Monday, 16 January 2012

Simon's Euro update #2

Thanks again to Unai and Sara for looking after me in Madrid, I had a fantastic time there, climbing lots, eating lots and speaking non stop Spanish for my entire stay. It was awesome. We visited another fantastic area that I had been to before, called La Pedriza. This place is incredible, a maze of granite set in a forest by a beautiful river and true to form, brutal on the skin. Both Unai and myself had a great time there, doing lots of highballs and tricky (scary) mantels. I didn't do anything particularly hard, mostly just high quality lines, plus it hurt like hell, as did all of the areas near Madrid. From Spain I hopped a plane over to neighbouring Portugal to meet up with an old friend Barti and his super cool girlfriend, Tabea. Even though they're from Switzerland, they will be in Portugal for the whole time that I am there, which is where I am now, waiting to board a plane to Milan to meet up with Sam and Lu. Chamon...

Anyways, Portugal, what an interesting/weird place. Even though it's nearest neighbour is Spain, the language is completely different. It sounds more like Russian and a gutteral Russian at that. It is home to some beautiful seafood and some sweet surf, the occasional bit of good rock and a whole lot of the shit variety. Barti and Tabea surfed each day, near Lagos in the South where we stayed. I wasn't that psyched, mostly because my skin turns to paper in the water and I was keen to keep it as solid as possible for Switz. However, this was not to be, pulling on to some undone line in a shitty cave above a nice beach break I broke off a hold and slashed my middle finger good and proper. You're shitting me right? My first thoughts were of Switzerland as I watched blood run freely down my finger.
Ah well, you still have to push on eh? So, I taped it up and off we went to Sintra, a beautiful world heritage area just outside of Lisbon, where boulders and waves are in abundance. We finally found some decent rock after driving around for half a day and got to check out some nice waves. The climbing was surprisingly good. I have no idea what we did, but safe to say, it was a lot of fun. Barti and Tabea went surfing in Colares, a nice town ten minutes from Sintra, whilst I watched with much amusement from the beach as a steady stream of Portugese surfers, mostly body boarders, went through their warm up routines on the beach. There's not many sights sadder, nor funnier than a fat man doing yoga in a wetsuit, though the sight of 20 different guys doing so in rapid succession is a real treat. Righto, my flights been called, so off I trot, off to Chironico.
Enjoy Simon

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