Friday, 31 January 2014

Turkey Part 2

Yeni arkadaşlar (new friends) and a return of the Mojo

Sarkit at Geyikbariri
After leaving Kalymnos, which was one of the best sport climbing areas I have visited, and climbing very well there, Turkey was a bit of a shock to the system!
I expected the climbing to be just as good and my form to be the same or better than in Kalymnos, even though I had had some time off?
Not sure why I expected this, just one of those things that you sometimes get in your head about climbing – surely your ticks should just steadily get harder, right?
During our break from climbing I quickly rediscovered that I can not do a lot of tourist sight seeing before I burn out and get a bit agitated. So when we finally got to the climbing area after a false start at Olympos (where we were rained out) I was very keen to get back into the rhythm of the climbing life.


Was our destination, however the mojo didn’t return, in fact I probably lost it even more.
When we first arrived it was very cold and we got a bit lost, picking some poorer sectors to climb at, which really didn’t help things.
 So after getting a bit grumpy and thinking we should just leave, we managed to meet some truly awesome people who were very welcoming. From then on, my mojo started building again.
After meeting these new friends we started enjoying the area and the climbing more and we began to find more and more fun routes to climb and our whole climbing experience was turned around.
We also enjoyed some excellent adventures together, going to a hammam in Antalya, exploring the weekend market down the road from the climbing area, returning to Olympos and having an excellent day climbing there.
Christmas Dinner
Christmas day was a fantastic experience going climbing with a now good friend Theo, and then returning to an amazing meal that everyone had put in so much effort to create.
Through meeting these lovely people it reminded me that even though the rock is not perfect (although still good) and you may not be ticking your hardest grades, there is still fun to be had. The experience of travelling in a beautiful place, meeting and sharing experiences with wonderful new friends, is at the heart of why climbing holidays are so special, and that I need to make the most of it. So really I just needed to relearn what we have all heard many times before; don’t focus on the grades or if the rock is perfect, but rather enjoy where you are and the experiences you have with the many amazing people you meet along the way and you are bound to have a good time no matter where you are.

Some quick news/nuts and bolts

Cath on The Trooper 7a at Olympos
Me on Geyikbayiri Games 7b+
Photo by Tim Howard
After realizing I needed to relax and just enjoy the experience rather than be focused on hard climbing, I ironically managed two of my hardest graded routes of this trip so far White Spirit 7c+, in 5 shots at Sarkit and Working Class Hero 7c/+ second shot, which I did on a day trip back to Olympos with Tim, Theo, Berry and Jess (but I think this one is very soft for the grade). 
Cath managed to get her form back after hurting her ribs in Kalymnos, ticking off a few 7a+’s

Enjoying food with friends while traveling is one of the best thing to do.
Photo by Tim Howard

Thanks for a wonderful time Tim, Theo, Melk, Alex, Per, Jess, Berry, Eylem, Ektor, Mathijs, Martijn plus all the other wonderful people on this trip so far especially Cath.
Looking forward to all the new friends and places to come.

Cath and I buying local produce at the market
Photo by Tim Howard
Cath, Tim and Theo at the Market

Me on Working class hero the easiest 7c+ I have ever done, but still super fun
Photo by Tim Howard

If you would like to see some more photos

And Tim has loads of amazing photos, Check them out here:

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