Day 5 - Final day climbing Mount Babadag

Trip Start Sep 04, 2010
Trip End Sep 11, 2010

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Flag of Turkey  , Muğla Province,
Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I decided to spend the last day climbing Mt Babadag which is Turkish for father mountain, Its pretty obvious why its called that because if your at the bottom of it on Olu deniz beach it towers above you. The summit is 1989m above sea level and only 5km from the edge of the sea itself therefore creating a dramatic feature to be seen in many holiday makers photographs, not to mention the 1hr or so climb in a clapped out vehicle if you decide to put your life in the hands of a turkish paraglider!

This mountain is well known among paragliders all over the world as being one of the best places in this part of the world to fly. For prices as low as 50 you can fly tandem with a "professional" pilot, i did it a few years back... we took off crashed into bushes and then luckily took off again. the main thing i remember from the flight was having thorns stuck in me for the whole flight and not being able to reach them to pull them out until i landed. The day before just after we paid we were walking away from the mountain to the lagoon and some dutch woman walking towards us and also facing the mountian started screaming!!!  I wondered what the hell she was going on about but i later found out she was witnessing a paragliding spiralling out of control, he them slammed into the rockface and was stuck up there untill a rescue helicoper came to collect him. I still dont know to this day if he was ok or if he was indeed carrying a tourist passenger.
Myself and the person i flew with had a great flight none the less and its something i would definitely recommed doing when you visit, but please be careful who you go with, ask about people in your hotel and other people who have done it and make sure you go with the best company. i paid 30 for my flight!!!! No wonder we crashed!!!!

Anyway back to my day... I took back my Motorbike and caught the bus from Fethiye main drag to Hisaronu, 1.50 lira.
If you know the area well try and get off just before the roundabout near the top of Hisaronu town centre. If not get off here and head back up the hill. take the 2nd right and you will see a sign for the "green anatolia hotel". Follow this and it will take you up a relitively steep hill over a crossroads still on a hill and then the hotel is signposted to the right. Dont take the right turning to the hotel, in front of you is a road that then turns into a track. Follow this and you will see the forest in front of you and you should pass an old cistern on your right.

This track then meanders for some 6km at a guess all the way up to the top of Mt Babadag. You will pass a 2nd cistern by a farm about 1/3 of the way up, if i remember rightly abotu 1/2 way up there is a well on the right hand side on a left bend.
There are also plenty of tree platforms for you to stop and catch your breath on, have a sandwich or nap if you so wish too! some even have rugs and pillows!! Random!
Although there is a well this was the only one i saw, make sure you take enough water to last the day and extra just in case as you never know if that well is empty or if you or a passer by gets in trouble!

The best thing about this route is it is used by the paragliders trucks taking the jumpers to the top. If you get really stuck the wagons are only carrying the driver on the way back down so im sure a thumb out and and nice smile will get you a free lift back down.

Once you get near the top the track strangely turns into road????????
You will receive some astonishing views east into the main land first then after the road turns back into track again you will be heading westwards and you will then get views of Fethiye, ovacik and Hisaronu. You will then see a turkish flag and windsock, a great sign that your at the top! the track turns back into road again and then you reach the top, or so i thought!
This paved area used to be all soil, its actually the runway in which the paragliders take off. I stopped here to watch and film them for a short while, fingers crossed that these poor people would get off the side ok, in the distance a what looked like a cafe had been built and outside it was an ambulance. Reassuring i guess!!!

Anyway after getting some strange looks from people thinking "has that idiot just walked up here" i decided to take the final 1km hike up to the top of the mountain. It was all paved so it wasnt so hard, i followed it all the way up to the top, the final assent being steep and loose rocks.
Finally i was there, i was cold from the sweat rapidly drying on my from the light gustys winds, but also burning. Id never been up this high before, certainly not in 40 degree heat anyway!
I pushed past the building on the summit and headed over to the eastern edge to get some breath taking views of the med sea and lycian coastline to the south and to the west the blue lagoon of Olu deniz, behind me northwards i could see over to where my hotel was beyond Fethiye and also to my right, eastwards i could see inland to places id yet to visit!

I spent an hour or so up here taking photos and having some lunch, and on a keen lookout for scorpions! Horrible things!

I then made my way back down past the paragliders and onto the long descent. after some 10 mins a paraglider truck passed me and stopped, he asked if i wanted a lift. I jumped in and thanks the none english speaking man and enjoyed the rollercoaster ride back down.

Bussed it back to the hotel and then relaxed for the evening by the bar.
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