So far this trip has been amazing, time and again I have experienced and written in this blog just how good of a time I am having. However just recently the trip has took a dip in form. Nothing major has happened, and that’s part of the problem… we have had a couple of weeks of relative nothing, apart from driving and camping. We have tried to visit a few crags, have planned to visit different locations and all have fell flat on their face for various reasons. I can still appreciate my freedom, over the past two weeks I have travelled through four countries, not bad for someone who is moaning right??
Weirdly this downer on the trip happened shortly after our six month Tripaversary, which also coincided with the creep! From this point we decided to head north from Split, the first crag we visited resembled a winter climb rather than a sport climbing venue, white snow and frost everywhere and every tree was wind swept with ice! Time to move on, and that night we stopped in one of the higher ranges and again, it was cold, winter was definitely creeping up on us! The next few crags all had similar bad weather or snow. These next few nights were the first minus temps since we left the Dolomites over a month ago.
We were pulled over by the police again, asking for a fine because it was windy, in my own opinion was that this was the shittest excuse I had heard so far to fine me. Again, we refused and were left to carry on our way. It’s getting a little bit trying that on this trip I have been bothered by police more than any other period in my life, including my trip driving to Kazakhstan, where I expected corrupt police in the ‘stans’, however here in Europe I expected better.
Once in Slovenia we had problem after problem with our attempt on Triglav, the only true activity in the last two weeks, and even that we failed on. Melting our waste water system, getting stuck in the snow, waist deep snow, nearly getting stuck overnight on the mountain in winter, being overcharged at the hut, being blocked on the road back and having to reverse the whole snowy road, breaking our snow chains on multiple occasions and everything freezing in the van in minus twelve temps. I think that about sums up what was a stressful couple of days.
From here we planned to swing around through Italy, defrost and then come back to the mountains for some winter sports. Unfortunately, we did some research and the costs of going to the alps for skiing or climbing was just too much, as we would need accommodation, kit hire etc, and we don’t have enough money, so it was decided with a grievance that we would head south, first to France and then Spain.
Since we have arrived in the south of France we have had torrential rain, and strong winds, and have been forced to shelter in our van and wait it out. It’s still cold, but not freezing, so that’s one positive, as is the Aires that have been sorely missed since we left Italy last. On arrival to France I was flashed by two speed cameras, the first I was too fast, maybe, but the second I was spot on and still got flashed?? I don’t know, but I hate the south of France more and more, the place is bloody cursed!
After waiting out the rain we did get a couple of days climbing in, and although you think after this massive moan I would be rejoicing, I was not. Unfortunately what was once a great climbing location has been ruined by polish, when on the routes I often remarked how good the moves were, and the climbs were fantastic, apart from the abundance of polish! For example, you would start on a polished slope, and reach up for the first polished pocket, raise your foot to the polished nub, your other foot searches the face to smear on some polish, whilst you hand reaches up for the polished and sweaty crimp, polish, polish and more polish, I’ve climbed rougher windows! The whole crag at 6a and below is ruined in my opinion. It takes the joy out of what would have been class routes and a descent couple of days!
I hope I have not lost the mojo for this trip, and the last couple of weeks have been a bump in the road. Hopefully as we head south I regain my drive for sports climbing, that has been waining since we left split. Hopefully the weather improves with the drive South, and we find life more comfortable. I’m not sure what’s up with me, or why I’m moaning, but the truth is, I set out this blog as a diary first and a blog second, and will continue to strive for this. All is not been well for the last couple of weeks and I hope that things begin to perk up again in Spain!