Spanish serenity in Montgrony

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FGpqy0EQwyw

The calm warm winds in Montgrony sent me to dreamland and when I awoke…

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The fabulous crisp, textured, steep, tufas greeted me. Most of the 200 routes in the Catalonian heaven are 6b to 8b (french sport grades) and can be found in the 10 different sectors that are a 2 to 10 minute walk apart. There is even free camping nearby with picnic tables, grassy tent pitches and a fresh mountain stream.  There is even an old Church, Sant Pere der Montgrony to ____ your soul if the TUFA GODS have not abused your body enough

Montgrony, Catalonia Spain

San Vito Lo Capo; Sun, swimming, and cliff jumping can be found in Sicily

San Vito Lo Capo is found in Italy andTorre dell'Usciere, San Vito Lo Capo, Italy the beach was voted Italy’s most beautiful in 2011. The area is surrounded by an ancient reef that is fantastic to snorkel  and swim around, with the water temperature being a balmy 20-21 degrees.

San Vito Lo Capo cliff jumping

This stunning place is about 20 meters high and the water below is more than 20 meters deep. To make sure I was able to land in the water safely I swam below to check the area was deep enough and clear of reef. I also did a few lower jumps until I felt confident I could enter the water safely from 20 meters. I decided to wear sandels to protect my feet as some of the lower jumps 15 meters hurt my feet. I also wore heavier shorts because when I jumped from 10 meters with my boxers shorts, my gonads were slapped hard by the water. This sweet jumping spot can be found at Torre dell’Usciere,Torre dell'Usciere on the eastern side of  San Vito Lo Capo.San Vito Lo Capo climbing map/ topo available from YMCA Climbers House in San Vito 12 Euro

Watch the video to see how things start to go sideways!

There are smaller spots for the Dwarfs to jump from too! With deep pools to splash into.

Small Jump-San Vito Lo Capo

wings for life - moredaysoffMulti-Pitch climbing in Greece–Kalymnos and Telendos.

Kalymnos is not only about steep tufa climbing but also island adventures, multipitch experiences and greek food.

The classic multipitches created by equippers, Peter Keller and Urs Odermatt are Wings for Life (Red Bull). Wild country (of course Wild country), and Three Stripes (Adidas). 3 stripes - moredaysoff

The story could expound on the stereotypical black clad Greek widow, black clad fisherman, the black clad teenager, ice coffee drinking locals but that is playing to stereotypes.Fishing Kalymnos-moredaysoff.com

There is excellent food to be eaten- baked octopus, fresh fish, spanikapita, and baklava. I will hype the uniqueness  of beautiful long routes, that suck on your fingers and hands when they touch the rock. There are 3 pitch and up to 12 pitch routes. The climbing itself is extremely varied, with style changing considerably from one pitch to the next, from vertical slabs with small crimps, to steep roofs with jug hauls, to vertical pocketed walls, and of course a few tufas and cracks around.  All the pitches have been equipped with bolts and rappel stations.

 

Golde Buddha statueTravel in Myanmar

Myanmar was once known as Burma, but is now called “The Republic of the Union of Myanmar” but a few years ago  it was “The Union of Myanmar”.

Why Myanmar - There are so many things that are so bizarre, exciting, unique, and different  about this country. All things are done the Burmese way, so in that respect it is all correctly done but  it is not the Western way. Burma is a great place to go and experience a real cultural difference.

Booking Flights and Hotels

Flights – Air Mandalay or Air Bagan are the best. The other one is the known government airline and it is a better travel policy to avoid known military government owned businesses. Use the web to book internal flights or a travel agency once in Myanmar (the prices are the same although the same). Do not get the business class the seats are bigger but most times if you get the cheaper flight the stewards will let you sit in the business seats anyways.

Hotels – Book when in Myanmar they will be 25- 60 percent cheaper than the walk in rate. The hotel with pool I booked in Bagan for five days was 40 US dollars a night from the travel agent. Then when I arrived and wanted to stay another 5 nights the front desk said it was 80 dollars a night. So I went to a travel agency in Bagan and booked the hotel with them for 38US$ a night travel agency (45 walk in but usually booked up fast). Travel agencies now will take MasterCard or US cash. Recommened Hotels – Mandaly City Hotel in Mandalay best Breakfast Buffet in Myanmar 38 US$ for Double but i would not recommend going to Mandalay it is Ok but the Beach or Bagan or inle lake are better places to spend your time. Bagan- Bagan Princess Hotel 40 US$ at travel agency (80 walk in), good pool, not in the city, near the ruins, good breakfast.

Burmese People – There are many people from the hill tribes, many Chinese people live in Myanmar, along with Burmese, a large Indian population and people from many diverse ethic states within Myanmar. Everyone here seems to speak even a little bit of English and many people speak four languages.

To see and to do

Central markets,  twisting brick side streets that lead to hidden temples and tea shops. Insanity everywhere. Myanmar is about meeting the people going slow, eating and experiencing the culture. It is not a fast paced place nor tourism based.

Shwedagon Pagoda A8[1]-  Located in Yangon,  is intense and shivers begin running down my neck and spine. I have to sit down to take it all in. As the light changes the Pagoda becomes more beautiful and the temple area takes on a rosy tint. I sit peacefully and mediate on the golden beauty of this architectural and holy wonder.

 

Bagan – UNESCO Temple Site.author Has amazing veggies food. Rent bikes and ride around for a few days take a horse-drawn carriage one day and for sure get a nice hotel with a pool for afternoon swims.

Inle Lake – Know for easy trekking trhough treaditional villages.

Nagapoli Beach – Beach life

Food – Burmese food is good, with noodles, rice with green tea leaves and peanuts, white rice, many soups, chapatti, veggies, potato curry, spring rolls, sticky rice, fried fish or chicken, or the classic dish here called “Mohinga”, which is a fish-broth based soup eaten for breakfast traditionally. Many Chinese people live in Mandalay, along with Burmese, a large Indian population and people from many ethic states outside of the city. Tropical fruits are plentiful and very sweet and juicy. So I had fish ball noodle soup and it was yummy once I added some chilly.

General Info

Weather – Well monsoon season hits Mandalay (July and August) but the rain is nice and cool only 28 degrees outside.

Motorbikes - Everyone drives like a maniac, and there are no rules of the road. Driving in Myanmar is a skill in itself as there are no stop signs and few traffic lights. It is a skill to cross a street: you either just barrel through honking and hoping others will stop for you or you stop and cross when the road is clear. Another tactic is to edge your way into oncoming traffic until they stop. Traffic weaves three motorcycles, two bicycles and a car wide per lane and may have traffic going the opposite way on the outer edges of the traffic lanes. You are also in danger of one of the motorcyclists helmets flying off and hitting you since 30% of people do not use the chin strap and leave it undone and flapping in the air. There are 1,308 deaths and 45,780 injuries a year in Myanmar (Source of data: ASEAN Region Road Safety Strategy and Action Plan, 2004). I asked Myanmar people why they do not do up their helmet strap and the common answer was “It is like that.”

Betel – is a mess through the country; the chewing, spitting and the stains everywhere, the Burmese and their stained gums and teeth is alarming.

Laundry –  All laundry is still all done by hand – the nearest machine laundry is  always thirty minutes away by motorbike. They do not use very much soap so the clothes do not turn out smelling very clean, but on the plus side they are ironed, even my socks. So I took my laundry to Madame Show. It is a chain of Laundry services in Mandalay.

The must know Information

Money Exchange – The currency in Myanmar is strange to exchange money you need pristine 100 US notes; crisp, unmarked, no pens marks, no ink marks, no smudges, tears, folds, creases absolutely new. So once you exchange your pristine US$ notes you receive the Myanmar money called kyats, pronounced chats. The kyat bills are tattered, torn, rotting, Covered in scotch tape and crumble apart as you touch them. The government is replacing the 10 and 20 kyat notes with new ones, however you can not buy anything for 10 or 20 kyats. Well ten 10 kyat notes will buy a banana. There are a few ATMs in Yangon. Also bring other smaller Us cash to pay for things at travel agencies or Government visitor sites.

Military country – People have fear of the government and there are informers everywhere. At some point the secret police will come up and have friendly chat with you. Where are you from?  What are you doing? where are you going? Are you married? Do you have children? These are the some questions everyone asks you so you will never know who the undercover police are and it really does not matter.

Best Burmese book – Burmese days by George Orwell

Travel in Myanmar

Public bus, taxi, motorcycle taxi, plane, train, hike or bike.

Travel guide – Moon Publications – Rough Guide – the French one (Routere?)

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Frisbee Golf

 moredaysoff.com

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Frolf, Disc, Frisbee Golfwpid-IMG_20140623_183401.jpg

As summer days get warmer I find myself enjoying evening rounds of disc golf after work.I have played disc for over 10 years now and have played on courses all over the world; Canada, USA, Switzerland, New Zealand, Australia, and the UK.

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I am surprised of how many people have never played a round of disc golf. It is a simple concept throw a Frisbee into a target in the least amount of throws as possible. Then do it again until you complete a round of 18 holes, like golf.

EQUIPMENT NEEDED: a long range Frisbee golf disc and a putter. These can be bought at Frisbee golf shops. Two popular brands are Discraft or Innova.

Check out the link for a list of courses near you.

http://www.pdga.com/introduction

 

Zucco dell'Angelone cliffZucco dell'Angelone sign

15 pitches 

450 meters

5c rock climbing

Zucco dell'Angelone 3-4 SperoneZucco dell'Angelone lost

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Approach: Zucco dell’Angelone is 20 km north of Lecco next to the ski town of Barzio in Valsassina. Once in Barzio follow the signs to the Funivia but on the weekends parking costs 3 Euro. The climbers trail starts below the Gondola restaurant. Follow the signs to the 3rd/4th Sperone which is about a 25 minute hike on a nice trail. There are many sectors and climbing routes along the way. Do not get lost like me, even with the guide-book in my hand I spent extra time searching for this route! The start is an obvious looking grade 4c but no route name or sector name identifies the start. It is the last sector before crossing a massive scree field to Bastionata Sector.

Zucco dell'Angelone at the baseZucco dell'Angelone 1

 

Foto di Gruppo on Terzo Sperone

1. 4b – 30m. Up a nice crack/flake to a scooped face.

2. 4c – 30m. Climb steadily rightward on a vertical face.

3. 4c – 30m. Follow the grey rock on solid limestone.

4. 5a – 30m. Climb rightward onto a well bolted arête.

5. 4a – 40m. Traverse left and up easy terrain, you will encounter a fixed chain belay once you get to large ledge. Continue up this and belay once you see another fixed chain traversing into big shady gully on the left.

6. 3a – 60m. Walk along the Via Ferrata like chain through the gully to wall on the other side of the gully. There are 3 routes here.

Zucco dell'Angelone gulley

Gli schiavi della pietra on Quarto Sperone

SAMSUNGZucco dell'Angelone climbing

7. 6a – 35m. This shaded gully is a great spot for lunch. Start up from middle route on big pockets and cracks, then traverse into right hand route or just begin on the right most route at 5b.

8. 4c – 35m. From ledge up and left  on arête to grassy ledge.

9. 5c – 35m. Through trees on left to exposed rock.

10. 4c – 20m. Climb up easy cracks.

Zucco dell'Angelone

11. 5b – 20m. Start up the featured limestone to belay on the rock tower.

12. 5a – 20m. Cross a small gully and lead on upward.

13. 5a – 30m. Up and onto mega arête with the valley dropping way below.

 

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14. 3b – 35m. Pull over boulder and scramble up ridge to a slung boulder belay.

15. Hike 200m. Following white and red stripe trail to the summit.

Descent: Follow white and red stripes along marked hiking trail to parking lot 40 minutes. Then drive yourself to the Gelateria for something cool and tasty. The orange and limon coni was angelic !

Gear: 60 meter rope, helmet, 12 quick draws and head lamp.

 Fabulous  Granite multi pitch rock climbing Mottarone - rockclimbing (moredaysoff)

Pera Aquila at Mottarone, Italy

Italy rock climbing Mottarone

 Viaggio nell’aderenzo/Beek provided 100 meters of climbing in 5 pitches

Approach: A 15 minute hike from the ski lift parking  lot on the top of Mount Mottarone (1450 meters above sea level) in Lombardia, Italy.

P1 – 20m 5aMottarone-Pera Aquila. Climb up featured slab.

P2 – 25m 5c. Climb the non featured slab.

Mottarone - Italy rock climbing by moredaysoff

P3 – 30m 5b. Use the layback, then continue up pods, cracks and nubs.

Mottarone - Viaggio nell' adernzo

 

 

 

 

 

 

P4 – Traverse left 10 meters to Beek but watch out for lizards.

Mottarone - Pitch 3 on Pera AquilaLizard - moredaysoff

 

P5 - 20m 6c. Climb the fabulous left trending dike .

 

 Mottarone rock climbs moredaysoff

Descent: Top out and walk back to the parking lot while enjoying views of Lake D’Orta.

Gear: 50 meter rope & 10 quick draws.