Sunday 22nd June 2014, Albarracin, Spain
If I was to describe Albarracin in one word it would be: brutal. Everything seems to be shutting me down at the moment, the crimps very small, the roofs as steep as they can be and the slopers, well, erm, very slopey. It could be for a multitude of reasons, ranging from the fact i’ve been out of action for quite a while following injury, the heat being enough to sap energy from you when simply existing or the fact that Albarracin is actually brutal for the grades. It probably doesn’t help that I stubbed my toe pretty bad yesterday, with a large blood blister making rock boots quite painful. Either way, my current ticklist isn’t exactly impressive. No grade 7s so far.
Everything now happens in the afternoons, except the climbing: shopping, cleaning, eating, showering. Our evening sessions have been pushed right back to go from 6pm to sunset, although our morning sessions are still delayed due to mild lethargy, as is to be expected really. Still, since the last post and until today, we’ve managed two sessions a day, checking out the occasional new area while revisiting some again. Techo don Pepo 7a at Cabreriza is high on the agenda for a repeat visit, while Gorillaz 7a was agonisingly close at Techos and most other areas now have a project of some description, not just for me but for all three of us. And that three will become five at some point between now and tomorrow afternoon.
I’ve decided (repeatedly, apparently) that morning sessions are for mileage and evening sessions, when the weather is significantly cooler and kinder, for ticking off projects. That said, i’ve been getting easily distracted in the heat of the day, throwing myself at various 7s. Meanwhile, my compadres, currently sat at the table learning some Spanish from an Android App, seem to have been having a whale of a time. Jim especially has been hitting heady heights that on previous trips have seemed far out of reach. Last time, in sub-zero temperatures granted, in Switzerland, 6a was a distant dream. Yesterday, he ticked off a 6b+. John has probably been closer to my approach but even so is pleased with his progress and has a substantial number of ticks in his guidebook.
So on the last day of my twenties, the current plan is to sit in the shady flat, watching the washing spin round, scratching heads about how to say “you are girls” in Spanish before another trek into the forest later on. To be honest, i’m quite happy about that – kinda fits with the general pattern of my last ten years!