13th March 2018
Pathfinder – 5c – Lead
Joni – 5c – Second (Chris Lead)
Daniel – 5b – Second (Tom Lead)
Max – 6a+ – Lead
Sim – 5c+ – Second (Chris Lead)
Our first venue turned out to be almost the first crag we came across. There were a couple of other groups out in the area so we ended up commandeering the Piccolo sector to ourselves and working the entire collection of 5 routes. Quite cool really.
It was also the perfect place to get a few bearings. Looking out on the valley you can see across to Poulithra past the harbour; the beach is there as well and all the local farms. Also with it being a fairly hot day, the coastal breeze was welcome.
We weren’t to know, but we lucked in on the weather. It had been cooler just prior to our arrival and the weather became changeable once we left so we hit a good window.
The first thing that struck us all about Piccolo Wall was how fresh and positive the rock was. A theme that would be with us all week. We worked pretty well as a team, going through all the climbs and getting ourselves properly acclimatised to the rock and sport climbing again. I’d forgotten how grippy limestone is, but was pleasantly surprised how well I was climbing. Both Chris and Tom took to it like ducks to water as well. Chris particularly, given that he’d hardly climbed through 2017. A good team effort by all.
In a bid to do everything on the first day (like you do) we went to a restaurant recommended by Alexandra called ‘Moupia’ (its the best I can translate it into English). This served local dishes and was a ‘proper’ Greek type of restaurant. Whether you ordered a starter or main course didn’t matter. Everything came out when it was ready, so I got both my courses (fried aubergine and spinach rice) before Tom and Chris got anything! We soon realised that probably the best way to order is communially. Still it made for an interesting discussion.
The whole feeling in Leonidio is one of calm and relaxation. It’s like entering a bit of a time capsule. The lighting is oldy worldy, there’s people just hanging out around town, with no other ambition than to watch the world go by. Comforting would be a good word. I could spend a long time in this town and not get bored, because the pace of life is adjusted to the environment. Brings back memories of my childhood in Hong Kong on the islands, where the people’s attitudes were very similar.