Walk along the Lycian Way to Butterfly Valley
Trip Start Apr 01, 2008
153Trip End Jul 15, 2012
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Where I stayed
Tent and tree house
When we arrived at the top we stopped for 3 (free) glasses of chai at a modest farmer's house amidst glorious green fields overlooking the coastline
As the sun was sinking behind the sea and the shepherdess rounded her herd into the safety of their pen, the cattle misbehaved and the little girls continued their giggling, I felt very lucky and quite emotional to have been shown into such beautiful, remote, natural surroundings. It was really fantastic. So was waking up. At dawn the goats and cattle were back out grazing, and the sheperdess was hurling stones at any animal straying too far from her watchful eye. She had a strong and lethal arm. Our friend reappeared with his wife and horse, exchanged some friendly banter, then settled down to some hay collecting
After a relaxing night (aside from the ferocious doberman) in a little sanctuary above the beach in Kabak we journeyed on towards Butterfly Valley in the baking sun, passing a few elderly ramblers on the way. We completed an extremely hairy hour-long climb down the mountain face from Faralya village to Butterfly Valley. It was so steep that there were ropes in parts where we had to lower ourselves down backwards. With faint recollections of an Australian straying from the red markers and falling to his death, I began to get serious vertigo and had the first of several slight panic attacks as we clawed our way to the bottom . Thankfully it was worth it! 21 years ago two Turkish men arrived at the cove by boat and decided to make it their home. It is now a little haven of peace and tranquility run by volunteers who tend to the vegetable gardens and general upkeep of the community. Accommodation is made up of tree houses, teepees & tents and the food is strictly vegetarian (v.delicious).
We would have liked to stay there for a while but had a pre-booked 4 day 'blue cruise' to endure - what a hard life! En route to the gulet (wooden yacht) we were given a guided tour of a ghost town called Kayakoy. It was formerly a Greek community, but as part of a population exchange agreement between Turkey and Greece in 1923, the inhabitants had been sent back to Greece and Turks living in nearby Thrace had moved in. However they failed to settle and moved on, leaving the village deserted as it has remained ever since. It is a fascinating place, with literally thousands of abandoned Greek-style houses, schools, churches spread across the mountainside.