Monday, 30 January 2017

Albarracin v2.0

The second leg of the trip involved one rest day, collecting my own hire car from Alicante, being rather pleased that the budget option had been upgraded to a Ford Focus with 2k on the clock, 6 gears, cruise control etc etc, going for a chilled long drive cross country to Valencia, calmly negotiating Valencia city centre with it's 5 lane unmarked roundabouts and associated swerving traffic in search of a model shop for spare wheel nuts, and a Decathlon for spare power vests, thankfully I resisted:


I survived all of this and then on pulling into the parking in Alba village, scratched the side of the car. Cocks. No I don't want to spend the same amount as the fucking car hire on excess-negating insurance, but equally I don't want to be charged £230 to repair this:

£230 per door with minor damage. The front door could conceivably cost 2/3 of that to fix. The 5cm micro-dent and 1cm chip on the rear door, yeah fucking right.

The car hire guy didn't deny his company were "completely criminal" for this overcharging. Yeah I scraped the car, yeah I should pay for the repairs, so charge me for the fucking REPAIRS (and the lost earnings for time of the road). Thankfully I still had independent generic excess-negating insurance and amazingly after sending them every imaginable document to do with my trip from a graph plotting the tyre pressure on each kilometre travelled to a list of which Alba problems were the most badly graded to a page of estimated lengths of all the hire company staff's anal beards with no more than 15% deviance, they actually paid up. So go to and give them a go.

After all this debacle there was some climbing, not a lot each day but a decent amount overall, along with walking all over the forest reccing all the areas I thought were available pre-bird ban but turns out after not available as it's been upgraded to a perma-ban, ooops. I climbed okay, I'm still rubbish on the mega-burly roofs and still okay on the soft-touch sloper problems, that might be something to do with the conditions which were outrageously good, 6 days of perfect sun, light breeze, sub-freezing nights and shade, and humidity so low that I got dry skin patches on my arms. Wow. This is the sort of climate I should be in rather than the fucking rank troglodyte shit up here and in the UK in general. So yeah the slopers felt lovely and my elbow actually got better without the damp and the anti-hydral just worked enough. On the last day I woke up barely able to move my wrist, my shoulders in knots, 3 small blood blisters on my fingers, and it was drizzling. Time to go home.

As well as the climbing I had fun hanging out with Kelvin and Anna and a TCA/GCC crew, and also building precarious tripods from fallen pine branches, so this happened of course.

Here have some photos:

Good morning Albarracin! It is a lovely village to wake up to, although I was too lazy to walk up into it this time.

 Finding a 7A roof at Psicokiller too hard for me, I did this instead. 6C/+ , took me 3 attempts.

 Grumpy gato. None of them wanted to be my friend.

 More grumpy gatos. Even away from the village centre it's all pretty nice.

 Just chilling on a balcony, why not eh.

 Balcony perro bossing it.

 Well fortified against hordes of traveling boulderers.

 Moss and trees. This was the first day during when I started exploring at 11am and finally started bouldering at 4pm. I had felt pretty nauseous for no good reason. The last 2 hours were good though!

 Sofa Boulder perro. So cute and fluffy.

Dinner for one. Is this suitable for the unfit and overweight punter, even after being active all day and just snacking on persimons and hazelnuts?? Probably not. Then again I saw an 8B boulderer eat a similar pizza, albeit topped with pears and ham. Hmmm.

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