Thursday 19th June 2014, Albarracin, Spain
On our walk back from a large lunch of pizza, we measured the temperature: 37C although that was at the point we walked into the nice cool flat so I suspect in the sunshine, it’s actually a bit hotter than that. While reminiscent of last summer in Germany, it’s the polar (excuse the pun) opposite of my last trip with Jim – to Magic Wood in November 2012, where temperatures plummeted to the negative teens. Being as he arrived yesterday evening, this is something that is coming up in conversation quite a bit today.
It is the heat that has led us to large lunches, in all truth. The current plan involves eating our main meal in the day, climbing from either 10am or about 6pm, and then snacking and drinking as much as possible around that. It’s a typically Spanish approach and to be honest, now we’re here in mid-summer, I can see why – you really have no choice.
Since last time, and until today, the climbing sessions have been relentless. While the first evening may not have featured any massively impressive ascents, it was followed on Tuesday by a morning in Arrastradero with a trip to La Fuente in the afternoon, with around a dozen problems of various grades ticked off. Yesterday was Techos (morning) and Parking (afternoon), although the heavy assault on the crags was taking it’s toll and I climbed nothing in the latter part of the day. Still, another four problems fell in the morning, mostly easy 6s.
After a day of travelling yesterday, pretty much all day in fact, Jim didn’t really rise early enough for us to get out this morning, so we got some supplies and sacked it off. Instead, we spent a few hours wandering the town, investigating what was about (not a lot, to be honest, although what is there is very pretty), and getting pizza that I unusually couldn’t finish. The bars, restaurants and pretty much anywhere are awash with yesterday’s Spanish football loss to Chile, which knocked the holders out of the World Cup. Not in the forest though, and in a little under two hours, we’ll be heading out again. Once it gets a bit cooler though.