having left his 1am bed and his teen years behind – rubs tired eyes in a struggle to find the key to the hallowed chamber.

And here it is: a small room attached to an even smaller bathroom, where even at this late hour I can detect the once-white tile grouting has grown into the colour of chocolate.

The main bed is large enough but the mattress is harder than Theresa May’s Brexit challenge but, thankfully, exhaustion wins out. And everything will look better in the morning. Right?

Wrong. The Turkish sun doesn’t disappoint but the lack of an edible breakfast does. Cold meat at dawn(ish) can only be good for Germans. There aren’t even Cornflakes, but then it doesn’t matter because there is no milk. (Turks don’t drink it, apparently.)

As for the frayed lobby carpet? The last time it saw a Hoover the Ottomans were still running the show. And look at the staff. All of them are male and none past bum fluff. Between them they can manage maybe 20 words of English.

What the heck. Just go online and find a new hotel across the bay or wherever. Wait a minute. I’ve forgotten the two-pin adaptor. Ah, use the iPhone, connect to Wi-fi. Wait another minute. I’ve forgotten my iPhone charger as well. Surely one of the boys’ brigade will have a charger? Not a chance. This iPhone is way older than any of them.

Nothing for it. Go outside. Check out Kumlubuk, which means “sandy bay.” But there’s no sand. Just beach gravel. So I take to the poolside. Bring out the jotter and pen to do the writing I never get the chance to work on during working weeks.

There are no pool towels but at least the pool is compact, and clean, except on the bottom. And there’s no fear of the Germans slapping down the first towel. Or anyone else for that matter. There is only me here.

At least after dinner there’s the tennis to look forward to and the portable TV eventually fires into life. However the giant aerial is committed to council telly only.

Despair. Sheer misery unfolds. But after two days at this upmarket youth hostel, realisation dawns. I remember that I once slept in a bed in a hostel in Belize in which something large moved under the covers. And it wasn’t a blonde. (Too tired to investigate, a sleeping bag on top solved the problem.)

I recalled sleeping on airport floors, South American bus terminal benches, on train station concourses, and one time on a luggage rack on the Barcelona to Madrid slow train.

I’ve spent the night on top of a table tennis table in Monte Carlo, on top of an ant hill in a French field, which the ants disapproved of by eating my face, and on Mexican beaches where sand flies bite harder than NHS cuts.

I once lived in a hut on a kibbutz with five other sweaty, smelly Scottish bodies, one of whom emptied the sand from his work boots directly onto the floor each night. (Yes, you Coburn.)

Now I’m in Turkey. And it may not be a sheer delight but the sea is warm, the bay glorious and the cook can come up with a decent dinner. The little bed in the room is actually quite comfy and I learn, via sign language, the youth team are all really nice.

Now this realisation produces guilt. I’m guilty of surrendering a spirit of adventure. Guilty of accepting the standards and values of old(er) age. Guilty and sad to have perspectives so skewed, thinking a five star world to be so important.

Now I realise this experience is great. It’s making me think of times when we could afford less but enjoyed so much more. It reminds of a need to recover the Kerouac in our hearts, the Steinbeck in our souls, to take the road less travelled (73 per cent of us take package holidays) and to take risks. We don’t need to go bunjee jumping but nor do we need fresh towels daily.

The week did produce a little discomfort. One day, the hotel maintenance man (yes, there was one) took to repairing the metal children’s swimming pool slide by drilling at rusty bolts – while standing in the water using a heavy electric drill. With me a yard away. But forget all that health and safety. You do need to come out of your comfort zone.

Although a little bit of Roland Garros would have been nice.