Faralya offers a lot of hiking possibilities, after all the location of my accommodation is set up on the side of the cliff with the mountains surrounding it. One of those is the hike to the butterfly valley, the trail starts exactly at the back of the cabins.
The red and yellow stripes painted on the rocks is what marks the Butterfly Valley hike which immediately caught my attention while I was walking my way to there.
On my second morning, the two groups of guests I’ve seen the Evening I arrive have already left and the couple who are still staying went for a hike to Kabak Valley and I’ve met two more guests at the breakfast salon who have just arrived. The weather is getting cold, so we can no longer enjoy the breakfast at the open-air garden, instead we had it at the second floor of the main house which serves as the reception and a hangout hall with cushions lining the walls and low tables where we had our breakfast. It’s warm inside and it’s a bit misty outside.
I’m planning on heading to the Butterfly Valley today and I’ve heard there were two adventurous travelers who fell off the cliff and died while hiking along the valleys mainly because they tread what they assumed as a shortcut, so the advise is to do it by the book, no shortcuts, always follow the red and yellow marks.
So there I was wandering along the footpath on my own, it’s not the tourist season so I did not encounter anyone along the way. I followed the red-and-yellow marks. The path going down the valley is a bit demanding, I have to cautiously balance my steps onto cascading rocks but mostly it’s a sloping trail. It’s a good thing, the thought of snakes did not cross my mind, after all there are a lot of bushes, tall grasses and trees along the way.
Where are the butterflies?
Butterfly Valley or Kelebekler Vadisi in Turkish it so called because of these colorful winged creatures that flutter around the valley, but I only see a couple of those. I was informed later that they are only present during certain season of the year. Then again, people come to this place not to see any butterfly, it’s the splendor of the valley itself and the hike that is the attraction. So if you come here for the butterflies and expecting to see swarms of them flying around, find a butterfly farm someplace else where they harness them.
After a long walk, I reached a plateau, the end of the threshold right before the very steep rocky gully going down the beach cove. I stopped and thought about waiting, perhaps some travelers would pass by. I was alone and my worry dampened my super adventurous spirit.
What if I fall off the cliff? How long will I have to wait to be rescued? It’s the same feeling I had on board the minibus the other day on the way here. But this time, there’s a slight variation, if I fall off and die, I’ll be on the news for sure and will definitely be added to the statistics written all over the internet of adventurous hikers who met their untimely demise in this place – 2 + me – we’re now 3! Then again, people will think – I’ll be one of those stubborn and probably stupid to have wandered alone. Not a good news headline!
I sat for a while at the big rock marveling at the spectacular view in front of me and hoping that a group of hikers might pass by. One hour had passed and not a single soul, not even a sound, save for the breeze that occasionally sweeps the branches of the trees.
Dilemma: To continue or not to continue?
I finally decided that after more than an hour of hike and the beauty of nature around me, I don’t think getting to the beach down the somewhat vertical ravine (and risking dear life) would further intensify the bliss and ecstasy I’m feeling at that moment.
I’ve gone far, I’ve seen the beach from a near distance. I sincerely think it’s beautiful seen from that distance than standing right on the spot, so I’m contented. I sat there, lazed on the grass, enjoy the panorama - the mountains, the cliff, the beach, the endless turquoise ocean, I can’t complain. It’s all I ever wanted to see and do.
Seeing that I finished my bottle of water, I started my way back to the house.
Tourist season or not, anyways, Faralya is not a place that the ordinary tourists go, few travelers come to the village and if they do, one or two days are enough. I chose to linger a bit. I like this place.
On my third day I decided to go to the ghost town of Kayakoy.