After a crazy five month journey through the Southern Hemisphere and Northern Europe, I find myself here in my hood Nederland, tucked into the mountains of Colorado. My priority this week has been to recover from the copious amount of rock climbing and missioning that I have been doing for the past who-knows-how-long, and as well touching base with the modern world once again. Its easy to get sucked into the majestic alpine wonderlands of the Rocky Mountains and just continue on with the questing, but there are so many stories I need to share from my travels that I am going to pace myself and start releasing the writings I've accumulated. This excerpt is from nearly two months ago, but we can start telling the tale from here. Enjoy!!!
Excerpts from my Adventure Through the Southern Hemisphere - David Graham
Well I'm a two and half weeks deep into a new adventure, I'm on a new continent for myself, and the enchantment of exploring a new land has not even remotely begun to let up. I am sitting here at the Hen House, a little breakfast joint here in the Rocklands, and one of the lone internet depots found in the region. I admit, I have been really bad with staying in touch with the world. I have all but ceased my posting on the Island, Instagram, and even Facebook, emails have not been answered or even sent for that matter, and is all due to my mind and bodies consumption of the copius amount of new climbing I'm able to do, tackling dozens of boulders I have heard about for the last ten years and comprehending the radically different country I am now living in.
Lately, my travels have brought me to areas which have for the most part left undeveloped. Blank canvas's given by nature, areas to manifest my "art" as I like to call it, clean slates which lie available to all, doused out intermittently into the expanses of Planet Earth. The untouched rock, which has rested out of sight of most rock climbers gaze takes an enormous amount of time and energy top turn into a finished product, installations for the future, ground work which is a necessity to lay, the act of pushing forward perpetually takes nearly all my life force; something like a super power which can be depleted; ( I think of Wolverine immediately while writing this) something that regenerates extra quick, its just these blank spaces in between when your spirit core forces you to replenish and refresh, a brilliant process brought on by the human body. Thus, after the trip to the Grampians, I had felt emptied yet satisfied, nearly all my projects where sent, and I attained a new level of fitness, something I have no clue what to do with now. The hiking and cleaning involved in developing new boulders and the mental vacuum which takes place in your mind after nearly 60 days climbing in row has all but tapped my reserves, its only now that I have recovered enough physiologically to gain some perspective on what happened and put my thoughts and experiences into a comprehensible piece of writing.
I arrived on the 10th of July with Nalle after a brutal 35 hour travel from Melbourne. We flew through Singapore and Dubai, two places I have never been to in my life, and had to endure three very long flights, of which the last Nalle got graciously upgraded to Business class, and I got downgraded from window seat to middle isle of Economy. Upon landing, I felt haggard but excited, nothing is worse then suffering for ten hours in a very small space, thus getting of the plane was not such a drag as it was for my travel companion, who had been busy sleeping in a full vibrating plane bed and sipping on champagne. We collected our rental car, booked a hotel, then rested up for the collection of the two homies we need to pick up, and then inevitable onslaught of climbing to be done on the new blocks near Capetown.
Day two brought us a trip to airport to recoup the legendary Chad Greedy, then our first session on the rocks. We joined up with our new posse to be, Arjan de Kock, Guntram Jorg, and Fabian Buhl, who where all extremely fired up. Nalle climbed a Simple Knowing, a Paul Robinson problem on the quick, and the crew went on to take down other various gems in the zone. Topside, the name of the area, is absolutely beautiful, stunning views of both the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic mesmerize, while the tone of the yellows bushes littered across the hillside cast a surreal glow on the rolling hills, jutting around the bays, creating the three dimensional landscapes which designs Capetown landscape.
Day three brought us Cameron Maier, our last team member for our one rental car, thus Voltran was formed and it was go time. However the inevitable discovery of Downtown Capetown brought upon a new bane to our climbing, the sidelining of our passion for moving on stone was brought on by our equal passion for brilliant food and night time bar hopping.
Day Four I can't remember what happened, I am pretty sure people rested, and jet lag was a problem for the crew. Half of the posse had just arrived from America and the other half rolled in from Australia, creating a myriad of complaints and spewing a general apathy to leave our hotel in lieu of the fatigue.
Day Five brought us to the beach town zone of Muizenberg, a shark infested death trap for surfers, and a nice place to chill in cafes for someone like me. Rain had slain the hills, and brought Gu, Arjan, and Fabian down for an afternoon coffee, however the sky began to part, and the vicious rain storm turned to a cold wind, drying our stone and presenting possibilities for movement on rock. Nalle had fallen ill with an African sickness so he had stayed at home, and back to a Simple Knowing we went. After about an hour and a half of warring, a managed to climb the rig for its third ascent, a relieving experience and a conformation that I had not fallen weak after my change in global position. Ultimate satisfaction it was, and a majestic boulder at that, I was enthralled and motivated for the rest of the trip, ready to delve into the next steps upon my path, which obviously led uphill.
Day Six was another blur, most of the morning was spent leaving our five star hotel where we had posted up, and the initial exodus from the big city. We climbed in a majestic valley with more rock on the other side of a hill, facing the Shark beach, Fish Hoek, where we spent hours looking for dark spots, attempting to get a view of a 40 foot Great White. We learned soon that the great whites where more on the Atlantic side of things, and our efforts where futile, so we moved on to find some baboons, which never really popped up. Bouldering into the night was fun, there was great energy and we battled long and hard. I managed to climb an 8b quite quickly named Skobayak, an amazing 45 degree wall of crimpers in some sort of slot. I felt fit, and light, which made me elated, the feeling of actually being in shape is the dead opposite of feeling ultra weak.
Day Seven led us into the unknown, we drove to De Doorns in a rains storm, a brief pit stop before reaching the Rocklands, and a welcomed rest from the metropolis. Arjan has a home situated on this spectacular hill, in a massive valley, encircled by snow capped mountain peaks and low lying vineyards, it was a glorious time. Fabian and Arjan happen to be master chef's and cooked us up some immaculate courses for dinner, I am quite sure we ate some massive freshly shot African critter named an Eland or something, and it tasted great.
Day Eight is a secret, one which you must all wait to read about in about a week, it involves our arrival in Rocklands and the onslaught of climbing and life which has passed in between right now and July 18th. Stay tuned, and get syked; we are on the hunt for Pengolin's, Leopard cats, and other majestic African stuff, climbing more problems then someone could shake a stick at, and having the time of our lives.