Sleepless in Fontainebleau!

Quite bloody literally, I drove through the night after getting off the ferry. We decided against using the toll roads and taking the extra hour on the journey to save some money. So we arrived in Font at around 7am with zero sleep. We went to bed for a few hours but in the end we decided to give into temptation and go for a boulder. We walked like zombies through the woods, with zombie like enthusiasm to boot! By the time we got to the boulders we set the mats out and started to cli…. have some lunch; I was too tired for climbing. Without even attempting a boulder problem we moved to a new area. Again, we set up the mats and this time, I attempted one boulder problem, failed, had a massive headache and went to sleep on the boulder mat below the problem. When I woke up Jess had come back from a little jaunt doing a few problems and we decided to head back to the van. That was it for day one, I know, intense right, I’m surprised you are still sat down and not shaking with excitement…


Sleepless in Font ended on day two, as I smashed out a thirteen-hour snooze! We casually got ready and hit up the rocks at Franchard Isatis. The car park for this crag is great for the van overnight, with sun-shaded spots so it does not cook during the day. As well as this the boulders are 2 minutes from the car park. We completed and/or attempted a few of the red and blue routes, which was a massive improvement on day ones epic failure. Although one of the problems on the top out gave me some severe nipple rub whilst pulling up on slopey nothing hold. That evening Jess tried out the shower in the van with success and even cooked up some piri piri chicken burgers and sweet potato chips. Who said you had to rough it living in a van??


The following day was a little slower to begin with as I managed to get a tick in my foot and we had nothing to remove it with, so we took an impromptu trip into Fontainebleau to get a tick removal tool. We sat on a street corner and tried to get it out, which was not such a great success, however with the help of some tweezers we got it out. A short drive to a petrol station later and it was return of the tick, as I found another behind my, knee, ‘round two’, and boom he was out. Hopefully don’t get Lyme disease now, as I reckon that would be shit! Since this point I have become hyper paranoid about getting another and as I’m living in a wood full of ferns, grass and trees, any time a leaf touches me I’m freakin out ready to kill some ticks!



That after noon we got back on the rock and hit up an orange circuit and got through sixteen problems, so although it was a slow morning, the afternoon picked up some of the slack! That night was cool, another awesome meal, sausage stew, and then just relaxing reading sitting on the boulder mats. Following this we had a bit of an admin morning, washing clothes and checking for ticks every five minutes and in the afternoon we continued to work through the orange routes at Franchard Isatis (Cote) getting through 17-30. Although some were harder than others, for example on one route I found no holds and slugged my way up, and added to the previously attained nipple rub! The other was a slab, with little to no holds that after many attempts finally gave way, I can get pretty stubborn and just stay at a problem for as long as necessary, making slow progress, but that equates to a higher feeling of achievement once completed.

So tomorrow I might actually go into town and rejoin civilization for a day. Other luxuries like Wi-Fi will be on the cards, as well as a trip to the porcelain express, oh the luxury! There is an outdoor festival with climbing, mountain biking, slack lining and a concert called ‘Retour aux Sources’ in Font. This could be a great event or a null point, but we shall see! As it’s a day off from climbing hopefully it will still be a good time and keep us entertained, will keep you posted.



Next on the cards is the Bourgogne region, Ron Burgundy country, Dijon Mustard land…that’s all I’ve got for now! But seriously after the festival that’s where we are heading and looking forward to it. Sport climbing!!

(Just a little footnote to mention the good places to camp etc. The best places that we stayed were the Franchard Isatis car park, it had great shaded areas to park, surrounded by other camper vans and the forrest this was one of the best camping spots I have found and felt very safe. As for somewhere to fill up water, drop grey water and toilet waste, as well as 6 spaces for vans to park on hardstanding, this is near Milly la Foret, at GPS 48.39798 2.48021.)

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