I am sitting on the slow ferry from Pothia, Kalymnos to Mastichari, Kos as I have finished my time here for this climbing trip. It all started on September 1st when Darryn and I met to embark on 3 weeks of fun in the Aegean sun. We had never climbed together before and this was our choice of destination to start. If someone would have told me then I would be leaving Kaly with an enriched heart and a series of achievements that were unexpected I would have laughed.
After our first two weeks we decided to extend the trip by another week taking us out to 26th Sept. By this time we had met a group of yoga ladies who were on a retreat for a couple of weeks. We had been going out climbing with them on our rest days to just hangout and belay. These ladies took us in and treated us wonderfully well and included us in their dinner nights and just simply hanging out.
I met Karine through the yoga ladies, a lovely French woman who also loved climbing and just wanted to try hard and improve her skills and ability. We spent a lot of time just hanging out and talking. Her accent was just divine and she had this lovely way about her that would endear her to whom ever she met. Truly a “good human” with a heart as big as herself……..although she is quite petite.
A few days later the lovely Tracey Hua arrived on our island home and we were a three! Tracey brought a whole new level of energy and motivation to the team and we climbed hard and laughed our way across approx. 15 sectors and about 180 ascents, it was truly fabulous fun. Darryn and Tracey kept making these random video’s of Tracey feeding goats and doing very silly shit. All very funny and sometimes politically incorrect to say the least.
As the days moved on I decided another week would be a good option so I could continue to climb. I was getting fitter and my confidence was growing as I was trying and ticking some harder routes. Darryn was leaving on the 26th to meet his girl in Rome. Beatrice was leaving about the same time and Tracey had friends arriving from all over the place………we now had a posse and we were getting amongst it. Even unexpected meetings with friends from “down under” were on the menu.
The Aegean Restaurant and Kokkanidi’s Family Restaurant were our favourite hangouts. Dinners were flooded with great and hilarious conversation and the amount of climbing beta I would get and give was incredible. We were just in the zone and living life large…….projects were attempted and progress was made, sending routes became just what we did as a matter of course during the day and the fun was the relaxing afterwards. Meeting new people and having them cheer you on was a wonderful and unexpected gift. They all really wanted each other to succeed and when you were thwarted at times they would console you and we would all talk about “the one that got away”.
The Glaros Snack Bar was our hangout and we would provide updated information to the climbing community regarding quality of routes, bolt and anchor wear and tare and also give opinions and descriptions on the routes. We borrowed a couple of spanners and took some spare hangers just in case we found lose nuts on bolts or bent hangers………its important to give back to this community, if you continue to just take the community will become unsustainable. So there is work to be done……………………….but thats not until the Springtime…….right now I am going climbing in Turkey, Ireland and most importantly Africa to climb Mt Kilimanjaro.
Goodbye Kalymnos…………see you real soon!