Monday, August 6, 2012

Butterfly Valley Bliss

Our next stop after Fethiye was Butterfly Valley, a much less developed more pristine stop on the Lycian Way. Our dolmus slowly drove up and up until out of the overpacked windows, drop dead (literally) gorgeous views of the ocean were revealed. I want to say that I was cool, calm and collective as we wound our way up the narrow, guard rail free cliff side but my overly sweaty palms said otherwise...ew! The ride all together took less than 30 minutes but I was thankful to be in control of my own steps as we got off the bus. Our friends had suggested that we stay at Montenegro Motel and we were not disappointed! The laid back hotel manager Bayram showed us to the charming air conditioned bungalows equipped with their own furnished patıo. The best part of Montenegro was still to come, a traditional Turkish breakfast and dinner was included in the price. We weren't sure what to expect but obediently went to the restaurant balcony at 8 p.m. Just in time for sunset, we watched in awe at the seemingly fake sun as it slowly hid behind the mountains ahead. We were surrounded by cliffs on 3 sides and the ocean. Then came dinner...all 5 mouth-watering, carb-loaded courses. First the soup, then salad, then some fancy French word that starts with an "a" that I can´t spell, next the main course and fınally dessert. The food was amazing and the homemade bread was worth every calorie.
The next day we decided to make the trek down to Butterfly Valley (i guess we were technically on the valley´s cliff side). We had heard that the hike could be potentially dangerous. We decided to consult a local and asked Bayram. He was not convincing either way but asked to examine our shoes. Showing him our dusty,trusty, tread free TOMS, he gave us a kiss of approval and we were on our way. "Just follow the red," he yelled after us. As we approached the cliff side I realized that this was not going to be an easy hike. Greg, fearless as always, led the way. Easy enough at first, just a few steep steps and lose dirt. Then came the ropes. Greg and I had been rock climbing on a cliff wall in Santa Barbara. I felt confident that I could fınd some good features and sturdy rocks to cling to in a general "rock climbing" kind of way. But the catch was...there was no belay or harness. Just cliff, a rope tied to a tree branch and my seemıngly always sweaty palms. Greg volunteered to go first. I followed trying hard not to look down or up for that matter. Yikes! There were a few more sections of the trail like that but the hike really was amazing. We even stopped to enjoy our own echhhooo...echo...echo.
When we fınally reach the ground the water was gorgeous and the beach was almost empty. It was worth the work. We swam, enjoyed a bag of overpriced chips and looked for cool rocks (ok so mainly me on the last one..thanks mom). Although I dıdn´t see a single butterfly the adrenaline of the hike mıxed wıth the ıncredible scenery made me feel that we had stumbled on a secret piece of paradise. Of course we still had to go back up which proved scarıer at times than on the way down. Later we got a hold of someone´s Lonely Planet and flipped to Butterfly Valley. Turns out numerous tourist have met their end on the hike down to Butterfly Valley. Ignorance can be bliss.

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