Dear All The weather is freezing as we are currently up on the Anatolian Plateau in Turkey. As I haven´t written in such a long time perhaps we should start back in warmer climates. After my last message we ticked off a country and paid a visit to the Vatican City. The security is very tight so a full search was not a surprise. The odd fork, spoon and other utensils one does not normally carry did not bother the guard, but his eyes did become alot more concerned when he looked in one of my pockets. Before leaving the UK I was happy to recieve from my Step Mum (a GP) a good supply of condoms. These I had forgoton about and had left in one of the many pockets on my bag. Carrying around 40 condoms would normally be looked on as a bit strange if not a bit cocky. But then to take them to the most Catholic place on earth was asking for trouble. They had to get locked up and I was provided with a ticket so I could collect them when I left. Meteora was colder than what I was used to, but the climbing was just as fantastic with the mountains around the area being plasterd in snow. The area is one of my favourite venues to climb and with it being so easy and cheap to fly to, is careless not to go. The sun tans we picked up in Sperlonga in Italy were starting to fade and we were determined to find warmer climates. The promises of our Turkish friends of sun and dry mild weather conditions conflicted with other reports but still we were set on the idea that we would soon be suffering from heat exhaustion. Returning to a few crags that we bolted and developed on the last trip we were disapointed with the amount of rain, still we climbed and ventured further south on a graet sun search. We arrived at the most incredible crag that Hot Rock has discovered so far. It has in about 4 square km 50m crags to 700m crags nearly all of this is very compact very rough class A limestone and is all unclimbed, bar the routes that we have established. The higher crags were in snow but the 200m skirt was dry and in the sun. At last we had the T-shirt weather we were promised. I was able to put up a new E4, E2 and three E1´s all classic multipitch routes. The drop of the snow line caused us to pack up and move further south to the Med. Apart from the massive flash floods causing our road to be washed away and in the space of 30 mins we were in chest high water trying to figure out where the footbridge had gone. The rain ceased, the sunshine arrived and new routes were being put up again. The road we had driven in on was now the river pitted with four foot deep holes, and escape looked impossible. Seeing as we had copious amounts of unclimbed rock and beer we were very happy with this situation, dare I say we were as happy as pigs in warm shit. All in All life is extremely good Going into Syria and Down to Wadi Rum on the 17th Take Care Dave For more info on the Hot Rock Global Challenge, please click on the link below: http://www.planetfear.com/climbing/hotrock/index.html
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