Next week we are off to Geyikbayiri for a week of sunny bolt clipping with Elsie and Koon…
Geyikbayiri is in the south west of Turkey, not too far from Antalya. With several of our friends – Keith, Fiona, Roger, Helen, and Terry to name but a few – having been to Geyikbayiri before anticipation was high!
Interestingly when Terry made his visit he wondered if
Probably not. But there are certain analogies … cheap charter flights from UK to the Turkish seaside resort of Antalya; bolted sun-rock climbs; relatively cheap food and accommodation (but not petrol). However, there the analogy ends. The routes tend to be on the hard side, with centre of gravity around F7a, with just enough 6a and below to see out a week. The rock is a limestone and conglomerate with many steep tufas and cave features, creating the harder bias of the routes.
He also has some humorous insight in to Turkish travel:
A chance meeting with a friend who had just returned put me on to the idea. Flights and accommodation were easily booked and a week later I was fighting through the traffic in Antalya, looking in vain for signs to Geyikbayiri, of which there are none. In fact, although Geyikbayiri is only about 25km west from the airport, none of the locals we asked had even heard of it. Turkey is no place for the squeamish driver either. Overtaking seems allowable on all sides (except above) and red lights seem decorative only, as do speed limit signs.
However, once out of town, it all changes. Pot-holed roads, wandering goats, roadside markets but still no road signs and even less sign of our B&B.
And off the climbing and accommodation:
Geyikbayiri turned out to be an international climbing venue, developed mostly by a local team (starting around 2000) with the Germans in hot pursuit. There is still a large German influence, with the main campsite, JoSiTo, German-owned. What a wonderful ambience too on this site, with a lively bar and cheap restaurant. There is a second campsite, the Climbers Garden run by a local activist (and guidebook writer).
The nearest thing to heaven – late starts, three minute walks to the climbs (OK, five minutes to the more distant ones!), lunch and plenty of chat back at the camp, afternoon climbing session, then early evening wine with the friends from lunchtime. It seems we made more new friends every day. And nobody cares whether you’ve been climbing 6a or 8a.