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August 2013: Summer Adventures Around the World Part II - Will Roderick

August 2013: Summer Adventures Around the World Part II - Will Roderick
August 2013: Summer Adventures Around the World Part II - Will Roderick
September 06, 2013 -  Will Roderick    

Picking up from where I left off, I arrived with my brother, Mel, in Scotland in early August. After catching up with family at our grandmother’s house, we set to work in the garden. And working in this garden is a surprisingly daunting task; centuries old walls surround the enormous area seemingly filled with just about every fruit, vegetable, and flower that could grow in Scotland. We helped out with quite a bit of garden/farm work over the next few days, from digging hundreds of potatoes to feeding hens and collecting eggs to maintaining the garden.

And after about a week, we headed to Oxford to visit our cousin Sam. I had taken him climbing last year, and since then he’d gotten really into it. The first day we were there, we went to his home gym in Oxford. As it turned out, the climbs there had very different ratings from most gyms I had been to; they were super hard!! Everything seemed about two grades more difficult, which was definitely demoralizing at first, but great training once I got used to it – both the holds and the setting style were different from around the Bay Area and even around London, where we had climbed just a few weeks earlier. We climbed there a few more times during our stay. And I found that there, too, FiveTen is very popular, as I looked around at climbers’ shoes and received comments about my shirts.

Mel and I also spent time exploring Oxford and getting a feel for the city and the university. It was great to hang out with Sam’s friends and see what life is like there. Everyone was very friendly and welcoming. Sam’s friends had just gotten back from climbing in France, which made me eager to climb there in the future! Just before leaving, we had a day punting (basically on a small, wooden boat with a long pole for getting around) and having Pimm’s at a local pub, which was all a lot of fun. Then we were off, back to Scotland to see more family as well as to play some badminton, play some tennis, and hike around the Scottish hills. Overall, we had a great time!

After our expeditions in Britain, my brother and I were headed back to Berkeley, California. I’ve gotten back into the summer routine: working at UC Berkeley, climbing, and seeing friends. It has been an amazing summer, and I’m looking forward to going back to university in a couple weeks!


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