Wednesday, 25 January 2012


Left: Dan on Suspect Intellect HVS

The UK in January - the 1st time we have been here at this time of year for about seven years - and it has been a bit of a shocker. The Monday after we arrived it was back on the Grit with the usual suspects, a lovely crisp day, but the climbing was hard work: no holds and no bolts - very strange!
A visit to Whirlow Park was cold, muddy and raw, but it was good to be out. The mid-week forecast was better so we decided on a leg stretch around the Redmires Reservoirs behind Sheffield. In the event the forecast was wrong, (why does that surprise me) - it was blowing a gale out of the north-west and it rained much of the time. Added into the mix was some stinging hail as well - luckily we found an old abandoned shooters lodge to escape the worst of the weather. The sandwiches and hot soup were a treat.
Then there was the inevitable visit to the climbing wall, on the plus side it was less arduous than I was expecting and it was very sociable.
Anyway it was good to be home for a fortnight, but that is enough - Costa Blanca on Monday - sweet!

Right: Sherri catching another lung-full of moisture-ladened air

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Job Done!

Left: Route Number 246
A quarter of a year we have been on the island (16 weeks or thereabouts), 246 routes ticked (exactly) and tomorrow we catch the dawn ferry to Kos, fly to Athens then after a rapid transit head north to Manchester. If things go well (some 'if') we could be back in Sheffield by early evening. Can't say we are really looking forward to it but it has to be done, projects are simmering and books don't write themselves.

We will miss the weather, the climbing, breakfast and tea on opposite terraces, the cats, the peace and quiet, the sunshine. Also a small but very select band of friends and acquaintances - this side of the island really is pretty quiet.

Right: Paddling in the sea in January

Yesterday we caught the taxi-boat over to Telendos and went for a wander, around the southern tip of the island, we even had a paddle - and the sea felt lovely and warm. Today was a last few routes, pack the big boxes for the cellar and the rucksacks for the journey.

Sherri fancies popping over and see the place in the summer - in the hot and busy time - sounds like a plan to me!

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Happy New Year Indeed

2012 - where does the time go? I guess it flies when you keep busy - we only spent 12 weeks in the UK in 2011, the rest of the year we spread ourselves out from the Greek Islands to Arctic Norway with time spent in Spain and Switzerland too.
Wintering in Kalymnos has been great again - well over 200 routes climbed, lots of superb weather, friendly locals and a host of cats to keep Sherri busy! Today was pretty typical, we slept with the door wide open all night listening to the sound of the waves (cool mind!), had breakfast on the terrace in the morning sun, did five superb 30m+ routes at Kreisaal. Then it was back home for a hot shower and tea on the balcony, watching the sun go down.
I have started to listen to 'Drive Time' on BBC 2, via the internet each evening, the traffic jams and weather back home make time spent here that much sweeter! I sometimes wonder why we are headed home in 12 days!

"50 Years Ago Today"

Big Chris and Smaller Colin - 50 years on and still getting wet! Colin was heading back from Spain to the UK so he called in and we spen...