Bolt it and They Will Come

We’re starting part II of the sabbatical. This is still my partner’s portion; he’s taking six months, and I’ve taken off a whole year, so he gets dibs. The first part was more or less living out of my Honda Jazz, and a lot of camping. This part is mostly on public transport and in rentals or hotels. (It is getting later in the year, and while it’s always possible to camp, the nights are getting long and the climbing part of the day getting shorter.)

We’re in a newly developed climbing spot near a village called Manikia in Greece. We wanted to use the ecological way of traveling, so we took a train to Ancona, by way of a one night stopover to see a friend of mine in Milan. Then we took a ferry from there to Patras. The plan had been to get to Athens the day we arrived, but there was a transportation strike so we spent the night in Patras. Today we took a long distance bus into Athens, then a local bus out to the airport where we picked up a car and drove here.

The thing is with the ecological way of traveling is that it costs approximately seven times more than a flight. So we split the difference. We’ve come here the long, slow way but we’ll fly out (hence renting the car from the Athens airport because that’s where we’ll return it.)

All that to just to say that we’ve been moving for four days and I’ve been having this odd feeling of vertigo. I feel lost in the vastness of the world. I think I need to climb!

One day later; we have climbed! Manikia climbing area is lovely. My partner still has that broken rib from two and a half weeks ago in Corsica, so we took it easy with some single pitch climbing. The ratings of the climbs are gratifying; it’s not as bad as Kalymnos, where I suddenly started climbing 6c’s without even breaking a sweat, but the 6bs seem on the easy side. Maybe a half to a full grade easier than in the rest of Europe. This means that we can try up to 6c or 7a and probably make it to the top. The bolting is excellent, as well, so it might be possible to try some harder things once my partner’s rib stop hurting him (today was a test: we’ll see how he feels tomorrow! It’s supposed to rain so we have an enforced day off.)

The villages around here are sleepy, and not particularly touristy. No one comes here, I don’t think, except for climbers. The locals seems really happy to have people showing up to spend money in November.

My sense of being lost in the world is better today. Foro is here, being a watch-cow for the rental. Nothing gets past him.

Foro: feroces vacca protector

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