It’s been over a year and a half since I first started climbing at the falez between Ramada and Talya hotels in the center of Antalya. It’s the same area where I usually swim. When I first started swimming here, I’d look up at the rocks thinking that it’d make great climbing. One day I brought a mask and snorkel and checked out the rocks below the water. It must be over 100 meters of traverse with only three places where you have to worry about rocks in the water if you fall. This is “deep water soloing” — climbing without ropes; if you fall, you fall into the sea.
In the summer instead of starting on the rocks I swim to a start a bit further on, avoiding two of the three above-mentioned problem areas. The final, third “no-fall-zone” is traversed very, very easily, making the whole traverse rather free of danger. Choosing not to swim it’s certainly possible to do this traverse in the winter on a nice day. You just have to be very careful not to fall in two sections at the beginning of the traverse. I don’t take beginners there. Also, from December until about April, the water’s pretty cold so there’s an extra incentive not to fall.
I’ve taken about 15 or 20 people on the traverse, and although most people liked it, few have wanted to come back for more. Fahri Abi is the exception. I first brought him here about two months ago, and he’s been coming about three times a week since then. He also brings a camera which is why I finally have some photos. With a real photographer in a boat, I think there’s potential for some great photos.
The traverse ends just before the Talya’s Hotel’s second (farther south and east) concrete area. I’ve been told by the guards there that it’s forbidden to go onto their concrete area. I think moving quickly that I can do the whole traverse and return in about 30-45 minutes. That would always be sticking to the easiest route. It’s a good, quick workout — kind of like what Flagstaff is for cyclists — at first hard, then easy, always good training. For the record, I think my first day to complete this traverse without falling was November 1, 2013. I can think of only three people who did the route without falling on their first attempt: Fahri, Bekir, and one of my warmshowers guests whose name I forget.