On my first day in Kemer, I was feeling brave and confident enough to attempt Adventure Rope Climbing. The website described the Adventure Park as …
“A place to prove your courage and skills. This adventure will bring about a rush of adrenaline which will result in a sense of achievement”
About the Adventure Park in Kemer, Turkey
The Adventure Rope Park covers 15, 000 square meters and consists of numerous rope ladders, bridges and zip line courses. Once I saw the park with my own eyes, it dawned on me that this was definitely going to be a test of my strength and determination.
In my case I was trying to buy into the well-known theory that if you face your fears, they will go away and as I have developed a fear of heights over the years, I felt that the Adventure Rope Climbing Course could be step one of the long road to eliminating my fear.
Safety Briefing First
Upon my arrival, I was fitted out head-to-toe with strong and sturdy climbing gear and then led to the beginner’s instruction area to learn the safety rules and procedures. This area consisted of a rope, a small tree and zip line that were just a couple of feet off the ground. An ideal starting place as far as I was concerned!
My instructor for the morning was Ufuk who can credit himself with designing and building the park which is the first and only Adventure Rope Climbing Course in Turkey. He seemed to be more confident of my abilities then I was.
After the safety instructions finished, there was fear pumping through my veins quicker than a full blown power surge so I decided to swallow my pride and asked meekly if I could start on the kid’s course first. Yes, this short course was designed for kids of seven years old but I like to ease into these things gently! With the kids course done and dusted, next on the agenda was the easy adult’s course.
That is When It Went Wrong
As I was climbing the rope ladder up to the platform situated in the tree, I looked down and my sense of balance disappeared. My heart started to race and my legs felt like they could easily buckle through weakness.
While I was clinging to the rope ladder, quivering and refusing to move, my instructor Ufuk, just calmly passed the time of day, standing at the bottom of the tree discussing anything that came to mind. It turned out that I am not the first person who discovers when half way up a tree that they are not a master at adventure sports.
Fear was freezing every bone in my body, but my mind started thinking properly and I figured that I had to either carry on or turn back. Eventually I battled on and at the end of that section decided that I had made enough effort for one day to conquer my fear of heights. However Ufuk thought different.
The Most Strangest Thing Happened
Considering my last pathetic attempt, I was rather surprised when Ufuk suggested that I attempt the much-higher zip lining rope. He promised that my pride would be restored after attempting the 50 meter rope that would take me breezing through the air from a high tree to solid ground with ease.
I agreed but the problem was that I had to climb the tree. A sturdy ladder led the way to a high platform where Ali, another instructor was stood talking me through each move of the climb. I attached all the gear as instructed and the next task was to push myself off.
My reaction was one that totally surprised me. I had just jumped out of a high tree and was hanging on for dear life to a metal pulley that was sending me racing through the air at a high height. However my fear of heights had disappeared.
I felt calm, relaxed and was actually enjoying it. The fear was greater when I was stood static in the tree then when I was breezing through midair with nothing underneath me that would break my fall.
As Ufuk would say, the course does more for a fear of heights in three hours than any course of therapy could do in a year. Yes, I feel as though step one of eliminating my fear was achieved. The course itself was the highlight of my day but they say one of the best things about travel is the people you meet, and Ufuk is truly an aspiring person who helped kick start my south western tour.
About Ufuk Guven – Owner and Instructor
From canyon rafting to paragliding to trekking through the Taurus Mountains, this man knows his stuff. He has an active passion for the outdoors and has turned it into business in the form of Activity sports in Kas and the Adventure Rope Climbing Park in Kemer.
He has also organized the annual swimming race from Kas to Meis (Turkey to a Greek island!) and speaks Turkish, English, German and French. If exploring, trekking and adventure sports are your passion and you are in the Antalya or Kas region, get in touch with Ufuk, who will tell you more in half an hour than the internet ever could in a lifetime.
(Video and pictures - courtesy of The Adventure Rope Climbing Course in Kemer)
Have you ever completed adventure rope climbing? If not, would you give it a go after reading my experience?