V-GO Yachting – Blue Cruise – Day 1 – Butterfly Valley

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A couple of hours after setting off from Fethiye on our Cruise with V-GO Yachting our first port of call was to be Butterfly Valley.

Katia did mention that the Captain will decide if we can make a stop there as sometimes the Sea is too rough for the boat to anchor there but on this occasion he decided it wasn’t too bad.

However, normally they have a Dingy which people can ride to the shore in but they said if we all went into the Dingy it would capsize so we were told to swim to the shore and Fardi would take the Dingy and we could put our towels and possessions in there and pick them up at the beach.

Well, I thought I shouldn’t take my phone or my camcorder as that may be too risky but I definitely wanted to take some photos so I put my camera in my man-bag and threw that in the Dingy. I swam to the shore and awaited the Dingy which by this time was loaded with everyone else’s accessories.

When I got close to the shore I noticed that when I tried to stand up, the surface under the first 10 feet of Sea was rock that was a smooth as an Ice Rink. I have never experienced anything like it before under the ocean. Then the Dingy arrived but it didn’t come as close to the shore as I would have liked as I’m guessing the big waves would have capsized the boat so I had to wade out to get my bag and towel.

I headed to the shoreline and that’s when the big waves started hitting me and although I survived the first one I knew it was going to be an effort to get back to the shore with my stuff remaining dry. Fortunately, Seamus had come to help and when I got hit the second time I threw my bag at him as I crashed under the waves.

My bag did indeed hit the water but he pulled it out quickly and I picked it up from him on the way to the shore. Thankfully, it hadn’t got too wet and was still in working condition. Phew! I was still worried about how I would get it back on the boat but for the time being it was one disaster averted although my towel did get totally soaked.

My son tried to pick up his towel but that also got well drenched as did Aynurs, so we put them on a rock and a sunbed to dry.

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In an email before the trip we had been told that it was 5TL to enter the Butterfly area of Butterfly Valley so I thought it was in some special location in the valley somewhere and wanted to go and find it immediately as we only had a couple of hours to spend there. I asked Seamus if he wanted to join us to go and we headed off to try and locate it.

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The feel of Butterfly Valley is really something special and as we walked we saw that there was a little community of people living here with tents and inside small cabins. As I can’t speak Turkish very well I asked Aynur to ask a guy washing his hands at the toilet area, where the Butterflies were and he said we were in Butterfly Island.

I was then told that it was 20 minutes walk away, however, it turned out that he was talking about a waterfall not a butterfly reserve but I didn’t know that the time. The whole area was indeed the Butterfly reserve.

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We continued along a path which then turned into a hill and the further we went the steeper it got.

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On our way up we passed a group of coming down and so I asked them if it was long to get to the Butterflies and the guy said ‘5 minutes with a bit of rope climbing’. Well, at least we don’t have long to go, or so I thought.

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About 10 minutes later we got to a spot where it seemed like we couldn’t go any further and thought we had been sold a dud. So, I took a couple of photos and was prepared to start heading back from where we had just came.

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Just before we left though my son spotted some ropes at the side of the mountain which must have been the ones that the guy was referring to. If Seamus hadn’t been there I would have decided it was too risky for my son and Aynur to continue but as he was keen to continue I didn’t want to leave him hanging and we had come pretty far to turn back anyway, so onward and upward Christian soldiers it was.

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First of all, we had to climb up the ropes and then there were metal rungs which weren’t too securely bedded into the rock of the mountain and the gap between them was about half of my sons height, so it certainly wasn’t like going up a simple ladder.

Bear in mind we were all wearing our flip-flops when mountain boots would have been more appropriate and you can understand why I was starting to get a bit concerned at our predicament.

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So as you know it turned out that there was no Butterfly Reserve that we had to pay to get into, only a Waterfall, which by this point was of far more use to us that looking at some Butterflies.

There were actually about 10 other people there and when they saw Ellis they were pretty shocked that he had made it that far. Like the true adventurer type that he is though he played it very nonchalantly as if it was no big deal.

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The water was a bit cold for Aynur to play it cool though.

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I, on the other hand, can never refuse a photo opportunity and so I pushed myself against the wall and held it for at least as long as it took to reel of a couple of photos.

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Here is the story so far on video.

At the start of the walk back down one of Seamus’s flip-flops decided to go flap and he was left to walk back to the boat carrying it in his hand as there wasn’t a bin around, I don’t think he wanted to keep it for sentimental reasons.

That didn’t stop him from spotting two snakes mating and also a Tortoise, maybe as he was walking about as slow as one he had more time to notice the wildlife. We did also see about 3 Butterflies on the whole trip so they weren’t a total Myth. Maybe there is more at a different time of day or Season.

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Even with two functioning flip-flops it was even more difficult negotiating our way back down that it was going up but eventually we made it back to horizontal ground without any injuries, well apart from a scratch on Seamus’s back which had drawn blood. As we were approaching the boat we spotted the local Cafe and Culture centre where all the cools cats must hang out.

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I think nearly everyone who decides to come and live in Butterfly Valley is by that virtue alone, a pretty cool cat, and we spotted a few of them chillin’ in the shade as we walked past. If we had more time we would have went over and joined them but I was guessing we were already pushing our 2 hour limit to the max as it was.

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I spotted a nicely decorated Tractor at the Beach before spotting Joanne and Dick who were patiently waiting for us. It turned out that Fardi had been looking for us and we were 40 minutes late.

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We gave Fardi a wave and he climbed back into the Dingy to come and get us. The only problem now was how would we get our belongings into the boat without damaging Joanne’s phone or my camera.

She had a plastic bag which wasn’t exactly waterproof but it was better than anything I had so I put my camera inside that along with her phone, wrapped it in a towel and then put it in her rucksack. As she said it was an ‘all or nothing’ play.

She then said that she didn’t think that she should be the one to carry it to the Dingy so the onus was put on me, which I duly accepted and lifted the bag above my head and made my way to the dingy’s vicinity.

Again, I got battered by a couple of big waves and on the second one I was sure I was a goner but somehow, with all my concentration my feet were scrambling on the underwater ice rink to maintain balance and somehow I managed to do it, to the surprise of everyone watching. I got close enough to the Dingy to give one big throw and Fardi duly caught the bag. Hurrah!

I was so proud of myself and delighted to have saved my camera, at least for the time being.

The fun wasn’t over yet though as we still had to get back onto the main boat and the Sea had gotten quite a bit rougher than when we had left, probably due to the fact of our lateness.

The only way on the boat was to climb up a metal ladder that is attached to it’s side and with the ocean towing and froing the boat quite a bit, let’s just say that that proved quite a challenge. It was all to do with the timing. I almost made it one time but had to let go and got thrown back into the water but thankfully in the end, we all made it unscathed.

The Captain wasn’t too impressed with our tardiness but we explained that the guy told us that it was only a 20 minute walk, not an hour’s climb to the Waterfall, which we thought would be Butterflies.

Still, Joaane and Dick enjoyed their time on the Beach, my son said the ‘adventure’ had officially kicked off and Seamus, Aynur and myself all survived the trek with a good story to tell.

We were supposed to stop in Ole Deniz for a while but as we were late we didn’t and just watched the Paragliders coming down from the mountain as we sailed the fairly choppy sea to our next destination, St Nicholas Island.

The Photos

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