I’m no stranger to long trips. Over the years my boyfriend Joe and I have done several 3 months trips to Europe, and road tripped across the states for weeks on end. Just recently we returned from a five month mega trip through Europe and South Africa. In Europe we climbed at some familiar crags, but also made way through new climbing terrain in Spain, France, and Italy, while we hunted down some of Europe’s top climbers for a Sterling Rope film project. The nuances of Europe’s culturally rich pockets became evident as we motored our way through a new country in a few hours. After getting lost through towns too tiny to put on maps and all complete with matching roundabouts, we’d find ourselves sitting under studded hillsides crowned with limestone cliffs, a climber’s tufa-dripped dream.
South Africa was literally and figuratively a completely different world. Our first month was spent touring the Eastern part of the country where we checked out the sport climbing areas around Johannesburg and Durban. Beautiful cliffs like the Wave Cave, Umgeni and Boven are must-sees for anyone who plans on traveling in this area of SA. The cultural intensity and complicated history of this country made this trip particular mind-boggling and enriching. I think it’s almost impossible to understand some things about a place just by reading a book. When you meet the people living a history and see how they interact day-to-day, you really understand the depth of consequences that result from our actions of the past. We ended our South African trip in Rocklands and were not disappointed by the acclaimed world-class bouldering area. This place is the real deal and is a top destination for anyone who considers himself or herself a bouldering feign.
As of now we’ve been in the states for a little under week. We’ve settled back into the Western Slope Valley of CO where Rifle is our local climbing hang and the best seasonal temps are about to set in. I have work set up in the neighboring Aspen and a life of slightly more routine will set in. People keep asking me if I’m glad to be home, am I exhausted from traveling? It’s funny because during such a long trip I began to feel completely OK with wherever I was. I wasn’t sad to leave, I wasn’t missing anywhere in particular. And as we’ve settle in here to Glenwood, I’m feeling pretty ambivalent about any place in general. The world is my home and I’m pretty happy where ever I am in it.