Sunday, 26 May 2013

Wandering Northwards

The time finally arrive when we had to pack the car and leave Ariège, sad faces all around, especially the cats - and us! We headed up to the Buis de Barronais area to stop for a week with Craig and Vicki  Entwhistle at their place Les Air du Temps which turned out to be great, nice and central and very well appointed. The unsettled weather that has plagued most of Europe continued - with snow on the top of Mont Ventoux but we managed to dodge the showers and get four days climbing in.
Monday caught us out, we had forgotten it was a Bank Holday and the cliffs were packed - plus all the shops were closed - hey-ho!

After a great week it was back on the road and up to Chamonix. Thorbjørn has a bought a small place (and very nice) in Les Bossons for when he is guiding in the area and kindly offered it to us - which turned out to be quite brilliant. Just on the edge of town, nice and quiet plus with spectacular views.

The bad news is that is is Half Term week in the UK and ferries are full (Zeebrugge to Hull) on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, so we either need to leave in a couple of days or stay for more than a week - decisions!

A couple of hours later and decisions made, ferry booked - homeward on Wednesday - gulp!

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Boulder Bash

A year and a day since I was up at the Orlu Boulders with Colin, last year it was 35C and this year it was 16C - a bit more like it!
I did 20+ problems (all easy ones of course!) and thoroughly enjoyed it - a cool breeze off the snowy peaks, the river gushing by, and not a soul about - despite it being a Sunday.
I have never been into bouldering - "playing on small rocks - but it is undeniably a pleasant enough way of spending a couple of hours.
 
Less than a week left in Ariège now before we have to load up the car and head back north. Plans are fluid, we are booked in close to Buis de Baronais for a week, there are several crags in Adian's newish guide to the area that I have never climbed at, so that should be good. After that, may be Chamonix, we'll have to see.
Since we set off for Kalymnos in September we have spent a grand total of six days in the UK - that will be 9 months by the time we get back - wonder if they will let us in?

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Summer Time

Above Ussat - heading for the hills

The high Pyrenees from Appy
Back in the Ariège, back in the groove. Island life was great but now it is the quiet rural version, climbing, walking in the hills, keeping the cats company and doing a bit of work. Temperatures have varied between 28C and 6C - weird!
It has been a while since I looked at 'the work' - last year three saw books published in 10 months which was a bit of a grind, but as ever I have started thinking about the next one coming down the line - Eastern Grit Ver III. That will require a return to the UK - but lets not rush into things.
Interestingly we have three offers to visit friends on the way home; Mike and Elaine on the Cote d'Azur, Monty and Hillary in Provençe and Thorbjørn  in Chamonix - choice, choices!

The Best of Times, the Worst of Times

Nafplio - climbing in the sun The trip to the Peleponnes was excellent, a lot of great climbing on a varied set of cliffs.We had a rathe...