Spain part 1: Rodellar & Margalef

Trip Start Mar 23, 2010
Trip End Feb 15, 2011

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Flag of Spain  , Aragon,
Thursday, October 14, 2010

Hi all. It's been a while, we know. It's been a busy time in Spain :)
Sam: We arrived late in the evening in Barcelona on 5 September after an extensive delay in Prague airport - thank you Vueling airlines. We were both pretty exhausted after spending many many hours waiting for our plane in Prague (apparently they lost one of the airline staff?) so we decided to stay the night in a hotel near the airport. The next day, we picked up our hire car (a Citroen Berlingo), got some supplies from the local Carrefour and headed for Rodellar (about 3.5 hours north of Barcelona).

We checked into our accommodation (the local climbers' refugio known as Kalandraka), dumped our things in our bunkhouse and headed straight to the bar for a drink and some lasagne. Upon entering the bar, we were somewhat gobsmacked by the number of Aussies staying here too... Nathan and Heather, Reuben and Karl, Kent and Andy, Hugh and Nikki, Dave, Amy and Ash... it was just like being in a bar at home! We stayed at Kalandraka for the next fortnight and had a ball climbing the limestone, hanging out with our mates and enjoying the festivities this area had to offer - including free wifi, Saturday night concerts, excellent food, warm weather and great local produce (blackberries, rosemary, figs and thyme grow wild all around the cliffs).

Sunday 19 September saw the beginning the Upskill Rodellar camp. This was our third camp this year and our first for Spain. It ran for two weeks. Check out the Upskill blog for the camp video and photos. The camp finished on 3 October and we decided it was time for a change of scenery. 

We downsized our car to a Peugeot 207 and hit the road once again. This time, our destination was Margalef. The climbing here was great and the accommodation interesting... imagine thirty mattresses (smaller than a single bed) laid out alongside one another and you'll pretty much get the idea. Despite a few sleepless nights due to a group of noisy Italians, the place was actually ok. Very clean and free hot showers! (Lee: My fondest memory from the Margalef bunkhouse was when one of the Italians was snoring so much that our friend Reuben snapped and began repeatedly hitting him in the head with a pillow. Classic!)

A highlight of our time (Lee: read Sam's time) in Margalef was meeting Chris Sharma (one of the most famous climbers in the world). I was totally star-struck but managed to string enough words together to ask for a photo. He was really lovely and Lee had a good chat to him about his latest climb. (Lee: I on the other hand was totally cool about it, honestly :)

Our next stop was a small town called Cornudella de Monsant. The climbing in this region includes the well known Siurana and less-known Arboli. Unfortunately upon our arrival here, the rain arrived and Lee got sick with a cold (Lee: first illness since leaving home, damn it!). Friends we'd met in Kalymnos a few years ago (Ben and Cat) joined us here but unfortunately it was a little too wet to climb. Instead, we toured the region and sampled some of the best paella I've ever had. The sun is now shining again and Lee has shared his cold with me. A few days and some Codral should see us right. 

Tomorrow, we pack up and head to our next destination...
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Dad on

Hi Lee and Sam, so great to hear from you. Love the bit about meeting Chris Sharma and Sam being lost for words. Yer sure Sam ! Keep up the fun as it makes us all back here want to come over and do the same.
Enjoy every moment. Love Dad

Suzie B on

Your trip is great Darling, keep safe. I leave Phuket tomorrow for Sydney and will contact you when I am at Trace's'!

Love you!

Auntie xx

Matty on

Hey Guys,

Looks like your having a blast over there! So many exciting places to visit. I'm very jealous.

We miss you both, and send all our love accross the ocean.

Take care, lots of Love
Matty, Ray, Sue and Tom

Chris Beric on

Looks like you are both having an awesome time! :)

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