We flew from Denver to Washington D.C. Nikki my girlfriend; I then winged our way to Johannesburg via a refueling in Dakar. I was blown away at my first real sight of an African city. Not that it looked rough out there but I was in Africa. To our dismay we were not allowed out of the plane although I did wish we could have at least walked the airport. Then another flight to reach our final destination, Cape Town, South Africa.
Rocky Mountains to The Rocklands - Phillip Schaal
We didn’t stay long, just a night. The Fritz hotel, which was recommended by a friend, did not let us down. We had a huge room all to ourselves. And it was just minutes from the long Street nightlife. So that’s what we did, straight away to a local bar to finish a long travel day. The next morning we were off to The Rocklands, the world-class bouldering destination located in the Cedarburg Mountains. Watching movies and reading about this area for years made me dream of the day I would finally get here. I couldn’t believe my dreams were about to become reality. Our expectations here high and something inside of me knew we wouldn’t be let down.
The next few days we had The Rocklands to ourselves. We moved into our guesthouse. A wonderful place located on a wine farm just minutes from the bouldering. The scenery was amazing. The rock was colorful and wild. We were only a few hours north of Cape Town but it felt like we had stepped back in time. Nothing but farms and boulders were all we could see for miles.
A nice Swiss couple was the only climbers we saw. Our first days were spent trying to find areas and problems. The guidebook had beautiful pictures of problems but it didn’t help much to locate them. It felt like we were the first ones this season walking on the trails. They were over grown and unmarked in some spots. We knew there were great problems out there we just were not finding them. On our third day the Swiss showed us a few areas and finally we getting a feel for the place where we would spend the next 40 days.
People started arriving at our guesthouse, which was nice. We became great friends with people we never met before. I feel very lucky to have shared the guesthouse with these people as we shared many fun nights and great days.
The climbing was everything I was dreaming of. Even better. Positive holds spaced far apart suited me well. And the colors were stunning. But most importantly the food was great, maybe not the best if you are a vegetarian. But for a meat eater like myself it was perfect. After our 40 days were up it was difficult to leave. Great weather, undone projects, and saying goodbyes made the last few days hard. We spent a few days enjoying Cape Town, mostly eating and drinking nice wine, before flying back. Who says dreams aren’t real?