Seasons changing in Verdon

Martynas: I’m sitting on an ancient juniper tree sticking out of the rock, many meters of void below me. The tree gives a rest to my delicate body from hanging belays while I am eating a sandwich and belaying my wife who is fighting in a chimney. A constant meditative sound of splashing Verdon stream gets interrupted by “salut!” from a BASE jumper nearby whose parachute just deployed. Sun is warming my back, and the life seems to float into the right direction.

Laura: Gorges du Verdon to me personally is a reminder of what’s the point in all this. A reminder of why I am living in a van and spending most of time either climbing or belaying or resting after climbing while still thinking about it. So when the reason for this undertaking starts to blur, it is a good time to go to Verdon. Every time I’m here I say I should stay here forever (But then I go somewhere else and say I should stay there). This time Verdon was also a wake up call. When we first drove into La Palud this year, there was still lots of snow. But we were eager to abseil already. A couple of days passed, the snow melted, and we could smell the spring. Then a week of never ending rain and everything bloomed. It suddenly became almost too hot but the sun was so much missed that we enjoyed every beam of it. And in between the snow and rain and heat we climbed!

Laura searching for a rapel

Laura searching for a rapel

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Buoux

We have been to Ceuse (it’s been a while indeed) and Verdon (multiple times and currently I am sitting in a van in La Palud parking) but Buoux was still missing from the French trilogy. In order to complete the trilogy, we simply had to go there. The time has come at the end of March when finally the weather seemed to get a little warmer and allowed us to leave Spain.

Martynas on "No Man's Land"

Martynas on "No Man's Land"

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End of Hibernation

Boy, oh boy! Everyone was pulling from this pocket: Wolfgang Güllich, Catherine Destivelle, Jerry Moffat, Lynn Hill. Everyone. It’s getting a bit run-out. Amm, run-out, a bit higher and now it’s RUN-OUT. Sun is shinning, and I’m contemplating a next move to … amm, a sloper.

As you can guess, we are already back in France. However, this blog post is about spending the last month of the damn cold winter in Spain and Catalunya.

Montsant

Montsant

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Lithuanian crowd in El Chorro

As winter cold is getting unbearable to us - sinusitis-susceptible folks, we are slowly moving south. As nomadic tribesmen traveling to the better climates we are moving to Andalusia. Driving from Costa Blanca to Andalusia is surprisingly interesting to us as we have never been that south in Spain. The usual destinations for us have been Barcelona/Lleida/Valencia and around so far. And so now we are stoked to explore a new place!

The layers of El Chorro

The layers of El Chorro

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Heading South

After enjoying tough Easter European climbing in Osp, we went back home for a couple of weeks to discharge the batteries. On the way back, we got an instant dose of not so repetitive techno by Paula Temple and Ancient Methods in Berlin. Sleeping in the van at Kreuzberg was a new experience for both of us.

Evening in Siurana

Evening in Siurana

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Mykolas vs 7a+ in Osp

We do love Southern France for what it has to offer, from some of the best sport climbing venues to its beautiful scenery to the wines and cheeses, not to mention the baguettes. And yet, we needed a change at this point of the trip. And the change we were in need came with a taste of Eastern Europe.

Mišja Peč full of action

Mišja Peč full of action

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Post Geography of South France

After spending a quarter of our vanlife/roadtrip/“my hair is constantly oily”/whatever thing in Tarn, we decided to enrich our knowledge of southern France geography. As a consequence, in one month we have explored quite a few places that were new to us, with one little exception.

Vultures in Le Boffi

Vultures in Le Boffi

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It is happening again

Martynas: It is 2am in the morning. The urge to pee disturbs my sleep. Not so long and I am standing outside. “Damn, it’s cold!”. A thermometer nearby shows +3C. “Wait, it’s end of summer!” follows immediately. Outside, lit by the full moon, I am starting to drift into an autumn-y mood while thinking about kids going to school, adults going to work, facilities such as a toilet at home, people commuting in cozy tubes, falling leaves, etc. Luckily, I didn’t have many teas in the evening, so quickly I make an escape from my thoughts to the warm bed leaving the melancholy outside.

Gorge du Tarn from Point Sublime

Gorge du Tarn from Point Sublime

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Green Rock in Spain

I always thought that a summer in Spain is very dry, hot and inhabitable, and any sane climber wouldn’t go there during that period of time. Therefore, when first Vilija and Domas suggested to meet in Cantabria / Asturias (North West of Spain) for climbing, I was very sceptical.

La Hermida

La Hermida

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Nostalgia in Gorges du Tarn

Gorges du Tarn is a place that’s a bit special for us. The first time we went there was 7 years ago. It was our first longer climbing trip together. It’s also a place where I did my first 7c and Martynas his first 7a. This year we came back to find the same Tarn and yet different.

Gorges du Tarn

Gorges du Tarn

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