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x0x Fethiye highlands make trekker call

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    [See a photo at: http://www.panoramio.com/photo/8379894 ] x0x Fethiye highlands make trekker call Jane Tuna FETHIYE - Above Fethiye lies a mysterious and
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 14, 2009
      [See a photo at:
      http://www.panoramio.com/photo/8379894 ]

      x0x Fethiye highlands make trekker call

      Jane Tuna

      FETHIYE - Above Fethiye lies a mysterious and
      unchanging area called the 'yayla,' the highlands and
      the traditional area in which the nomads make their
      summer camp. A one-day trip to these highlands
      surrounding the town will help you cool off in the hot
      and humid summer days

      The hottest days of summer are on their way in Fethiye.
      July and August weather can fry your brain until the
      easiest tasks become a chore. What do you do? Stay
      inside with the air conditioning on at full blast? Lie
      under a tree and move as little as possible? Sit in a
      swimming pool up to your neck or hang out close to the
      frozen food section in your local Migros?

      Of course, some of us have to work, but assuming that
      there are occasional days off, what would make a
      pleasant change from slowly cooking?

      Above Fethiye lies the mysterious and unchanging area
      called the "yayla." There are yaylas all over Turkey.
      It means highland and is the traditional area in which
      the nomads make their summer camp. In the summer it is
      cool, at altitudes of more than 2,500 meters, and there
      are still patches of snow. The nomads arrive here with
      their sheep and goats at the end of May, build their
      camps and spend the summer months tending their flocks.

      To get there, a 4X4 is ideal, but not essential. The
      roads are dirt tracks but negotiable with any car, as
      long as care is taken. Turning off the Antalya road at
      Kemer, Mugla, the asphalt road takes you up to about
      1,000 meters. A track then takes you to above Kayacik,
      with amazing views of the Xanthos Valley below. Here,
      red crested linnets and song thrushes can be seen
      together with wheatears. Storks and purple heron can be
      seen flying overhead to the mountain plateaus where
      they nest during the breeding season.

      Climbing higher through the pine forests, the track
      takes you to Cem Alani, a place dotted with Kosks
      (seating platforms) and crisscrossed with streams.

      This is a good place to relax together with any local
      families who have come to avoid the heat of the coastal
      towns. It is a great place to make a barbeque or enjoy
      a picnic. The area is surrounded by beehives, the
      occupants of which are busily collecting nectar from
      the wealth of alpine flowers in the area.

      High plateaus with snow-melt streams

      Driving through the mountains, the air becomes rarefied
      and the pine gives way to the twisted trunks of
      juniper, and later, cedar.

      High plateaus with snow-melt streams are a great place
      for semi-wild horses to feast on the juicy green shoots
      of grass and flowers, their flanks becoming glossy as
      they lose their winter coats. Further on, a family of
      camels sits stubbornly in the road. A great photo
      opportunity, but in order to pass, they must be moved.
      Slowly, they stir themselves and lumber off to eat more
      of the prickly mountain vegetation that they seem to

      The camels are close to Twin Lake, called Ikiz Gol in
      Turkish. On this occasion, a ruddy shelduck with her 13
      chicks was a wonderful sight to behold. Also there were
      rock thrushes, blue rock thrushes and snow buntings.
      Around the lakes were an abundance of flowers, many of
      them endemic to this region.

      The alpine flowers in this area are a dream for any
      botanist, including red helliborine orchids providing
      bright patches of color in contrast to the grey rocks
      of Ak Dag, the name of these mountains at the western
      end of the Toros range.

      The streams are fast flowing, and coming together they
      form spectacular waterfalls that gradually bring the
      water to one fast flowing river that rushes into the
      town of Gombe, providing vital irrigation for its fruit
      and nut orchards. It is here that the weary traveler
      can rest before heading back to the coast and the towns
      of Kas, Kalkan and Fethiye.


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