My Life in Words
My Life in Words
I have to admit it feels like I am being unfaithful to my 'marriage' to kalymnos, Greece.
Over the past 10 years i have 8 trips to Kalymnos, usually for 2 months each trip. There is a saying about Kalymnos, "Make sure you climb everywhere else in the world before you come to Kalymnos, because once you climb here you will not want to climb anyplace else. Kalymnos has never failed to be a solid destination for me. With over 3,000 bolted lines a climber will never run out of climbing. Everything is easy there. Cheap accomodation, lots of climbing partners, stunningly beautiful and excellent climbing. What more could you ask for in a climbing destination? it has been a solid marriage between myself and Kalymnos.
Now I spent 3 weeks flirting with leonidio,Greece and must admit I feel completely in love with this place. I hate to compare because the both are wonderful, like 2 handsome men. Leonidio is also by the sea as a new climbing destination there are already over 1,000 climbs and that is just the beginning. There is so much quality rock here and nothing hints of being polished. Kalymnos has been a destination for over 10 years and some of the classic crags are showing signs of wear, little wrinkles but still beautiful.
The lines in leonidio are magically fun. Right now i have a 7A plus project at King of Thrones. it is a King line! Some of the funnest tufa climbing i have ever done! Then there is The Brown cougar I on-sited at Scadiantico crag. A musical note line! You can make it 7A plus if you add the extension.
The town is charming and pedestrien friendly. The maze of narrow cobblestone streets feature delicious restaurants, lots of local produce such as greens, mandarins, lemons and figs, aromas of fresh baking from the numerous bakeries, and dark chocolate made in the store sweetened with stevia with dried fruits and nuts. These are to die for. i cannot seem to walk past tht store without having one. Leonidio is a temptress.
I was told before coming here not to come alone that i would have a hard time finding a climbing partner. This is not true! There is an exceptional climbing cafe/bar here called Panjika. it is a co-operative of climbers and all the profits go towards climbing development. it play great music, has excellent health food, and displays very creative local art. This is the palce to go connect with other climbers and start networkking your climbing community. It is one of the best climbing bars i have seen.
Also there is a myth that you need a car. Just not true as you can walk to so many of the areas from town. Having a car does give you more options.
There are many great places to stay. The Semeli Caming has tent sites and camper sites for 5 euros/nite and is by Plaka beach, a beautiful long, sandy beach. Also you can find apartments for 150 to 300 euros / month.
The locals here have embraced the climbers. Each day I hitch to town from Plakka beach were I stay and am picked up by a friendly local who takes great pride in making me feel welcome. At the grocery store the owner throws a dozen mandarins in my bag at no extra cost. i went to check out the menu at the Dolphin Seafood Restaurant on Plaka Beach and was taken in the kitchen and shown all the fresh fish and vegetarian foo they served and offered to sit on the terrace and have a drink on the house! you want Ozo? wine? and they brought a plate of fish and olives on the house! Hospitality at its finest.
Yes my relationship with leonidio is new and maybe it is just a fling but right now it is january and the temps are mid teens and sunny each day. i have 1,000 high quality climbs to explore. No reason to go anyplace else til my visa runs out!
1/6/2018 09:05:55 am
Great Terri. David and I are very interested.
1/6/2018 09:07:32 am
Very well written. Enjoyed the blog and can picture the location and the abundance of opportunities for climbing and exploration.
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