Sunday, 25 March 2007

Summer's a coming

Looks like it might be time to head north - its warming up and starting to get busy - all very strange. A walk along the Denia sea front revealed families on the beach, people in the sea and even the ubiquitous beach umbrellas starting to go up - mind you it was the weekend!

Me and my big mouth - two days of cool cloudy weather with some heavy showers during the night - looks like our trip will end as it started.Hope we get acouple more days' sunshine. Either way we are headed for Ariege at the weekend - bet its cool up there!

Wednesday, 21 March 2007

Falles Week

Another week and another Festival (only joking) - Falles is the big Valencian shindig, competing teams build statues, some on an amazing scale, they get judged by the Great and the Good then they all get burnt (falles = torches) right in the middle of town, in reverse order of merit. The final torching takes place at two in the morning - with the fire brigade dousing the houses that surround the bonfire. Brass bands, loads of (very) loud fireworks, market stalls - a merry kind of mayhem!

Tuesday, 13 March 2007

Time Flies

Its been a while since I posted, but we have been busy. There are only a couple of weeks left now! Dave Gregory has been and gone again (for the second time) and I have been working flat-out on a new departure with RockFax, all too be revealed very soon.
We have been climbing again, back to Montesa (I was 'spotted' again - have to stop putting my photo in the guides!) and at Alcalali (doubled up with a water-bottle filling trip). We hiked up to the Cova de Agua on the Montgo, a cave that has been used as a water supply since at least Roman times, there is even an original Latin inscription up there.
We have also spent some time exploring the coast around Javia, onshore winds have pumped up some big waves, there were even surfers out there. It looks like another potential DWS venue.
This week is the Fallas festival in Denia, it starts with fireworks, then competing factions build huge statues of wood, clay and papiermache judged by the local dignitaries. After various competitions (and more fireworks) they are burnt in reverse order - all accompanied by yet more fireworks, and concluding at two in the morning, sounds like it might be fun!

Sunday, 4 March 2007

At the fulcrum

The last full moon of our visit (and the night of the lunar eclipse too) persuaded us to head out to the Cabo St Anonio to watch it rise out of the Mediterranean. We were not disappointed, the sun sank slowly behind the Montgo lighting the clouds from below in a spectacular fashion. Exactly as the sun set, the moon appeared out of the haze hovering above the sea. A warm wind blew from the west and the whole experience had a magical feel about it. We popped over to the other side of the headland to take a few shots of Xabia as the lights came on all around the bay and the western sky still held the afterglow. By the time we got back to the car, the lighthouse's beam was tracking out an arc across the water, the moon hovered silver in a black sky and the sun had disappeared far below the horizon.

Friday, 2 March 2007

Old dog, new tricks

For years I have been meaning to have a look at the miles of impressive cliffs that run north from Moraira. Alan James sent me a chapter of the new Deep Water Soloing guide, and one of the cliffs is only 12 miles from where we are stopping it seemed like the time was right.
We tootled over to the urbanisation Cumbre de Sol then followed the road down to super-impressive Cala Moraig.
Poking around found a wonderland of deep water, steep rock and old fishermen's ladders and little concrete ledges. I spent a happy (gripping!) hour down near seal level. When I got back and checked the manuscript two of the routes I had done weren't even described - fame at last!

A month in Switzerland

Gornergrat - rammed A month passed in Switzerland and it has been very pleasant, climbing, hiking, chilling and even doing a bit of to...