Travel Journal

Holiday season

(Wednesday 31 December 2014) by Mariken
Travertines in Pamukkale
Travertines in Pamukkale
The end of the year is approaching, but we are still enjoying every day of it. Turkey obviously is not the country to give Christmas a high profile, but New Year will be celebrated with gusto. We will be sending 2014 off in style, with a pre-booked dinner at one of the many campsites here in Geyikbayiri. And after two weeks of cooking for four persons in an increasingly crowded and dirty kitchen, I am really looking forward to it.

I am not sure whether I will have much time to contemplate over the past year while eating that luxurious dinner that I did not have to prepare myself, so I might give it a go here, whilst I also bring you up to date about what we have been doing since the last post.

Robin near the crags
Robin near the crags
Needless to say that we arrived safe and soundly in Turkey and those who keep track of our world map may have seen already that we are currently in the south-west of Turkey, in Geyikbayiri, close to Antalya. Antalya is widely known as a major holiday resort, but Geyikbayiri, even though it is only about 20 kilometres inland, is seriously off the beaten track for many a tourist. For climbers, however, it is famous for its beautiful crags with hundreds of well-bolted routes which are perfectly climbable in the dead of winter. The perfect Christmas destination. Obviously we are not the only ones who thought of that, so the area has rapidly become more crowded every day since we arrived here two weeks ago, so much so that at the moment it is bit too crowded. Nevertheless, we are enjoying every minute here, even the minutes when it's raining or when there are no cups available in the kitchen anymore, or when the shower is cold after 100 climbers used it. After an extremely bad summer we are finally camping again, after weeks of eating grubby restaurant food I am finally preparing our meals myself again, we are having tea in the morning sun and roasted chestnuts under the stars, we have met old friends and made new ones and even though I have not climbed since the beginning of April (not counting my disastrous attempt at bouldering in Bleau) I have already sent 3 6a's and one 6b. And ow, the cheesecake in the restaurant upstairs is to die for. I am content.

The best cappuccino
The best cappuccino
And in general, that is the ruling feeling over 2014. Contentedness. Last year has been a year of high-peaking highs and very deep lows, both literally as in a matter of speech. We have driven an insanely amount of kilometres, seen many beautiful places, met lovely people, ate delicious food, climbed beautiful routes and at times considered ourselves the happiest people on earth. I wasn't feeling so happy when I literally dipped low in Bleau and of course, that moment on the campsite in Lithuania, when after two days of blissful oblivion I opened my inbox and saw three emails all with the subject 'Pim' is forever etched in my memory. In a year full of sunshine and happiness, that day will forever cast a shadow over 2014, not just for me, but probably for everyone in the Netherlands.

But still, contentedness. I have been living my dream for all 365 days of 2014 for which I am extremely grateful. I don't have much to wish for for 2015, except that life goes on as it does now. We wish you all a lot of happiness, sunshine and contentedness for 2015. Happy New Year!

  • tevreden by marianne holdorp
  • 2015 by Aafke
    • Boek by Mariken
  • grote wens by mama
    • Grote wens by Mariken
  • Enjoy your time in Turkey by Marije


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