Monday, July 26, 2010

Finally, some photos of what we have been doing in the Ala Dag

This weekend our friends from Ankara showed up, and I was finally able to take my hand off the belay rope and get some pictures of some of the climbing here in the Ala Dag, and, specifically the Kazikli Valley. To non-climbers, these are probably pretty boring; but I tried to spice some of them up so that they aren't all just about people hanging onto rocks with their fingers. As is my goal this summer, I'm trying out all sorts of photographic techniques, both in my composition, and in the post processing of the images. Any feedback on this is more than welcome!

More photos from the Ala Dag can be found on my facebook page, for some reason FB loads quicker than blogger.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Ala Dag Part II

It's hard to take action photos when I'm just climbing with Erin, but until a crew of climbers show up this weekend, here are a few more landscapes and such from the amazing Ala Dag mountains.

For more info. look up Ala Daglar Camping on google and facebook.

Erin hiking out from Kizikli Valley, the climbing area near our house. Followed by a random shot of a climber on the "Karnaval" Wall and another beautiful alpine landscape.

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Ala Dag Mountains

Erin and I found a stroke of good luck when we discovered a beautiful vacation home was available at the foot of the Turkish Alps. The Ala Dag mountains are about 5 hours South of Ankara, and are the Western most reach of the Himalaya. We arrived two days ago, and plan to stay for three or four weeks. Bali, our cat, came with us and we're looking forward to some time climbing, running, reading, and writing in our little mountain retreat.

The house we've rented is amazing. It's set up for rentals, and has 7 fully furnished bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, an (empty) swimming pool, a cherry and apricot orchard, a huge kitchen, Satellite T.V., a grape-vine covered veranda, and huge Turkish Carpets that Bali adores rolling all over. Since it's just the two of us, they are renting it to us for $200 U.S. a week, which seems like a steal. Hopefully some friends will come and join us, but we aren't holding our breath--we are way off the grid. The closest town is an hour away, and there isn't any bus service to the village we live near. But, more importantly, the climbing area is a five minute drive, and the entrance to the National Park is 15 minutes.

The climbing here is obviously excellent, but we are also going to work on preparing for school next year. I've got 4 new curriculum to plan for, and Erin has a revamped Psychology curriculum to contend with.

I'd post more pictures, but I'm running the internet off my mobile phone, in the middle of nowhere, Turkey. So, it takes a bit of time to upload. I'll work something out and see if I can compress the images to upload quicker.

Okay, ciao, it's time to go climb!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The New Camera

So, I've been bouncing around to some pretty incredible places in my life, and mostly that bouncing has been accompanied by a shitty little point and shoot camera.

I thought about replacing it, but as soon as I was about ready to get a nice film camera, in came digital.

And, nice digital has been pretty expensive until just recently.

I went with the Canon D550, also called the Rebel T2i in America. Amazingly, it was cheaper to buy it, after my tax-free refund, during my recent trip to Finland than getting it in the States. So, we went for it, and the results are astounding.

However, as my friend from Ecuador, Caroline, advised me, "don't skimp on the glass." So, I'm waiting for a trip home to purchase something decent for the light to go through on the way to this bad boy's processor. Until then, here are a few of the first results from around the Ankara, Turkey area. None of these have had any post processing, and they are all taken with the kit lens, so, give me a bit of slack. I'm a newbie at this.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

A Week on the Turquoise Coast

Last week Erin and I packed up Buddha, our 1998 Nissan Terrano, and headed down to the pine forest and blue bays of Turkey's famous Turquoise Coast.

We spent six days traveling West to East, settling in at campgrounds along the way. We started our trip with the amazing calcified cliffs of Pamukkale, a phenomenon of hot water pools and deposits that continue to stream down a mountainside. From there we moved on to the ruins of Aphrodisas, where more than a few of the placards in the ruins made reference to "the rituals of lovemaking" that went on in this aptly named Roman town. I think that's probably putting it mildly, the town sure sounds like an orgy-fest to me.

Taking a day and a half to make it to the coast, we finally coasted all the way out into the middle of the sea (two, actually) with the Mediterranean on one side of the Datca Peninsula, and the Aegean on the other. We found some great, beach side camping at the Ilica Campground; complete with hot water, beach chairs, umbrellas, a fridge, and a TV with which we were able to witness USA's devastating loss to Ghana.

After two nights in Datca, we hit the road to the lagoon of Oludeniz. Here we found Sugar Beach camping, full of topless pasty-white Brit's who apparently were unaware of a thing called sunscreen. I guess you don't really need it in the UK. At any rate, Sugar Beach had a nice collection of human lobsters, as well as more great camping, hot showers, bar, bacon burgers, pina coladas, etc. etc. Pretty nice, but also pretty touristy.

We only spent one night amongst the Lobster Brits, I was scared their screams of sunburned nightmares would wake me. Continuing to the East we found the amazing Ptara Beach, with 18KM of white sand dunes, and a complete reversal in beach culture from the private lagoon--here we saw the Burqa-inis that the new Sex and The City movie made famous. Mmmmm, sexy head-to-toe bathing suits. Yeah baby!!!!

Our last two nights were spent in Kas, a town that straddles the line between being too touristy, and truly local. The camping was splendid, just two tiers of sunchairs separated our tent from the water. In town the walking alleys were full of boutiques, bars, and restored Ottoman homes, where we finally gave in and had a meal that wasn't cooked over our campstove. Perhaps the most amazing site in Kas was in the harbor, where we found the Bristolian super yacht, discreetly docked at the end of the bay. Click the link to check out the boat, it is an engineering marvel.

Thanks for checking in, I posted the best of our pics from each leg of the trip below. If your going to the Turquoise Coast, drop me a line and I can point you in some good directions.


Blue Bay

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Kas Camping

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Ptara Beach (Plaj)

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Salkikent Canyon

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Oludeniz Lagoon

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The Datca Peninsula

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