Petzl Roctrip 2012 Argentina
Most of them did not believe in me, even there were times I did not believe in me as well. Anyway, this is not so important.. What more important than everything is what the voice inside me who shapes my life for a long time says; “I believe in you, go for it, do not give in”. These voices lead me to the Petzl Roctrip 2012 Argentina organized by Petzl.
In order not to suffer from the same troubles I had last year I had while going to Roc Trip in China, this time I arrived to Istanbul a few days before to work. What phobia of missing plane makes people? After working with Macera Akademisi who gave me big support, I left the office of Macera Akademisi at Nov, 5 2012 for Argentina. How come man can leave office and go for Argentina?
Answer is yes for me but not for Swiss Air... Why not? Let s rewind the story a bit;
We were going to participate to Petzl Roc Trip organized in Argentina; flight tickets bought by Toros - Petzl Turkey Distributor. Destination was like Istanbul/ Zurich – Sao Paulo / Brazil with Swiss Air.. After getting some taste about Brazil, we were planning to continue to Sao Paulo / Brazil - Buenos Aires / Argentina and Esquel / Argentina with Argentines Aerolineas Airlines. Except Zurich, few days were going to be spent in every city and we d like to take easy to get some taste about South America and Latin; but there are questions in my mind like;
- Do you think there will be a problem with Swiss flight? Swiss might need a visa...
- I asked already, no visa needed for transit flight
- Why not flying to Brazil directly? No connecting flight, no issue…
- 100 € price difference.
- If I compensate the difference?
- Why you do not like Swiss Air?
Since the ticket we bought by Toros as a support, I could hardly speak. The important thing for me was just to go not having a long or a short journey. I arrived so early on Nov, 5th 2012 and started to wait for Zorbey Aktuyun. While waiting continues, doing check-in desire inside me picked up and panic began. Airport itself was so crowded then a normal day. Once Zorbey called from the entrance of the airport, the lady doing the check-in was complaining to me with a harsh look since we were the only ones who did not do check-in yet in the plane, so I gave my passport and ticket to her. Here is the dialogue between me and her
- I have connecting flight to Brazil
-You need a visa for Switzerland. Your visa?
- I am a transit passenger, going to Brazil. I am not going to Switzerland
- If you don’t have a visa, you cannot board the plane
-I have residence permit for European countries!
- Ok, let s do your processes.
So I left my luggage and completed my check-in. What about Zorbey?
At this moment, Zorbey came and the same questions;
- I am a transit passenger, going to Brazil
-You need a visa for Switzerland. Your visa?
- I am a transit passenger, going to Brasil. I am not going to Switzerland
- If you don’t have a visa, you cannot board the plane
- No visa
We got the point that it is impossible for Zorbey to get the plane. I always hated to say “I told this” but for a long time I’ve been telling this. Zorbey could not board the plane; I took my luggage back and did not board the plane as well. Due to staying in airport alone due to the problems I had before flying to Roctrip in China, the experiences I had till I get a new flight ticket and my point of view to life, leaving someone here in airport was not a type of decision I can take. If we take the road together, we will continue together. I cannot leave somebody alone behind. Believing in that Toros will not let us down, we tried to do change for the tickets; but the conclusion is that promotional tickets cannot be changed, new tickets need to be bought and whoever wants to go to Roctrip should buy tickets for their selves.
At the end of the say, the cost of the decision I took was to buy a new ticket “around 1000 €” and I did not have this money. I have dreams in my heart and cannot fly, nobody believes in them and find like bull shit. Petzl Roctrip 2012 Argentina was a dream and disappeared... You know me, I never gave up fighting, sometimes the fight lengthens but the body does not collapse.
I spent the all day at airport by investigating and speaking with phone, and the other day by sitting at home desperately to look for a solution and also in the mean time I tried to explain all day with never ending phone calls why I could not get the plane.. Why I couldn’t board the plane? Well, if you were next to me and I d left you behind, how would you feel? It’s hard to take the cost of leaving someone for me; however it’s nonsense for others. I’m living the load inside me for years. Real hard to understand.
Finally, I made a reservation to the flight Istanbul – Dubai – Buenos Aires which does not require a visa and continued to work in Macera Akademisi. I need money to buy the ticket. 3 days before the flight, I could buy my ticket with the support of Caner Odabasoglu owner of Macera Akademisi after having busy working days in Istanbul. I am nothing without him. After the days with full frustration, stress, de motivation and questions in my mind, I left the office again... Second try... Most of the time better than first attempt, sometimes worse…
We arrived to Dubai after having 4.5 hours of flight and boarded to Buenos Aires plane after 6 hours of waiting at airport. Just about to slump due to the long flight of 19 hours and the effect of my dearest friend Jack Daniel’s, we landed to Buenos Aires at 23.30 with Argentina s time zone. Getting information about transfer and accommodation at airport, time passed and we decided to stay till morning there instead of getting out. With a less sleep in the morning, we learned Plaza de Mayo is one of the most touristic plazas and has lots of opportunity for accommodation and headed to the target. As the Turkish guys with good at mathematics, did some market research and found the best one for our budget, on the main street and close to the center and went out for sightseeing. First aim was to find transportation from Buenos Aires to Esquel... We asked every solution, horse, car, bus, plane, everything... One way bus ticket was 1000 pesos, the cheapest one is 800 pesos.
I got crazy when I heard the trip is so expensive. I have only 3000 pesos, if we d give more than half of it, what will we do then? It s better if I go out and smoke... As I told before, man should start smoking after 30 s...
Amigo, do you have a cigarette?
Could not find a cigarette but I dived into to Argentinas Aerolineas head office. Without giving a break, I started to talk so quickly and crying.
-We had a flight last week, now we arrived, can you make the change for a new flight please?
-How come not possible? I am a national athlete (I say so every time when I’m in trouble). We are here for climbing from Turkey, I am Turkish.
When I’m stranded, I talk like a machine and convince them to make what I want by dizzying them. Since I have the power of persuasion, stories ends with a way that makes me happy.
After talking minutes and minutes, the ladies helped us so much that they replaced the Buenos Aires-Esquel roundtrip tickets of the week before to the value of 3500 pesos to new tickets for 350 pesos. I have no idea, how they found us a place on that plane by changing the ticket belonging to last week and expired already. Sometimes things are figured out since I talk too much. Turned back to the office having smiles in our faces, we thanked to the staff with a brunch of roses, and headed to the streets of Buenos Aires... Since we managed all the problems, now it is time to throw the pesos in the pocket to the like dirt. Life in the streets, Latino Americano... First day shock and welcome to Argentina...
People on the streets, hand sellers, musicians and more... And the tango dancers.... Life is on the streets, high rhythm and fire of Latino... The performance in Latin dance shows took my mind. How come a body could move so fast? This performance finished all the jetlag effect. Is there anything better thing in the world rather than watching someone who is doing the job in a very good quality?
This night never ends... Shakira, Shakira…
After getting up early and having a quick breakfast, we head to a gypsy district called La Boca, contrary streets in the big city with colorful houses. High rise buildings and towers turns to tinplate barracks. Things change here very fast but fire of Latino is much brighter here and the heat is high... Shopping, dance performances and super fabulous shows to make money on the touristic streets... Although we had been warned everywhere and by everybody, (once you are a Turkish guy, you will never follows the advices and want to do something illegal.), we passed the popular streets and dived into back streets... If they d cut us here, could they found any piece of us you think? Run, run, hurry...
We took a rest in Palermo which is a bit more high society by having a decent dinner with a meat and took the way to night life... Aim was to learn some Latin figures and discipline the body... If we could enter the night club, we would take the fire but what the people were waiting outside the club? The security guard;
-There is VIP party inside, your names on the list?
-Yes, I had my reservation.
-Your names not on the list, do not wait here!
-How come not exist? I do come this place every night! Are you new with this job?
As you might guess, I started to talk like a machine and finally we entered the place without any money, plus all the alcohols were free of charge and dance till late evening... Once the lights were on we realized that the club we wanted to get in was not this one, we were at wrong place. Immediately we tent to the next door and hit the target... Disco disco partizani... From this place to the cross streets and to the other night clubs... Briefly, (otherwise there will be no space for climbing) we turned back to hotel early in the morning… Singing a song… la la la…
Only kebap could gather together the body that battered till the morning... There is some here around, I am sure, I can even smell... Come to the smell... Look how the guy did the setup in a minibus... “Give me a big portion of steak, and a hamburger afterwards, then again a steak”... Meat is like a marshmallow (saying in Turkey)... Man wants to get more and more... We covered all the protein reserves; get out for a strike to release some of our energy. Now we are where Ernesto Che Guevara lived, there is demonstrations everyday for a reason. Revolution... We dived into the protests and shouted some slogans very quickly. Revolution... Run, police is coming, what the hell is it a bomb or something? Go into cross streets, we ll be finished if we d been caught... Speedy Gonzalez…
We spent 3 full days with a high tempo and without any break by doing every item listed in what to do in Buenos Aires (look tip list for details). We boarded the plane to Esquel together with Zorbey Aktuyun, Gerome Pouvreau, Florence Pinet, Martina Cufar and Aymeric Clouet. I really cannot believe how we did this flight without any problem. How the ladies did manage this? We head to center of Esquel for shopping than to Piedra Parada with 4 private cars dedicated to us by organization.
Patagonia Mountains stretches for miles among the Argentina and Chili territories. A road called Ruta 40 which has a view of Patagonia Mountains and located in Argentina is very famous and more than 5000 km long. We arrived to Gualjiaina town by taking some part of that Ruta 40 and then with a dirt road. After having a small matte break (matte a local herbal tea in Argentina served with a special cup), we took a road of 45 km to the mountains without anything around and came to Piedra Parada after 120 km and 3 hours of drive.
We were in a part of Patagonia mountains in a retired spot of Argentina without phone access, electricity and water which has a incredible energy... I cannot believe we were at the hillside of the Patagonia mountains... Patagonia was a dream and now turned out to be real... Still dreaming, could not wake up…
The amazing view and the organization in the camp area (actually they made a camp area from scratch) made me look around open mouthed. Such a beautiful place and they did a great job. Canyon and tower climbing areas, the organization in camp area blows impressed so much. My little piece of head had gone with the beauty of the place.
After doing the registration duties, we pitched our tents (water was so cold, forget about shower). Just near sunset at about 22.00, dinner was almost ready, asado in the menu!! It means meat in the dinner! Need to recover the protein reserves…
-Isn’t the Argentina wine famous?
-Is there a Patagonia wine?
-May I have a glass of it?
Do you think we ended with one glass only? We were in a peace and nearly half of the team was here, chat continued.... No complains, chat and wine was good. Catching up with friends after long time, chat around campfire and with the climbing plans of the day after, we fell asleep with our dreams under millions of stars.
We woke up excitedly and head to climbing in canyon.
The rock partly above 200 meter which located in a valley and has a form of volcanic rock owns big opportunities for climbing. First day, we started smoothly with easy surfaces and in the sectors from the beginning of the valley to the middle. Saying if we d start easily we would get rid of the jet lag, we came to a sector with very simple routes. Crowded around, since rock is volcanic stones are falling down like bullets even the surfaces had been cleaned. Among the people, we were the only ones who does not have helmet and it was obvious we were Turkish guys. The bullets were aiming to us since we were shining like a lamp. “How did we come here, let s go home, we will break our heads soon and there will be a battle field”. “We were the sons of the warriors, our grandfathers fought at that times but now it is time to make peace, may I have a helmet please? “ I got the helmet but it did not fit to my curly hair like a mane which is not familiar with helmets. Due to the fear or jetlag, what can resist to a shaking body? It was better for health to finish the climbing early and back to chat and camp duties. Everybody agree and we run very fast. Joy of being here and South America laziness fell to us. “We are already in vacation, why to hurry? Relax…”
In the second climbing day, we went to sector called La Calavera together with Petzl Team athletes. Walking five kilometers through the valley which has different rock types and climbing routes of each level, we arrived to the sector located in the narrow part of the valley. First we targeted to simple routes for warm up and choices were absolutely nice, climbing on the routes with huge holes and amazing toothed surfaces. After these warm up routes, we moved to the routes in the narrowest part of the valley and real show begins in these routes, flash lights due to photograph and video shots and routes were flashed one by one. Since there were video shot in the route I was trying, all the attention captured to us. “These guys? They are Turkish, be careful...” Although climbing was incomplete due to big fall downs and whoopees, we used all of our energy in the very well prepared routes.
We again had meat in the dinner and this is what I want. What we had besides meat; wine, millions of stars, chat, new friendships, music, climbing dreams, best climbers in the world and more. It was hard to fall asleep.
In third climbing day, we continued where we left with the same rhythm. It was hard to stop the bodies recovered with meat. There were the best climbers in the world everywhere around on your right, left, on the rock. Everybody completed super on-sights and their projects. 8a+ and 8c routes flew around. Everybody happy and we had lots of reasons to have rest for the next day. Some used rest day for hiking, some for sunbathing, having shower and washing clothes. We had a nice rest day and enjoyed being here. The coffees we had all day made the talks even better and when the day turned to night we fell asleep to keep the energy for tomorrow. Well, festival is starting tomorrow.
All the preparations done and start given for the huge festival that 1300 climbers did the registration, and around 2000 people attended together with people on duty and local ones. Every item had been planned very well in the festival. Meal stands and tents, toilets and shower areas, registration desks, mini market, souvenir shops, mini restaurants, tables and chairs, concert area, shuttle buses for transportation, camp area arrangements and more. They organized a super organization that covers every small detail you can imagine that makes a festival perfect.
Once the festival started, our roles and responsibilities increased. We splitted into teams and climbed the routes for photo and video shots. First day, I entered to the route called La cumbia de la buitrera having a level of 8a located in La Calevera sector together with Sam Bie. In the middle of the route, fell down due a solution mistake of me but for Sam top of the route was more important, so we tried this part of the route several times.
-Hmm, ok can you please do this part again? But look to up to the right this time.
Ok, we can do that but the body moldered because of cold winds, do not ask about the skin, a big part of it I left at clear cut rocks. However, we were in a filming, no cry but move...
-Well, how is it now?
-Hmm, let s do this one again, please.
It means 5 meter downfall and climbing again the most part of the route. A good day workout prescription…
Since we were new faces as Turkish guys, we tried to our best as we can without complaining. Thank God, there was meat in dinner. First I put a big piece to my stomach, than a bigger part I suppressed to my skin smashed into bits because of doing the same move again and again, and the cold meat I put to my tired off biceps and I tried to recover my body. At night, as the tenth Roctrip celebration, a presentation was done covering all photographs and videos of the previous festivals and we came to the stage as the all team to greet the all climbers. Once coming to the stage, dancing was a no miss and as you might guess the night did not end so short…
We woke up with the help of coffees in the breakfast, and went to the sector called Ojos de Buda with Enzo Oddo taking the cameraman as well. We tried the route which gives the name of the sector. Ojos de Buda has a difficulty of 8a and Enzo climbed the route on-sight and fixed the static rope for the cameraman. Next turn was me but the route goes up to the sky on a super solid surface having legendary moves and is a very technical one. If you could copy and paste the route to a climbing wall in the gym, it would be a five star one and most probably it will be never removed. I am good at surface routes generally but cameraman up there, Enzo on the lock down, the excitement of trying the route for the first time and the beautiful view of the route made my heart to thump. I tried the route and I fell down with a fever at the entrance since my foot slided. We fell about laughing. I completed the rest of the route with super shows for video shot and due to my legendary show, Enzo had to climb it again. I also climbed two more times for the video to give snapshots from different angles. Once the night came, video presentations and Latin music came to the stage. All the climbing videos and photographs fascinated us. Flamenco guitar concert afterwards, and with open microphone records for the performances of climber musicians, we took the place at stage till late at night.
Towards to noon time, we get together as the team in full view of hundreds of people for a climbing show in Piedra Parada sector. Today s aim was to work with the photographers and have a nice climbing day with everybody who d likes to climb with us. I get in a route of 7c+ called Piedras Fritas to warm up but I took a break just in the middle near I was dropping my helmet during a nice move to the express. Last thing I would like to have is to drop my helmet in front of all these people. I cannot say I got used to climb with helmet. Since I solved to route very well, all team made me to explain it and everybody entered to the route to warm up. I was a belay bunny for a wild but found a time for myself to second go. After all team went over the route we head to another target.
-Yes Mumin, next route?
You are the best climbers in the world, what about you go first and open new frontiers to us... Why I am climbing first?
Climb on, tight the rope…
That night, Said Belhaj and Laurent Lafouche made music and did the performance everybody had been waiting for days and they made us dance till morning... Starting the day by watching the sunrise in Patagonia became an unforgettable memory. Since every good thing has an ending, this festival also ended and we enjoyed being here with lots of memories of full 4 days and nights that will stay with us for a long time.
Festival was about to end after having high tempo but still there are things to do. Cover the toilet pits, clear up the festival area, cleaning, horse to the Piedra Parada ve going for climbing to finish the routes we tried before. Life was not easy there.. It was the time to finish the days full of trying everything and time to leave for return. After having 10 days full of fun, we took the shuttle bus from Piedra Parada to Esquel. Petzl Roc Trip 2012 is over but we continued our way for climbing in Argentina.
Argentina tip list;
The country is a bit expensive but not so much. For example, 1.5 liter water 10 pesos in the market. Dinner in the restaurant is between 30 to 100 pesos.
100 pesos makes 15€
There are two different airports in Buenos Aires. Be careful which one you are flying.
In order not to suffer, fly with a company which makes easy ticket exchange. Turkish Airlines initiated direct flights to Buenos Aires. We appreciated Emirates so much, which is one of the best in service onboard and flight ticket exchange.
Currency is Argentina pesos, American dollars is easier to exchange. Rate of exchange is low at airport. Rate of 4.8 pesos for 1$ in big city turns to be 6 another place or even 7-8 with the sellers at streets. Be careful for the sellers at streets, you can get cheated. Rate is high for 100$; whereas much less for less money.
Yerba Matte is a famous tea in Argentina. Put to your must to buy list.
Argentina other side of equator vs Turkey lives beginning of summer whereas it is the beginning winter here in Turkey.
They eat their dinner usually after 23.00 pm. Meals are mostly meat; do not come back unless you taste steak and asado sauce.
Nigh life begins mostly after 2.30 am in the Latin night clubs.
In this country, tip is a must. You need to give tip in the restaurants, or during the bus trips once you are giving or taking your luggage.
Fuel is more expensive in big cities rather than small ones. For example, 7 pesos in Buenos Aires whereas 5 pesos in a small city like Esquel.
It’s real comfortable to travel by bus but extremely expensive, e.g. 1000 pesos for one way trip of 1500 km.
Ruta 40 is a very famous way to Patagonia.