After a grueling few weeks of writing sub plans, being a single dog parent, and packing, I plopped into my tiny airplane seat and immediately felt a load lifted from my shoulders. When you’re a Kindergarten teacher it’s not easy to wrangle an extra week of vacation in the fall. But I’d managed it and couldn’t have been more psyched.
Transatlantic flights are a nightmare. If you’re lucky you’ll get a window seat, free wine, and a little TV to watch as many movies as you’d like. I never seem to get all three. Luckily I had a direct flight to Barcelona from Newark and was more than willing to hand over my debit card to enhance my otherwise disgusting dinner with a glass of red wine.
I landed at 9:00am Spain time and was greeted by my fiancé Andrew at baggage claim. After loading up our gear we did what any Internet dependent American climber would do on a Sunday (it’s nearly impossible to find food on Sunday in Spain). We headed strait to McDonalds to scarf down a burger and make some Skype calls to the crew. We’d be staying with Joe Kinder and Colette McInerney for the next two weeks.
Keeping my eyes open for the two-hour drive was impossible. Jet lag had set in and the uncomfortable airplane seat hadn’t helped me catch any shut eye. All I wanted to do was sleep, but that was not in the plans.
Nope, we would not spend our first day in Spain napping. We were headed strait to the Santa Linya, an enormous cave and home to both Joe and Colette’s projects.
Spanish limestone is amazing. It’s steep, long, and covered in tufas. We’d never been to Santa Linya and I was happily not disappointed in the plethora of new routes to try.
After climbing a few pitches we headed back to the casa and got cleaned up for dinner with Chris and Daila at the one good restaurant in town. Then it was on to the bar for beers and Spanish futbol. I have no idea how I managed to stay on my feet until well after midnight, but I did.
On that first day I managed to climb one of the warm-up and try another. It was not a great start to what I was hoping would be a successful climbing trip, but it was a perfect way to start a two week vacation to Spain with good friends.