Dave Graham – Pro Blog 11
8:16 pm, April 13, 2007
Torrefarrera, Lleida, Catalunya, Espagne, Europe, Earth, Milky Way, UNIVERSE.
So check it out: Here is some crazy news. It’s raining here in Catalunya. Everything is wet and humid, and climbing doesn’t look so hot! As well, it’s raining in Aragon, which in my personal opinion is even more tragic! Other terrible news from the south, down in Andalusia, is that it is, as well, raining. Spain is more or less out of commission! Straight f-ed, some might say, especially people who are obsessed with rock climbing. The storms that hit our “pueblo” continued flying by, raining all the time and just cruise on up to the neighbor country here and rain there, too! Hold up.
Well, that’s not completely true, the rain in France is minimal compared to here, but if you are a stubborn sonuvabitch, and you just want to climb, for instance in, say, Rodellar, the sickest of sick areas in Spain, then you must tell yourself confusing information in order to make sure you end up climbing in the area you want. Even if it’s wet. Yeah. And it is truly something like two solid weeks of wet, horrible, cold, miserable, rock wetting rain. However, it’s good for the land they say…
So, beside the rain, which at least made the people who live here happy, things are just great! I have to say, the springtime is really pretty here, and well, it’s not bad hangin’ tough out round these parts. Culturally it is kinda crazy, adjusting to the Spanish nivel of tranquilidat is hard for a Mainer, such as me, but it is a good test. Events from around town include our discovery of new short-cuts in town and a cheaper grocery store, which is always just dandy. Before the water fell from the sky, I have spent some time in the Huesca region of Aragon climbing in Rodellar, a small mountain pueblo of tremendous beauty, and it’s one of the coziest, awe-inspiring places I’ve seen in a long while. The Answer is: Yes.
The cliffs of Rodellar are typically deep blue, filled in with nice patches of off-whites, the green vegetation, and yellow grass wrap neatly around the aquamarine blue color of the river, and some brown rocks in the water mark where humans make their crossing. The sky is blue when it doesn’t rain, and the mountains sitting behind the gorges of rock are dusted in snow. The valleys are full of cliffs, massive amphitheaters, created by incredible overhangs, sporting bird nests, colonettes, blocky grips, bolts, and some sick new-route potential. The animal life is amazing. There are fish in the rivers, bugs exist, small ground animals like badgers and otters have fun, and the birds dominate all. So many birds, one doesn’t know what to say! Birds, birds, and more birds. Birds everywhere. I have seen many a different technique for flying while studying their presence, and I have heard many a different sound come from these multi-colored creatures.
These birds own Rodellar, not the Frenchies who bought all the property and remodeled the houses, privatizing and expensivizing the whole town.
High above the ground, all birds in Rodellar keep it real. My personal favorite is the massive Vulture. I met some up close on a rainy day while I was hiking and got thoroughly scared for my life. Bigger than myself, by a lot, to say the least — I was intimidated, which I think is pretty cool. Kinda prehistoric, but friendly, they mean no harm. (On a complete side note, I am pondering the idea that birds are scientific masterpieces of a higher degree. They may be electronic, which would be one hell of a job well done. Technological mastery! Huge market electronic animals, but these ones are not for sale to common folk. Some birds, like many other birds in Europe, are built by scientists in Norway or Finland or some shit. They are designed and built to take care of simple things like eating road kill, killing insects, picking up trash (especially in Spain), monitoring meteorological data, and closing crags on climbers, when it becomes necessary. Yeah. Electronic birds. It’s just a theory, and further more, I can’t prove anything, but what are you gonna do.)
The rain is maybe electronic too, but people would start making fun of me if I “officially” said something as out there as, “Look everybody! The rain is electronic, look!!”
I ain’t that dumb…