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As its  New Year can i just wish you a Very Happy New Year and may 2014 be a good year for you

from all the team at Fethiye Focus.

 

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The web site has been going for a year now and we have had nearly 
24,000 people who have visited the the site .. cant be bad that can it.
 
When we set up the site I didn't think for one moment the site would 
attract so much interest.
 
The Question and Answer section has also been viewed many times and if 
you have a question to ask ... ask away and I will try to answer if for you.
To ask a question just go into the "contact me" section fill out the form 
and send it to me.
 
The written blog looks to have been well received but i know i failed to 
keep this up to date and regular although people do say my photos in
the Gallery section are a blog in its own way .. just in photos.
My New Year resolution is to try to keep the written blog section more 
regularly updated. 
 
So with it being the end of the year I have only one more thing to say  and that is 
from myself and the rest of the team on Fethiye Focus we wish you all
 
                             A Happy and Prosperous New Year
 
and thank you for your support over the last year. We look forward to seeing
you visit the site  in the New Year.
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Yet another video on Youtube thats worth sharing with the readers of my blog posts.

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 Here is a good video of the Air Games held recently which i found on Youtube so thought I would share it with the readers of my blog

 

 

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The summer season comes to an end the cafes, bars, restaurants, hotels and shops all closing down in the Hisaronu, Ovacik and Oludeniz areas. Fethiye will see most of the businesses stay open as Fethiye is classed as a "working town" and is open all the year round.

So has 2013 been a good season .. I think it has. We certainly have had a long season this year with a lot more visitors to the area. With the high exchange rate, around the 3.0 tl to the pound, its certainly been better value for money than in previous years. And the weather .. well hot and sunny, as you would expect, but this year it seems to have been for much longer .. starting way back in April and still continuing.
 
One of the last main events in the area is the International Air Games, this year was the 14 th  International Air Games, which brings in many pilots and visitors from all over the world .. a welcome end of season festival. The event is held at Oludeniz with pilots jumping of Babadag Mountain You can see some photos of the Air Games here ..
 
 
This is a link to a video of the Air Games, the video graphics are excellent but you might want to turn the volume down as the music is a little loud. ..
 
 
With yesterday, Thursday, being the last day of October what better way to show the end of the season than with some more photos taken from Oludeniz Beach ...
 
 
Will 2014 summer season be a good one .. we will have to wait and see. Lots of changes are planned for the winter .. new hotels to be built .. hotels refurbished .. new shops, bars,restaurants to be built and or refurbished.
 
Keep looking in here, my blog spot, to keep up to date on whats happening throughout the winter months.
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Its been quite some time since i did a blog post and since i have more time on my hands now the summer season is coming to a close I thought I had better get back to doing them again.

I will try to do a blog post on a weekly basis .. that way you wont  get bored with my ramblings and i can find more things to write about.

Today's blog post is about a walk I did recently to Kayakoy and  to the Lycian Tombs which are on the other side of the valley to the Ghost Town.

I started the walk in Hisaronu  near to the Liberty Hotel Complex and made my way through the forest track towards Kayakoy.
It takes about an hour to do the walk and the track brings you out on the main road from Hisaronu to Kayakoy just before the horse ridding stables. Its an easy walk, most of it in the cool shade of the forest.

When on the main road turn right and follow the road past the ridding stables and keep going until you reach the back  road that goes from Kayakoy to Fethiye. At this point you will see a sign pointing to Kaya Wine House .. go in this direction and when you get to the Wine House walk past it along the track. After walking about a kilometer past the Wine House you will come to the Tombs.

If you walk past the tombs the track continues. Along this track you will see a direction sign pointing you towards Fethiye ..
6km`s. If you take this path you will then be walking along the cobbled Roman Road that will bring you into Fethiye above
Karagozler.

The above photo shows some of the free standing tombs and the tombs in the side of the mountain.

You can see more of the tombs here ..

http://fethiyefocus.net/index.php/gallery/october-to-december-2013/lycian-tombs-in-kaya-13th-october-2013

A dolmus, bus, goes through to Kayakoy from Fethiye via Ovacik and Hisaronu hourly in the summer season should you feel you don't want to do the walk through the forest from Hisaronu.

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Yesterday was a day for a walk .. Through the forest from Hisaronu to Kaya and then over to Oludeniz Beach. In the photo above is my mate Norman Haley posing under the 6km sign that marks the start of the walk from Kaya to Oludeniz

Its a good walk from Hisaronu to Kaya through the forest, approximately 5 kms  .. the start is near to the Liberty Hotel.

You follow the track that the Horse Trekking people use. As the track goes past the Brooklands complex it twists and turns through the forest its quite shaded and makes for a pleasant walk in the heat that we are having at the moment.

After a short break for refreshments in Kaya its up to the "Higher Chapel" in the Ghost Village to start the climb up through the ruins  and to the top of the mountain before descending to Oludeniz Beach some 6 kms away. 

This part of the  walk is rather hard going  .. its a steep climb out of the ghost village and a very steep descend into Oludeniz so good shoes are required, certainly not sandals or flip flops. In this heat its also a necessity to drink plenty of fluid .. no not beer or pop .. water.

The views on route are fantastic .. as you go through the ghost village and climb up to the top of the mountain you can look back over Kaya .. beautiful. Once over the peak and descending  towards Oludeniz you see the Blue Lagoon and Oludeniz from a different angle than  usual , as you can see by the photos I took here ...

http://fethiyefocus.net/index.php/gallery/julysept13/kaya-to-oludeniz-walk-2nd-july-2013

There are more photos that I took of Kaya and the Ghost Village  on a previous walk here ...

http://fethiyefocus.net/index.php/gallery/aprjun13/kayakoy-walk-9th-april-2013

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The picture above is of a little area the local council have made over the  last few weeks.
The location is near to the start of the one way road that starts near to the banking area just off the main harbour.
 
It has a nautical theme .. a boat and the sea creatures made up as topiary .. and very good it is to.
A number of water jets , coloured at night, make it look good . :)
 
You can see more of the pictures I took recently of the area here ....
 
 http://www.fethiyefocus.net/index.php/gallery/aprjun13/fethiye-boat-park-and-topiary-june-2013
 
along with more Topiary which can be seen in the Town Park further along by the Kordon, near to the Town Square.
 
As you will have noticed this is the first blog that I've done for a while now ... when the summer season gets underway I have many friends and family come out to Turkey.
This means life can get hectic to say the least.
 
When I set out with the web site I did say I would do a "daily" web blog ... in reality in the summer months at least I just cant do it, time doesn't allow me,, so from now on it will be a weekly blog instead. As and when I have more time I will post more often.
 
As some of you are aware I help a forum web site  .. http://hisaronutheforum.com/ we have meet ups at the Cubana Cocktail Bar on the Kaya Road  in Hisaronu .. these meet ups are weekly starting at 20.30 ... it would be nice to meet old and new member of the forum .. so come along if your in the area

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Some friends and I made another attempt to climb to the top of Mendos Mountain a few days ago. There were four of us in total 1 lady, Carol, and three guys, Norman, who has made the attempt before .. Ted who also has made the attempt before and myself.

Mendos Mountain is made up of many lower peaks  but the highest is at 1750 meters .. our aim to conquer. 

We set off at 9 am and drove up Babadag Mountain to its junction with the village in-between Babadag and Mendos Mountains .. this is to a height of 1200 meters above sea level. From here we walked around the village and started the long steep walk to Mendos summit. You can see views of the village here ..

http://fethiyefocus.net/index.php/gallery/apriljun12/12april12 

these photos were taken on the last attempt to walk to the top of Mendos back in April last year.

We walked for a couple of hours .. determined to make this effort to walk to the top a success .

It was quite a hot day so plenty of water was required. The last time we tried this walk we didn't have a map and the route is not easy to find .. with map in hand how could we fail. :)

We walked a lot further than we did last time and after consulting the map and agreeing the next direction to take we made the final hard steep climb to the top .. it was steep and the ground under are feet was very loose with lots of sharp stone and boulders to contend with.

As we climbed the tree line disappeared and we were walking in open ground .. very little vegetation at this height. It really was hard going in the heat of the day but determination was giving us that extra boost that was needed. 

As the sky line got closer we new we had made it .. the adrenalin running high  .. the last final push to the top. Tired and out of breath we stood at the top  .. over looking Hisaronu and Ovacik with Fethiye and Calis in the distance. But then came the sudden shock ... for the second time we hadn't made it to the summit itself .. we had climbed to soon and to far to the left to reach the very summit of Mendos. We had climbed to only 1500 meters .. 200 meters short of the highest point. :( To climb to the very top meant going most of the way back down and continuing around the base of the mountain and then climbing back up again.

We were tired and a little disappointed that for the second time Mendos Mountain had beaten us. But ... we did say that "next time" ... we WILL make it to the top .

As you can see by the pictures it is still a fantastic view, even at 1500 meters, but the view and the knowledge you've conquered Mendos at 1750 will be better.

Here are the photos I took at 1500 meters ...

http://fethiyefocus.net/index.php/gallery/aprjun13/mendos-mountain-walk-22nd-may-2013

We made our way back down .. slightly deflated but it had been a good walk. Norman and I plan to make another attempt in September ... will it be third time lucky .. we will have to wait and see.

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Mendos Mountain can be seen quite easily from Hisaronu .. in the photo above I was standing on the Kaya Road outside Cubana Bar.

You can see from the photo the low clouds were hanging around the mountain .. its strange how the clouds can be so low  and the summit is clearer  like this but often happens.

You can see more photos I took of the clouds around Mendos here ..

http://fethiyefocus.net/index.php/gallery/aprjun13/mendos-mountain-from-hisaronu-11th-may-2013

Cubana Bar is the bar I frequent when in Hisaronu .. its on the Kaya Road as you leave Hisaronu heading for Kaya and Gemiler Beach. They have a web site here ...

http://www.cubana-cocktail-bar.co.uk/

As some of you know I help by moderating on the Hisaronu - the  forum .. a forum set up to give help and advice about all things to do with Hisaronu, Ovacik, Oludeniz and Fethiye areas.The web site is here...

http://hisaronutheforum.com/

The forum also has a Facebook page here ...

https://www.facebook.com/groups/113256798722492/

Hisaronu - the forum is part of the web site Hisaronu - the village .. as the title says .. all about the village and surrounding areas .. you will find on here a map of the village with many bars/restaurants hotels and shops marked on it. The web site is here ...

http://hisaronuthevillage.com/

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One year today the two bottlenose dolphins ,Tom and Misha, were released back into the sea having been kept in captivity in a sea pen in Bodrum then transferred to a sea pen in Kas before being transferred to a small swimming pool up a mountain in Hisaronu.

In February 2010 a group of people set out to campaign to get the two dolphins released from there hell hole of a swimming pool in Hisaronu. The group started of as half a dozen like minded people. A Facebook page was started to try to get more people involved and a petition was set up in which tens of thousands of signatures were collected.  A fund was set up to raise money towards the cost of rehabilitating the dolphins should they be rescued. Lots of money was raised by all sorts of people doing all sorts events. Even a silent protest march around the streets of  Hisaronu was staged ... a thing that had never been done in the area before where hundreds of people took part in.

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Above is the picture of the swimming pool where the dolphins were kept in Hisaronu.

After a lot of publicity about the plight of  Tom and Misha in both local and national papers in  the UK and here in Turkey the Born Free Foundation came on board and a plan to rescue and rehabilitate the dolphins was drawn up.

After many months of negotiation with the dolphin owners Tom and Misha were released into the care of Born Free and a plan set into place to rehabilitate them started.

Twenty months later, after a few set backs, Tom and Misha were released on this very date, 9th May, twelve months ago back to the wild .. a task many people said  wouldn't happen.

Tom and Misha were tracked for several months after there release and as far as we know now the two boys are living a life of freedom .. the freedom that should never have been taken from them in the first place.

You can read more about the campaign of Tom and Misha on the Born Free site here ..

http://www.bornfree.org.uk/campaigns/marine/hisaronu-dolphins/background/

I was involved in the campaign to get Tom and Misha released, on the ground here, and was one of a few people that were invited to the release of the boys .. a privilege I will remember for the rest of my life. For me to be there and see Tom and Misha finally swim free was a very special moment in my life.

You can see a short clip of the release of the boys here  ...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LmtAoM4UX-w

Tom and Misha ... Back to the Blue.

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 The temperatures are still very high for this time of year .. in all the years I've been here I've never seen temperatures as high as this in April/May before. The temperature in Fethiye Park the other day was 31 degrees and this was not at the peak ... it still had another hour to go before the temperature would do this.

With the temperatures like this I've seen a lot of people going around looking like lobsters .. not good for anyone to look like this. Get the sun cream on. !!!

Fethiye Park and Fethiye Square are busy at the moment  .. a World Music Festival is on in the Square each evening with singers and bands from around the world  .. the concerts are in the evenings with the finale tonight.

The photo above is of the tower clock and temperature board in Fethiye Park .. it shows the time in London so here in Fethiye its two hours later.

More photos of Fethiye and the surrounding areas can be seen on the Gallery page here ..

http://fethiyefocus.net/index.php/gallery

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As many of you will know I like to go to Gemiler Beach .. I've posted many photos of the beach on the web site.

I was at the beach yesterday, Friday, and while there found out that two of the three ducks had died. It is believed that the ducks may well have been attacked by a wild dog. One of the ducks bodies was found on the beach .. the other one has not been seen .. all very sad. The one remaining duck, a drake, is now looking very sad and lonely.

There are also two geese at the beach with two goslings  but the geese are giving the remaining duck a bad time as he tries to be in there company.

A friend and I are now trying to locate another female duck with the hopes that the two ducks will get on together and be a companion for each other. As I write this blog we have not had any success but have not given up yet.

In the picture above you see the three ducks .. one of the the white duck is the one remaining duck.

You can see more photos of Gemiler Beach and the ducks on the gallery page here ...

http://fethiyefocus.net/index.php/gallery/octdec12/21nov12

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In Fethiye Town Square starting on 3rd May till 11th May will be the Fethiye International Culture and Arts Festival 2013

This annual event in Fethiye will be in the Town Square for the first time.

All the concerts are free. As well as welcoming musicians from other countries (hence the 'international' added to the title), another new element this year is a Book Fair, which will take place in a large tent on one side of the town square.

So pop along in the evenings to the square im sure it will be a great event.

Todays photo, above, I took yesterday, looking along the new promenade heading towards Calis  .. lovely planted areas that run alongside the main road.

It was very quiet along the promenade considering it was such a lovely warm day and with it also being May Day, a public holiday here in Turkey.

More photos I took while in Fethiye can be found here in the web site gallery ...

http://fethiyefocus.net/index.php/gallery/aprjun13/fethiye-today-1st-may-2013

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A new section has been added  to the web site, its on the far right as you look at the page.

Its called Questions and when you enter the page it says Ask Brian.

Here you will be able to see questions asked by various people visiting the site and questions that have been asked lots of times directly to me. I will try to answer the questions direct myself or if I cant point you in the right direction by linking perhaps a web site .

The questions can be about anything to do with  Fethiye and the surrounding areas .. my photos or perhaps some of my walks or places I've visited.

To ask a question go to the "contact me" section and ask away. I will then move your question into the question section and try to give a reply. I will try to give an answer as quickly as possible but please bare with me as the summer season is now getting underway and I can become quite busy.

Todays photo is of one of the many lovely sunsets that you can see from Sundial Restaurant.

Sundial Restaurants is one of favourite restaurants in the area high up the mountain overlooking Fethiye.

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Between Babadag  and Mendos Mountains is a flat  open plain  , its a small grassed and open area . Within this area is a little hamlet of houses, only half a dozen or so. All very much Turkish houses and are only lived in in the spring and summer months due to the altitude. In winter months these houses cannot be occupied due to a lot of the winter being above the snow line.

These houses are more for the farming community that reside within the area .. some of the houses are more a cottage type and some are more farm house type of build.

The only way to get up to the "village" is by going up the main Babadag Road, the same road as the Para glider's take to jump of the mountain and "fly" down to Oludeniz Beach. The village is about half way up .. 8 kms from the main top road in Ovacik. You can drive up the Babadag Road quite easy .. the road is narrow though with steep drops to the side in places, so not for those people that are not to keen on heights. You could of course walk up  .. it is steep so you do need to be used to walking. I do know some one who cycled to the top of Babadag Mountain .. 18 kms .. but that's another story.

The views from the village are fantastic, on a clear day you can see, with binoculars towards Saklikent, Kabaagac, Minare .. because of the height you are at  it looks like for miles .. and it is.

Having walked or driven up the Babadag Mountain road from Ovacik you can leave the car and walk around the village and continue your journey up to the top of Mendos Mountain. Its not sign posted at all and is infact difficult to see the path to the summit itself .. I tried last year to get to the summit but failed to find the way to the top. This year I intend to get to the top of Mendos .. but that to will be another story to tell.

The picture, above, is of the flat open plain .. the "village" that lays between Babadag Mountain and Mendos Mountain.

You can see more of the photos I took of the "village" and surrounding areas here ..

http://fethiyefocus.net/index.php/gallery/apriljun12/12april12

As you can see the day I went up  was not the best of days, lots of cloud about.

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Cultural Connections 2013 at Kaya, a week long of events that got off to a good start yesterday, Saturday.

The first event was a walk through the ghost village with Louis de Bernières , the author of the famous book, Birds Without Wings.

You can read more about the book here ...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birds_Without_Wings_(novel)

It was a great day out .. we started by meeting at Gunays Garden at 2 pm. Gunays Garden is a lovely setting with a back drop of the ghost village,a perfect location for the start and finish of the walk. Most of the Cultural Connection 2013 events are to be held at Gunays Garden.

You can see more about Gunays Garden here ....

http://gunaysgarden.com/

We set of for the walk and  went along the main road in Kaya towards the ruined ghost village after being welcomed to the Cultural Connections 2013 by Jane Akatay .

We entered the ghost village near to the main entrance and walked to the first church where we were treated to one of the many passages read from the book Birds Without Wings author Louis de Bernières . We stopped of at five  places throughout the village for his readings from his book. This guy is brilliant to listen to .. his knowledge of the village is outstanding and he also puts in  other little comments relevant to his book which he found out while doing his research before writing the book.

We ended the walk, one and half hours later, back at Gunays Garden where an afternoon tea awaited us. Louis had his book and posters of our walk available for sale and he was more than happy to sign them for you.

Another book available to buy, written by Dean Livesley and Jane Akatay, was A Guide to Kayakoy. This book is divided into three sections - Places , People and Walks, giving the readers diverse insights into the history, memories and walking routes for making the most of this evocative, atmospheric and unique environment.

You can read more  by visiting this site ..

www.kayakoyguide.com

The picture above is Louis himself reading one of his passages from his book. There are more photos taken while on the walk on  the gallery page here ...

http://fethiyefocus.net/index.php/gallery/aprjun13/cultural-connections-2013-27th-april-2013

For more information on the rest of the events of Cultural Connections 2013 at Kaya have a look here ...

http://culturalconnectionsfestival.com/

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Well the season has started down a Gemiler Beach.

The sun umbrella's are  up at the café/bar tables to help protect you while you have something to eat or drink. The sun beds and sun umbrella's on the beach go out next week.

The usual admission charge to go onto the beach is now in place .. 3 tl per person this year.

The photo, above,  shows one of the many day trip boats that was anchored off St Nicholas Island ...also you will see the "doughnut" boat is out giving rides .. the summer season has started.

There are more photos I took, yesterday,  at Gemiler Beach on the gallery page here ...

http://fethiyefocus.net/index.php/gallery/aprjun13/gemiler-beach-25th-april-2013

In one or two of the photos of the beach you can see a yellow dust on the sea.. its not pollution its the pollen from all the pine trees that  surround the bay. At this time of the year it can be seen and is  not harmful but, if like me you are asthmatic, or have hay fever, it can be quite irritating though. A couple of more weeks and it will be gone.

The only thing that needs to start up down at Gemiler Beach is the dolmus, bus .. but im sure these will start up when we get into May.

You can get to Gemiler Beach by driving from Fethiye up the hill into Ovacik and on through Hisaronu and Kayakoy .. its about 20 kms drive from Fethiye.

The dolmus, bus, can be caught in Fethiye, by the big mosque, and follows the same route as if you were driving there yourself ... just watch for the dolmus with the sign in the front window saying Gemiler Beach/Kayakoy and flag it down.

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Kayakoy is steeped in history and this weekend we will see Kayakoy come alive with  Cultural Connections 2013

The event will be a celebration of literature, music, art, food and history of Kayakoy.

You can see from this link what the week is all about from there web site ...

http://culturalconnectionsfestival.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/KC-2013-Event-Program-EngFP___.pdf

They also have a Facebook page the link is here  ...

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cultural-Connections/539136522787162?fref=ts

I will be popping along  on the opening day for the walk with the author of  Birds Without Wings, a novel by Louis de Bernièress written in 2004.

More about the book by Louis can be found here ...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birds_Without_Wings

The photo above shows Kayakoy in the winter of 2011 with a dramatic back drop of snow on Mendos Mountain.

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Butterfly Valley is just a short boat ride from Oludeniz.

The valley itself is only really accessible by boat. There is a path down to the beach from the Oludeniz to Kabak Road but this is very dangerous due to its steepness.

The journey by boat, from Oludeniz, takes approx. 40 minutes. You can book the boat trip at the pay booth on the beach near to the Dolmus Terminus , Bus Terminus. I think there are two boats a day in each direction allowing you 3- 4 hours at the valley.

It is said that there are many different species of butterfly and moths in the valley ... depends of the time of year you go as to what you see.  It is surrounded by a variety of plants and herbs such as, mint ,thyme, oregano ,jasmine ,eucalyptus, anemone, mimosa. elm trees. The valley is 86 acres large and surrounded by vertical rock

The beach and valley see many of the day trip boats arriving .. the bay itself  usually has quite calm clear water, suitable for swimming or diving in.

A small café/bar is on the beach serving basic food. Small tree like houses are available to rent if you wanted to stop over for the night .. these are very very basic ... you need to bring a sleeping bag with you. Communal shower and toilet block is close by.

The photo above is looking down onto the valley from the Oludeniz to Kabak Road.

More photos of the beach and the valley are in the gallery page on the web site here ..

http://fethiyefocus.net/index.php/gallery/aprjun13/butterfly-valley-19th-april-2013

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