Sunday, October 11, 2009

Alternative Activities in Rodellar

Alternative Activities in Rodellar:

Christine is sad m'puz she stabbed her thumb wif a big, mean, stinky-pants knife and couldn’t climb for four days… and then sad again m’puz a muscle in her back made a crunchy boo-boo.

I arrived in Rodellar about 1.5 weeks ago now, and was absolutely amazed … amazed by the weather (very un-Mallorcan: not raining), amazed by the climbing (cave after cave of steep, beautiful limestone in an beautiful, idyllic canyon). I was also pleased to check into the Kalandraka Refugio- which, unlike my last place of residence, has bathrooms, running water, electricity (not to be mixed with the running water), beds, and roofs. What’s up. And finally, it was good, as always, to meet the nice, new faces here and see several of the old, familiar faces from trips previous, including Ceuse.

If you haven’t been to Rodellar, know this: it’s like Disney Land for climbers. The deep canyon in which all the crags sit, is a twisty-turny gorge with stacks of luscious orange- and blue-streaked caves of all aspects and sizes. A spring-fed river meanders through the bottom and well-worn foot paths cross it here and there on lilly-pad-like stepping stones. There are caves up high, caves down low. Caves in the sun, caves in the shade. Orange rock, white rock, blue rock, grey rock. Walls with big jugs, and walls with more tufas than you’ve ever seen in your life. Some techy climbs, but heaps and heaps of steep lines. Thousands and thousands of bolts and an often a pleasant breeze. Mild approaches –just enough to get the blood flowing a bit, yet not so much as to prohibit two- and three-crag days. There are arches and climbs going straight up the underbellies of these natural windows. 40-meter routes and 15-meter routes. Basically, paradise.

Especially after Mallorca ’s rain (and even after the vertical tech-climbing of Ceuse), I was incredibly ready to soak this up! Mostly excellent weather (shirtless climbing and puffy-jacket belaying), an unending list of new routes, and such physical climbing… Oh my! After the first few days, I was so sore from head-to-toe that it was difficult to walk or even sit properly. Though the routes here are supposed to be softly rated, I found them to be, ehh, ehm, pretty tough, as I was completely unaccustomed to such steepness. But I was soooo ready to become accustomed to it! I could feel fitness soaking into my body every day. I was getting nervous that I might rip my clothes if I accidentally flexed.

And then… four climbing days later: STAB! Without going into the whole story, let’s just say that I managed to stab through the pad of my thumb (entrance and exit holes) with a very sharp knife. So. Understanding that it needed time to heal properly (lest it become a never-ending infection), I took four days off. Ok. Good. It actually healed in enough in this time to climb again. Check.

But then 1.5 climbing days later: CRUNCH! Doing an (apparently strenuous) high-step/gaston move, a muscle in my lower back/ ribs decided to seize up/ pull/ hurt and burn a lot. So. Now I’m waiting for it to tell me whether to stay here and wait it out, or to go home and let it heal. Meanwhile, I’m occupying myself with (gasp!) work and other activities such as blog-writing and hiking… a friend and I walked a few hours to a ghost town (Otin) the other day. I’ve also been hiking back and forth to a PT’s office… but, as things go in Spain , he’s never really around during the times we agreed to meet. But that’s OK.

So, I suppose I’ll know in a few days whether I’ll be able to climb again soon, or whether I should take the next few weeks to get myself back to North America, take care of “life” there, and get back on the road ( Southern Utah , Hueco, El Salto). All in all, not bad choices… but I’m really hoping to get to climb more in Rodellar than just 5.5 days.

More later...

-Christine Balaz

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