Wednesday, 16 May 2012

From Owey Island Sun to Costa Blanca rock

 Jumped off the kayak from the sun baked island of Owey and departed Donegal to catch a short haul flight to the Costa Blanca region of (the even sunnier than Donegal) Spain. My two companions for this week of Spanish rock were two young ladies who called themselves Pollyanna and Princess Sue and we were airborne.
 Arrived in sunny Spain and drove around every dirt track in search of the fabled N332 aided and abetted by the mildly unhelpful driving on the wrong side of the road system that the Europeans seem to favour. Finally arrived at Sella, a beautiful wee hamlet high in the hills far from anywhere and so commenced a week of outstanding bolted limestone climbing.

Puig Campana from our house

 For the next three days we braved the scorching sunshine to visit the cliffs in the shade at different times of the day. We visited Sella Valley and it's multitude of steep limestone crags, Echo Valley and it's even steeper limestone horror shows and the much more relaxed by the sea Sierra De Toix.  

  High on Pequenecos 

crux of La roja tres

El diedro

A between routes committee meeting

Another sunset finish 

 Day four and an ascent of the fearsome looking 1406m Puig Campana was the order of the day. An extremely early start to avoid the midday sun found us in the shade and ascending the never ending gully to it's summit. Puig Campana sits head and shoulders above everything else overlooking the Benidorm coastline  and the views from it's summit are truly outstanding.

Puig Campana from Finestrat

Puig Campana Summit

  The following day and a return to vertical pleasure was called for and so Pollyanna took the sharp end for her first ever lead followed by a few tricky F6a+'s were all dispatched in fine style. We then beat a hasty retreat as we once more began to melt in the unrelenting sun!

At the chains of a roja quatro

Pollyanna's first lead

A crag with a view

Future cunning plans :-)

 And sho, on the final day something a little spicier was called for in the form of an overhanging thugfest up a twin roofed wall, three happy bunnies at the chains later and it was time to board the flight home.
 With many, many massive walls and many thousands of excellent routes in this area of Spain several cunning plans for a return visit have been planned. 

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