Name of the Book: 101 THINGS YOU MUST DO IN TURKEY BEFORE YOU DIE ( p/82) Author: AKDOĞAN ÖZKAN Published by: İNKILAP KITABEVİ Translator: Ekin Duru Date published: 2008
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Güdürümsu, Fethiye – Muğla
A place named “butterflies” may not necessarily be a beautiful location. However, the “ Valley of Butterflies” near Oludeniz, hosting “jersey tiger” species, is more than beautiful, with a breathtaking panorama and completely uninhabited. The valley, which was called Perdicia in the Antique Period and was named Güdürümsu in the 19th century, is a natural SIT area in the southeast of Olu deniz, at a distance of about 5 km. Basically it is a natural wonder due to its geomorphology. It is an isolated canyon formed by powerful earthquakes millions of years ago, with walls rising up to 350-*400 metres. At the end of the canyon there is a small waterfall rushing down from 60 metres, which becomes more exuberant in the spring. The Valley is composed of fertile and cultivated land of 90 thousand square metres between the shoreline in the south and the waterfall in the north.
Painter and photographer Rıfat Kılar visited the region in the late 70s and was greatly impressed by the valley, naming it the “ Valley of Butterflies”. In 1987, the first camping site and restaurant was established here under the name of “Butterfly Valley”. When it became the stop-over point of daily boat tours, it became somewhat polluted. The valley constitutes the address of the youngsters wishing to have a peaceful holiday on a suitable budget.
One of the writers of ‘Ekşi Sözlük’ defines the Valley of Butterflies” as “a giant room withy a canyon as the walls and the ceiling as the universe.”
The “room” in question is a wonderful place not only in “daylight” but at night as well. It becomes even more peaceful. There are no illuminated establishments in the neighbourhood. Accommodation is provided by a few bungalows and in tents. The Valley of Butterflies offers a miraculous panorama not only for lovers but also passionate watchers of the sky.
Especially during the summer. between the dates of the 17th of July and the 24thof August, our planet moves among the remnants of the Swift-Tuttle comet in our orbit. During this period, the meteors enter the atmosphere of our planet with great speed (12*72 km/sec.) As a result of the ensuing friction, the meteors are heated and burnt up. They strew up lights as they burn. This is in truth the “downpour of meteors” which we erroneously call “shooting stars”. This has nothing to do with the stars in the sky. The burning occurs at a distance of only 120 km away from us, i.e. in the atmosphere of our planet and ends when they are at a distance of 60 km. from the ground.
The most common downpour of meteors is the Perseid downpour which looks like shooting stars from the Perseus constellation in the north-east direction. This takes place in mid-August and was observed on the 12th of August in 2006 and 2007. If you wish to find out when it will occur in forthcoming years, you can consult http://www.koeri.boumnedu.tr/astronomy. In shady locations away from settlement areas and if there is not a full moon screening the stars, almost 100 meteors can be observed in an hour during the Perseid downpour. At the Valley of Butterflies, which is not attacked yet with pollution of illumination, if you choose to watch the meteor downpour when there is no moonlight, you will enhance your chances of seeing the meteors, as well as your romanticism. The month of August in 2008 İS not so suitable to watch the Perseid meteor downpour as 2007, because there is full moon on the 16th of August. Consequently the period when the sky could be observed unfortunately falls on the first days of August. However, no need to worry! By virtue of partial lunar eclipse which will start at 21:23 hours on the evening of the l16th of August and last until 02:57 hours, you can be witness to two events up in the sky.
Before you die, make sure to visit the Valley of Butterflies on an August evening, on the 16th of August, if possible! At 02:00 hours at night get up and go down to the beach and lie in your sleeping bag with your feet pointing to the northeast. Look up to the sky from the “giant room where the ceiling is the universe”. If you are lucky, you will see hundreds of meteors before dawn. Don’t miss it!