Monday 23rd June

Retrospective post

Monday 23rd June 2014, Albarracin, Spain

Another birthday, another year, a new decade and it occurred to me earlier that I can remember what I was doing and where I was for every one of the last five birthdays – I wonder how many people can say that! This one has been good value for money, too.

DSC02048Last night, 4:30am and I could be found standing on the corner of the main road through Albarracin and the road down to the campsite and our apartment, waiting for Rich and Ryan to arrive. We’d opted to stay up and wait for them, instead of getting a token gesture of sleep and 2:00 became 3:00 became mild insanity including the repetition of the Spanish word for tortoise (apparently, tortuga is a funny word) leading to me opting to spend my time outside half a mile away. We were then up again at about 10:00.

DSC01980Within three more hours, we were at the crag, at Parking to be precise, practising for the evening when we headed back: all suited up… Once i’d mentioned before the trip that I was going to have to take a suit for the wedding in Sweden on the way, it was somehow decided that everyone should join in and we’d all spend the birthday proper climbing in suits. It sounds stupid in hindsight (it sounded stupid before we left!). It looked equally stupid when we were there. Still, it was a bit of a laugh and should make a good once we get home.

The problems are beginning to relent, too. Last night, before our last two joined us, we were back at La Fuente, where I finally managed my first 7a of the trip: a tricksome roof problem that required plenty of grunt called Por La Boca Muere El Pez. Today, as the sun set and people re-emerged from the forest, I ticked off my second, Zooruya. It looks like I should manage at least a couple more by the end of the week.

That, of course, is weather dependant and this evening we were privy to another stunning thunderstorm which has now soaked all in sight. Only time will tell what the means for climbing in the coming days. At least it’ll free us up to go to La Taba for some tapas though!

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