Butterfly Valley, Turkey
It time to leave this place and head away from the hordes of tourists. Get away from it all and all of lifes little problems. Plus who wouldn’t want to sleep on the beach! I was heading towards an eco-friendly place called Butterfly Valley – so named for the butterflies they have in the gorge.
Getting to the valley was a bit of a chore – it involved 2 buses and a boat ride. From my digs in Fethiye there was no way at all that I was walking the few kms to the bus station, so I caught the dolmous to the bus stop. And from the bus stop it was another dolmous out to Oludeniz.
I had an hour or so to kill at Oludeniz so after buying the ferry ticket (18TL return) I grab a durem kebab and a coke. Which in Turkey always goes down a treat. Why can’t other countries get it right like the Turks.
The boat ride was fairly straight forward and for about 30 minutes was refreshing to have the cool breeze in my hair. Stepping off the boat the reception crew take me over and check me in. They also let me know the in’s and out’s of the place. Its a little bit on the pricey side to be honest (18 euros for a tent which includes breakfast and dinner but it still seems absurd). But I get shown to my tent and dump my bag before heading straight for the ‘refreshing’ water.
Sadly, as becomes clear during the following days, the water is a bit murkey and dirty. Not to mention bathlike. I run into a couple from Newcastle and chill with them. They head off to check out the waterfall – whilst I decline and stay in the water.
Though, if you know me, I get a tad bored just sitting in the water. I really need to do stuff. So I head off and go explore by going to check out the waterfall. Its a good 1km plus walk to the waterfall through fields, a bit of scrub and nearly fully fledged forest before you get to the trickle they call a river. A scramble up a few rocks and there is the waterfall.
At first it really isn’t impressive, rather small but absolutely cool and refreshing underneath. To the side is a rope and a steep bit of cliff. Next to the rope is a sign saying its “Dangerous” to climb up. I chuck my thongs to the side and climb on up the narrow, steep incline to the rock ledge above the waterfall.
From here you get a great view down the Valley Gorge and up above is more tiny waterfalls and a roped path going further up. So with no really inclination for safety I head on up with an American guy. Scrambling, ducking and weaving our way to the top of this path.
And then you are rewarded with a very picturesque waterfall,cool pool and flat rocks to lay and fall asleep on. With hardly a soul up here. Its the perfect place to get away from everyone!
After an hour so up here, sleeping and cooling off I decide its time to head back. At the bottom of the waterfall path (where the small crappy waterfall is) I am inundated with waaaaaay too many people. Its like the line up to get into the Louvre has arrived. I decide to hot tail it out of their straight away.
Back on the beach I’m greeted by the setting sun off into the distance. I jump in for a quick dip before grabbing my book, a beer and pitch up on the beach to watch another Turkish Sunset.
After that its straight over to shower before grabbing dinner. Which is a pretty impressive buffet if your a vegetarian. I am not and find it hard to fill myself up as I am a carnivore of epic proportions. I go and sit on the beach with a beer before I am asked by two lovely French girls if I’d like to join them for some vodka and juice. Of course I duly oblige.
One of them decides to bail fairly quickly whilst Delia decides to stay and talk the shit for a while. We move our big cushions up and away from the lights of the bar area to get a better view of the stars. We see a fair few shooting stars and end up sleeping out on the beach til the god damn roosters wake you up.
Day 2 sees much of the same as before. I meet up with the pretty french girls at breakfast before lazing on the beach for most of the day. After the girls leave I head back to the beach, swim, and read. And chuck in a nap somehow. Its a very standard day in the valley. After watching the sun go down I meet Hayley and Mali who are pretty cool, fun loving girls from the sunny coast. And the evening ends with dinner, a few beers before hitting the beach for sleep.
Day 3 is pretty much exactly the same as before. Except the girls and I decide to swim out to this flat rock cliff about 300-500m from the beach. Its actually not too bad out there. You’re away from everyone and it’d be nice to sit here and chill from the tourists. A few cliff jumps and we go back to shore to play cards, read and swim. We then decide to trek up to the top waterfall where Hayley decides to freak everyone out by thinking there is an eel in the small pool we’re chilling at.
Its the same sort of evening and ritual. We do go hit up the “Rock” bar which seems to be very loose when we get there. Then about 20 minutes later is dead as all the volunteers slink off in their couples.
I guess coming here I was expecting a bit more. I was slightly disappointed with what it was. It was gorgeous, beautiful and an amazing place. I did meet 3 amazing people. I thought it would be more open, the valley is very clique and if you don’t know someone and come by yourself – well you will probably hate it as its hard to get in with people. But it is always good to get away from technology and the expectations of day to day backpacking.