Joe Kinder - The Plush Life in Spain

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Living Large in Spain

By Joe Kinder

Back again!  We are back in one of our favorite places to climb and it feels great.  I think I fell in love with Cataluña the first time I visited Siurana about 10 years ago.  It was during one of my early European trips with Dave Graham and we were overtaken by the climbing and the whole ambiance.  I remember the people being so generous, friendly, and open.  I remember the cliffs being so inspiring that it was easy to tons of energy each day.  And, I also remember thinking that this part of the world is made for guys like me who love rock climbing.  Dang… here I am again, back in the same zone doing what I love to do.  

This round in Spain we are set up in an insanely comfortable house.  I feel like I have hit the lottery or something as we are truly in the highest-class house we have ever lived in.  At first it felt like a hotel that was booked and we would be leaving soon.  We are still here and still waking up everyday saying “this is heaven!”. Our house is brand new and we are the first people to live here.  We are right down the street from our friends Chris, Daila, Christian, Tom, and Lynne.  The surrounding terrain is covered in cliffs, lakes, with vibrant sunsets each day.  This whole experience is just nuts sometimes.   I don’t feel like I deserve it, but hey…  I will enjoy it while we have it!

We are also taking Spanish classes, have homework, a schedule, and it almost feels like we are normal adults living a normal life.  After so many months traveling and sleeping in random places and waking up and wondering where we are, it’s awesome to have a place, a kingdom, a palace to rest our heads.  I honestly don’t think I could ask for more. 

Climbing has been good as usual.  I have had some success and some failures.  The beginnings of long trips like this usually involve “shopping” for projects.  I spent the first two weeks sampling routes in the 9a and 9a+ realm as I figure why not go for the hard ones?!?  So far I have ticked off two 8c+’s and one 9a.  YIPPEEEE!!!!  It feels great to have a little fitness and confidence.  This is the first time in a while that I have arrived to a cliff with specific goals.  

We always want to knock down doors with our climbing and I live a life that allows this.  I am eager for the next challenge of 9a+ and/or 9a in fast time.  The challenges/routes here are so inspiring that some days I will be overly psyched and try WAY too many routes.  Chris Sharma calls it the Catalonian Syndrome and it really does exist.  It is important to stay focused if you want to complete anything around here and it's HARD!!! 

Life is good and I am eager to share it via blogs, videos, and photos.  Stay tuned for more of this amazing Catalan endeavor.


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