Friday, 7 April 2017

Deserted Island

We have been on Kalymnos for almost four weeks now and as ever the spring conditions have been superb; warm and sunny, without the oppressive heat of later in the year, and delightfully green and floral.
Flowers and greenery
Despite the pleasant familiarity of the situation something is different - the almost total lack of climbers is really surprising - though not in a bad way - at least for us. The locals appear rather stunned by the silence, all the shops and restaurants that geared up in good time for 'the rush' are largely deserted and some are even closing early.
The reason behind the lack of traffic is pretty simple - RyanAir pulled out of Kos last year because of some wrangles with the mayor/council - and flights from all over Europe stopped.
What really surprises me that climbers - fun loving, adventure seeking, individualistic types can't cope with having to change planes in Athens!
All quiet in paradise
We had friends here for a couple of weeks and they manage Manchester - Athens - Kos - Kalymnos comfortably in day and the same for the return, using the time in Athens to have a meal. And for a very reasonable £170 return.
Bizarrely I have even heard of teams of climbers booking a fortnight's package holiday in Kos, but heading to Kalymnos
instead - paying for accommodation twice just for the convenience of flying from a local airport.
I am sure the season will pick up in May, and Kalymnos will once again be crowded with jolly climbers enjoying their two weeks bolt clipping in the sun and the locals will be happy. As for us - we will be somewhere quiet!


Terry said...

Ryanair has probably played a part in the downturn but Kalymnos is getting more competition these days from other parts of Greece which are catching on to Kaly's success and want a slice. They are starting to woo climbers to other areas and climbers like new crags. In the last week alone I've had two mates who might previously have gone to Kaly raving about Leonidio after going there on completely separate trips. Both enthused about the climbing but, tellingly, both also said: 'It's great. You can get on the routes. It's not rammed out like Kalymnos'. Maybe the circus is moving on, as the circus always will. After all, when did you last climb in the Verdon? Once it was the 'must go' destination but I've not been near for 20yrs.

Chris Craggs said...

It has started to get a bit busier as a limited number of flights from Europe have started to arrive, though only at weekend for the time being. Still feels much quieter than we have ever known - Sea Breeze to ourselves yesterday!


2018 gone, 2019 just over the horizon, lets hope it is another one filled with travel, climbing, good friends, sunshine and adventures. B...