Day three in Spain has me finally, finally in El Chorro. Or, Del Churro as I have fondly begun calling it. I boarded the train from Malaga and headed into the hills to be dropped off at what had to be the tiniest, quietest train station in existence. The town of El Chorro could be described as sleepy, but comatose is probably more apt.
I walked around for a bit to get my bearings and headed up the hill out of town to the Olive Branch, a popular haven for dirtbag and scummy climbers to gather and climb in peace. I knew it would be great and I was excited to be somewhere for an extended period of time instead of the stress of travelling somewhere new every couple of days.
I got there, nabbed a tent and got settled. Room with a view!
My mother is undoubtedly peeved that I’ve finally made good on my threat to live in a tent (alas, not under a bridge. Yet), but it has a nice mattress and plenty of space inside! No complaints.
A sunny, warm day turned cold and rainy quicker than I could say, ‘I’m glad I packed my rain jacket.’ Hail soon was pouring from the sky, but thankfully my tent held up under the deluge. A few days later there was a big thunderstorm, and I could feel the ground rumble as the thunder rolled overhead.
Life in Del Churro is pretty fantastic. I get woken up by the sun and by chickens every morning. A herd of goats passed by my tent a couple of days ago. There are cats and dogs running about, and lots of great climbers from around the world to climb with and chat to.
I have a tent all to myself, and views of the beautiful valley outside. There is a pool that is a bit too cold to swim in at the moment, but a couple of the guys jumped in just for giggles and because someone lots at darts and a bet(there were butts. they were nice butts. but unexpected butts). This has now happened a few times.
There is someone willing to let me tag along to climb every day, although I get pretty tuckered out after awhile! I’ve gotten to climb at some really impressive locations thus far and am excited to be in a place where I can really get to know routes and practice getting better at climbing.
Someone is always doing or saying something funny. There are a lot of people who have been here for ages, others who have returned, but you can always tell who the new people are because they haven’t quite acclimated yet. Everyone is friends after a couple beers and a game of pool.
People cook dinners together and stay up late, and wake up later. We know we have all day to climb, and the crags are close enough to excuse a 1 or 2pm start. The sun is staying out later and later (woo!) and, overall, life in Spain is just to my fancy.
I’ve now been in Spain going on two weeks, and have contracted a plague-like cold that has kept me sequestered at camp or in my tent where I can cough and sneeze to my heart’s content. I have managed to get out for a bit of climbing or for a walk every day, but am still feeling a bit miserable. The wind has also been horrible which makes sleeping at night in my tent more than a bit difficult.
But, I have things to look forward to! A friend of mine from Belfast is arriving on Sunday, so I will have a buddy to climb with consistently and get to see a familiar face. Yay!
And thus I am halfway through my Spain trip (and in just one blog post! Go me!).