On Saturday I drove back to London from home. Home is a combination of where the heart is and here:
I am always drawn back, even more so now – maybe one day I’ll tell you why. But that’s for a different type of returning – the return this post is about is adventuring!
Arrived home, packed, drank wine with Gemma and Bash (the fab two introduced in the Dolomites posts), made flapjack then slept – briefly… left for Gatwick at half five with 19.4kg of gear (and some clothing!), per person and of course a bike
Arrived just after six, met Roly and his ridiculous bike bag and we left Gatwick a remarkable… 8 hours later…
Plane broke, new plane arrived from Naples, Gatwick decided that luggage was an unnecessary hassle, pilot got cross, baggage was moved, plane flew…
Given the number of children on the flight I can only praise the other passengers for the lack of stress this all involved.
I also can’t thank Charlie and Kane enough for providing food, wine and chocolate when we arrived!
It was so late we were starting to panic – Roly had planned to cycle from the airport but we managed to cram him, bag and bike in to our mahusive car.
Finally, for dinner, in our beautiful rented house in Biniamar, just outside Inca, Mallorca – oh yes, I’m back! we were a full contingent.
Gemma – partner in crime, Bash the box – fiance of said renegade and keen cyclist, Kane and Charlie – the young climbing boys beasting their way through all, and Roly, torn between cycling and climbing at every stage!
Monday meant shopping, sorting and climbing, Roly decided to join the climbing team for a warm up day and after a dinner/lunch/snack shopping trip was completed we abandoned Bash and headed up to the North East coast and La Creveta, a cliff overlooking the bay of Formentor – the famous lookout point of the Island.
At this point the usual ‘oh crap I’m outdoors’ climbing routine kicks in.. Kane and Roly bounce off and Charlie, Gemma and I slowly follow behind – I should point out that Charlie is hindered by being an outstanding climber who has been climbing for a stupidly short amount of time and is yet to have much experience of the ‘death by scramble’ approaches that come with outdoor exploring. We follow a path which becomes decreasingly less obvious (Roly and Kane being stable and experienced are therefore crap at route finding – I am unexperienced, unbalanced and terrified therefore yell instructions from behind them). We scramble down the edge of a vertiginous coll to the cliff base. I am nervous of the scramble and also the first climb. I tremble and trust nothing, new shoes that I hadn’t worn in didn’t help as I’ve no idea how my feet should feel, I’m leading again but we’re over 200 meters above the sea and the view at this stage is adding to the fear rather than the joy!
It doesn’t last long – with Gemma belaying and Roly yelling encouragement, (50% sarcasm) and I’m back on track. It’s the first time I’ve got them both outside/climbing on the same trip – I couldn’t ask for more.
It was an awesome first day (for us, Charlie and Kane got a different flight and some climbing the day before). Gemma hit the technical slab demonstrating outstanding footwork – Roly and Kane pull over an arse of an overhang (Charlie also manages this on lead – I top rope it and fall three times before an ungainly hop and some additional tension from Kane get me up!). Roly does the usual – ‘I’m going to take it easy, not in shape’ blather before taking a 6a+ as a second warm up route. There is, it must be admitted, quite a lot of swearing, Kane getting briefly grumpy whilst using the clipstick (a way of clipping above you if you can’t reach the bolt and need to try the move safely), then getting lost whilst doing a mountain goat impression on a daft traverse on the scramble home. (We did the classic ‘someone go and look for Kane’ – ‘shit where did you come from – Kane go and look for Gemma’ routine). And after the boys raced to the lookout point and back it was beer and home time.
Today it is raining – but only till lunch….. we have beach plans, multipitch plans, pub plans… for the moment: coffee, stretching, gear shopping – then onwards and upwards..