Sunday, 26 December 2010

Christmas Crack

What a Christmas; no post from the UK for three weeks so no Christmas Cards, no presents and no sign of the new book yet! On the plus side, it was a warm and windy day, I did five routes, Sherri fed cats, dogs and goats galore, then in the evening we had turkey and all the trimmings.
Sherri's friend Brenda came round for the evening meal and we had a convivial time.
All the routes I did, I have done before, but what the heck, it was better than doing Christmas Crack for the 100th time, especially considering how cold it looks back there!

PS The next day the post arrived - four Christmas Cards and two copies of Cote d'Azur - looks lush!

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Christmas City Break

Babis and Diana are off to the UK for Christmas - (well maybe, if they can get in and out of Frankfurt and into Stansted because of all the snow) - and they have asked us to look after their three cats for a couple of weeks. So big city here we come - we packed our bags and drove the nine minutes to Pothia, and moved in, lock, stock and laptops. A quick walk round the area took us to yet another of the ancient castles that pepper the island.
A change is a good as rest they do say.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

A Taste of the North

Friday night and all day Saturday a gale (up to Force 9) has roared out out of the north - battering everything in its way. Trees toppled, a few roofs gone AWOL and this morning our windows were encrusted with salt blown up from the sea. I bet not many ferries have been running round these parts!
The contrast to the last month was extreme; last night the temperature fell to 6C (and 9C indoors, these places are not designed to stay warm) - I think in the middle of the day it may actually have been colder here than in the UK.
I ended up having to work in bed, wrapped in a sleeping-bag whilst nursing a hot water bottle - so not all bad then! Work on Peak Limestone continues well despite the adversity.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010


The news stories from the UK of knee-deep snow, traffic jams and sub-zero temperatures keep filtering through - it sounds really grim! Yesterday we were due a bit of downtime at the superb little harbour of Vathy and today - 8th of December we visited Arhi again. It has become my favourite crag on the Island; it was 22C and there was one other team on the whole cliff - that is about as good as it gets. I led the superb Komak (36m - 16 clips -6a+) amongst others - brilliant.
The forecast for the weekend here looks pretty unsettled but as it hasn't rained for a month now it would be churlish to complain - it is December after all!

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Goat Rescue Mission

December has started pretty much the same as November ended, mild and windy, but totally pleasant, and very quite. Our neighbours at Babis Bar are a couple of Canadians and Nancy had heard about two goats 'stuck' in Sikati Cave and wanted to rescue them. We had never been there, so thought it would make a good objective for a day out.
We caught them easy enough with bread for bait (a mother and kid) and then manhandled them up to the base of the descent route - they weren't too keen!
We had some idea about hauling them out, but Nancy's one (the big one!) sat down and refused to move so we wrapped it in a rope-sheet and squeezed it into a rucksack then carried it up the fixed rope - there was lot of goat hanging out the top. The kid was easier to handle a fitted the rucksack a treat - see photo. They seemed unphased by their journey, nibbled a few bushes and wandered of. The question remains - how the Hell did they get in there in the 1st place!

Dreaming of the HubenDolomites

High above Canazie Canazie and Marmolata The ten days in Austria were great despite a breakdown in the weather towards the end of ...