Geyikbayiri and climbing in Turkey

Trip Start Mar 23, 2010
Trip End Feb 15, 2011

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Where I stayed

Flag of Turkey  , Antalya Province,
Saturday, June 12, 2010

Lee: We woke up in our beachy seaside resort at Cirali and Sam went swimming after breakfast. We then decided we might as well check out the tourist trap/climbing area/important archeological site of nearby Olympos, so we packed the Getz and headed out, arriving at midday at a shady cliff on a road full of stalls and tourists in what felt like Thailand.

There were people climbing in the shade, so I put on my best convincing voice and suggested we head over. Just for a look. With the gear. So with no guide, we harnessed up and I jumped on the best looking route which had quickdraws pre-hung. As I was climbing a guy told Sam this was his project. Uh-oh! I fell and quickly sorted beta, managing to tick it second go. It was a 7c. Sam did a gradually steepening 6a+, and we left. All done in about 40 minutes. Back in the car, go go go!
Antalya is a city of a million people, but you don't have to go far to be really out of it. In the sticks. So it was with our navigation to the climbing area of Geyikbayiri. Our $20 GPS application (Nav4) soon ceased to have the roads on it, and so I thankfully was able to resort to using pre-downloaded maps on the MotionX-GPS application ("here's some I prepared earlier!"). This was our saviour. I've realised this is totally boring to anyone without an iPhone, but it'll save one of you one day!

We got to the nearby farmers market at 3:30pm and it was still ticking along so we stopped for a late lunch (gozlemes, always with the gozlemes) (Sam: Gozlemes are traditional Turkish pancakes, often with spinach and feta). We also bought some produce (Sam: the best strawberries ever!) and tried to find a supermarket... Which we did - a really tiny one - eventually.

We arrived at our pre-booked accommodation of JoSiTo just before the town of Geyikbayiri at about 5pm. This is a buzzing climbers campground and hangout. Well it was, a few months earlier. In the heat of June, it was, for want of a better word - dead. Thankfully there was one guy, who spoke no English at the reception. He just handed us some keys and pointed. We'd booked the cheapest cabin you could get. We discovered this consisted of a double bed on a platform in a wooden hut the size of the double bed. You opened the door, put your bags under the bed, climbed onto the bed and that was that. Basically a wooden tent. €20 a night.

Fortunately the keys we had were for JoSiTo's biggest and most flash cabin. Two bedrooms, bathroom, kitchen, deck, etc etc. We hoped we weren't getting charged the €47 they wanted for this cabin. Fingers crossed. We dumped our stuff and because there was lots of light, decided to go check out the cliff, just for a look. With the gear. We climbed for a couple of hours and made it back at 8:00pm.

Because we thought we didn't have access to a kitchen, we didn't bring food to cook, instead relying on finding a restaurant. But at about 9:00pm when we headed out, the place was a ghost town and we retiredback to the cabin for toast and honey. The best dinner we could manage. It had been a huge day and we crashed.

We woke the next morning to yet more amazing views up to the mountain of Geyik Sivrisi (1,715m). It was 9am, but already stifling! We managed one climb in the morning before it became too unbearable (even the tortoises were looking for shade, see the pic). We then headed back to the cabin for a rest, before heading back out again in the late afternoon where I put in one of my biggest, sweatiest onsight battles on a 35m glassy, slippery 7c, only to fall on the last move. GUTTED! Destroyed, we headed back to camp, pasing the local families who use the river as their BBQ spot. The smells wafting from all the cooking food was torture to two little no-proper-dinner-having Aussies, so we resolved to find a restaurant!
And find one we did. (Sam: to set the scene, this "restaurant" was in the back of someone's house and the table and chairs were set into loose pebbles around a tree. To top it off, there were ducks running around our feet...) We were ushered down some steps, past big concrete pools filled with trout. Looking promising! We sat down and Sam asked to see a menu. The response was "Chicken or fish?" I didn't hesitate - "FISH!" Sam got the chicken and we waited with some trepidation. We needn't have worried. Suddenly the table started getting filled with sauces, dips, bread, salad and we got fair stuck in. Then the mains arrived - the picture doesn't do it justice. Sizzling on a lightning hot clay tile was our fish and chicken, with fries and veggies. It was one of the nicest meals we've had I reckon. There was no talk of prices so I thought, here we go. I guess I would expect to pay about $60 for all of that and drinks at home. The bill came. It totalled $20. Winner. 
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