Manikia, or “this path is worth finding”

“This path is worth finding” was frequently used in a hiking guide I had for Colorado. This is generally true, but even more so with the last few climbing areas we’ve been in (Corsica before and Greece now). Without the path, there are some buggery plants and trees in the brush-land that are pretty much impossible to get through without a machete. And I didn’t pack one of those.

When you don’t find the path, you could change the lyrics from “I fought the law” to “I fought the maquis (and the maquis won)”, or adapt the Pogues song The Old Main Drag “‘I’ve been shat on and spat on and raped and abused, I know that I am dying and I wish I could beg for …. somebody to help me find the path…..” Okay, not raped, but it is important for ladies like me to pay attention to when trying to squat down and pee; the maquis would often like to get a bit intimate.

The climbing is still lovely, but it’s all new and paths are quickly overgrown if they aren’t used very often. It’s just better to try to start heading back with a bit of leeway before the sun goes down (and you wind up staggering around with branches grabbing at you and all sorts of scratchy things attacking shins and arms, wreaking havoc on your hair and, I swear, untying your shoe laces).

Here’s a quick list of where we’ve been so far: single pitch climbing at Rainbow and All the Universe. Access is easy and well-marked. Then To monopati ton Chenonon (6 pitches) access was easy, but the belays were different than in the topo (the last one wasn’t necessary; we could walk down the last part). Then we climbed Bouc et Mystère (7 pitches) in a sector called Bouc. There the path disappears in the maquis, and we got off track multiple times, especially on the way down. Then we went to a sector called Durex (seriously, like the condom brand) and started back too late. It was hard to be fully lost (the cliff was on the right and the valley on the left) but when we got off the path it was very, very uncomfortable. Today we climbed a route on a cliff called the Sentinelle (Lia, 4 pitches) and only got off track once at the beginning, but after the path was quite well marked.

There is one thing to pay attention to in Manikia: the wind. Some of the cliffs are more exposed than others and wind might be an issue here for part of the year. Today it was uncomfortable, but it was also a climb without rappels, so it was just annoying. Something to think about, in any case.

Durex, single pitch climbing (rated 6b here, and only a little overrated, 6a+ maybe)
Lia, first pitch (5c+, and mostly this climb was rated like the rest of Europe. Not over or underrated)
This path is worth finding….

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