Posted on May 5, 2013
Josito is a climbing campsite in the heart of the Geyikbayiri climbing area. It’s run by a bunch of Germans, and features a certain-difficult-to-pinpoint but quite definitely Teutonic flavour. This is not necessarily a positive thing if you are looking for a relaxing break. On the other hand, the seasonal staff – a mix of locals and travelling climbers – are extremely friendly and keen to please.
The situation is ideal – the campsite in held in the bowl of the valley’s hand and is surrounded by picturesque (and eminently climbable) cliffs. The campsite is green and leafy and in late spring (the end of the climbing season) has some amazing red roses in bloom. As well as camping (you can hire a tent which come with mattresses, linen and towels) there are wooden cabins and little wooden caravans (with tiny shower/toilet cubicles). We tried all three and they were all quite comfortable and in good clean condition.
The shower block is a bit odd and has two solid cubicles and two that are screened off with curtains. The solar hot water is fantastic and while we were there the hot water never ran out and the water pressure was great. Unfortunately the shower heads were that annoying European kind where you hold it in your hand and spray yourself off. Perhaps I lack imagination/ingenuity but I really can’t work out how you are supposed to rinse the shampoo out of your hair using this method. I need two hands to swish/scrub my hair with, which is impossible while I’m holding the spout thing. Are all the Europeans showering with friends so someone can hold the spout for them? Do they all have shampoo residue in their hair? Do they go to the salon for washing? An impenetrable mystery.
The toilet block is quite nice and cleaned regularly (which is a very good thing because you can’t put your paper in the toilet so the bins have poo-paper in them). If you are in a caravan you must dispose of your own poo paper. The actual system used for toilet cleaning system is a bit odd. Once a day they take out the bins and toilet paper and then get a hose and spray the whole cubical down. I assume some kind of cleaning agent is used on the toilets as they are clean at the end of the procedure. Undoubtedly this makes it all shiny and white again but because so much water is used and not dried off, the floor is covered with mud after two seconds as people walk their shoes into the cubical. Perhaps no one minds.
The cooking hut is pretty lacklustre – there is no oven and there is a strange lack of any drinking vessels (excluding empty jars, which are hoarded like gold). One is also supposed to pay an additional euro per day to use to gas cookers – which I thought was a bit stiff considering that the camping cost about the same as the hostels we stayed at in Turkey (all of which come with breakfast and some of which included an awesome dinner).
On the other hand the camp restaurant is beautiful – big windows, long convivial wooden tables and huge serves of very good food at fairly reasonable prices. The beer is a bit expensive (but that is normal for Turkey) while the wine is insanely expensive (at least a 100% mark up on supermarket prices, which are expensive anyway).
Overall we really enjoyed our stay (more on the climbing here) but if we hadn’t needed the wifi (good but sketchy at peak times) I would have quite liked to try out the little Turkish pensions around here. There are a few around but none that I can find have an internet presence so it’s kind of impossible to book ahead – unless Turkey has a yellow pages that I don’t know about. I think it would be quite pleasant to stay with a Turkish family rather than with other climbers/tourists – actually BE in Turkey, rather than in traveller-land.