It’s an inviting scene; it holds no pretense of being more than a home for climbers.
to Antalya? Or was its appetite tempered with a conscientious ethos? I admit, I wished for the latter. I wished, like so many of us who have experienced a place before it entered the collective consciousness of others, for the beauty of discover y to endure overuse. That’s exactly what it was, wishful thinking if not naïve and idealistic. With a place as special as that, there is no reason to wonder why, even before arriving at camp, I saw signs of development.
In the last few minutes of the dr ive, I was impressed and surpr ised to see three new campgrounds. It took about 10 years for t wo camping options to be established, but only six years for that to more than double. That makes f ive camping options for an area that has approximately 850 routes. Upon ar r iving at camp, even more development. There were new showers, new bathrooms, more cabins (some of them virtual ly ful l-sized homes). Where there was once a small far m there were t wo dozen tents, a dozen cabins and another café. I couldn’t help but feel like I’d walked into a small European climbing vil lage.
Again my thoughts shifted. This time towards the camp’s café and a familiarly fr iend ly scene of climbers gathered around a table jousting for the day’s greatest adventure. I saw another group of climbers, heads bur ied in a guidebook, likely building or amending a tick list of warm-ups, onsights and projects. It’s an inviting scene; it holds no pretense of being more than a home for climbers. Then, just before going in to reg ister for my stay, I caught the faint sound of the day’s last (cal l to prayer). The cal l bounced of f the canyon walls from the small vil lage high above camp and echoed three times before giving way to silence. It was pure magic and reminded me that I am, in fact, not in Europe. Final ly, when I went into the café, the vibe was humble and welcoming. That’s what I loved about climbing there and why I wanted to return. I’m happy to say that despite a sig nif icant increase in climbing traf f ic and noteworthy development, it remained authentical ly Turkish.