The Monkey Tracker

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Rodellar is NOT Rodellar!

After a total absence from any input to the blog whatsoever, Nomad has decided to contribute to the absolute nonsense with a few paragraphs. We still haven't managed to get him to help with the making of the movies, editing of the photos and blog upload process yet. Which we must say is an extremely tedious and painful process that drives us to the point of insanity sometimes. We are done with computers and ready to go outside and live our lives.
Anyway, this is what the Nomad had to say:

"After flying from Mallorca, Steve and Chris picked up a brand new car courtesy of a French Government arrangment with auto manufacturers which afforded us a shiny Peugeot Tepee with only 5km on the clock. Very cheap too. We have planned to drive this around all of europe for the next three months. It is considerably smaller than the Van we had in the USA, but this is necessary to navigate the ancient streets and parking spaces here.

The two intended on navigating to Rodellar in Northern Spain but actually navigated to another town called Rodellar, far from the rich land of limestone. This was due to incorrect research and the simple fact that I wasn't there. After 9 hours on the road they finally found the place which was the real Rodellar.

For those who aren't familiar, Rodellar is a small gorge filled with limestone features. Its no where near the amount we have seen elsewhere, but still enough to keep you amused for a month or two. We stayed at a great place called Kalandraka, a climber-orientated Refuge right at the edge of the gorge complete with a 'kitchen' (really just a food storage room with a sink), a restaurant (comes recommended from The Beric) and coin-operated showers.

Whilst we were there we met a nice American couple from Tuscon who were climbing at Rodellar and climbing hard! Meghan and Luis were very friendly and we ended up spending the majority of our time with them. They have been around the world climbing and have done everything from cragging to Big Wall first ascents so they had some experience!

Crimping Champion Meghan :)

King Luis (the VIII)

One of the highlights at Rodellar is El Delphin, an arch and open cave structure that would make any Sport bunny go hopping mad. Fixed Draws!! Chalked holds!! Lower-offs!! Obnoxious children knocking rocks into the gorge! Massive cheering crowds of European climbing teams!! What more could a certain individual ask for?

On the third day Steve rested, so Chris and I accompanied Meghan and Luis to El Dephin. Spectacular! We tried our luck on the arch a pedestrian (for locals) 7c+ (grade 29 in Australia). It was a great photo route in an amazing position with some good moves. We spent a good two days in this area and it comes highly recommended.

Beric Cranking the glorious Arch

Nomad on the Arete of the Arch (6c)

Steve killing the Arch

Rodellar also includes numerous caves which we spent the majority of our time in. We also met a kick ass American guy called Jason who provided us beta and a few belays. Some good times were had! The rock was super solid and not overly polished so get on out there!"

Thanks Nomad.. Now, lets get some things straight. Firstly Rodellar certainly wasn't Rodellar. According to Google maps there is one Rodellar, and According to our GPS there is another one 100km north of the real one. Unfortunetly these are separated by 3 hours worth of switchback mountainess road. And foolishly we trusted our GPS.. Rookie error.

And another thing, Nomad claims that we got lost due to "the simple fact that he wasn't there to help". But let me tell you, Nomad not being there had nothing to do with us going to the wrong Rodellar. To put things nicely poor old Nomad contributes very little to the navigation planning and accommodation booking so his presence would have been of no use. 

Speaking of which, Nomads presence was absent for the start of the Rodellar trip due to him still being on Mallorca island with the mysterious Norwegian girl. Unfortunetly he missed his plane flight as he was doing his duties at the Palma Hospital. Actually, we have lost Nomad again at this very moment. He went spookeye and dissapeared a few days ago with the mysterious Norway girl again. We think they went to Italy and we will possibly rendezvous with the Nomad in Greece in a few weeks. But you can never be sure.

We found one town that we were certain was Rodellar, Steve pulled over on the narrow mountain road for Beric to take a photo of it as we were so excited. Still wasn't Rodellar.

 Not Rodellar

 Not Rodellar

 Not Rodellar

The Real Rodellar:

One highlight we must add about Rodellar is the discovery of the Italian Men. There were these Italian men that were far superior to any other we have encountered.  I'm telling you, these men were machines:

This is the Alpha Italian man, MARIO:

This one is Nomad in 5 years:
He was highly skeptical of us:

This one was in his 70's and still had better abs than us and was climbing way harder. He sent this overhanging 7b project of Steves. And spent like 25 minutes hanging on the route resting out on crap holds. He had some sort of OLD MAN endurance. We had heard rumour's about OLD MAN endurance from Lee. It seriously exists. Something for us to look forward to!

We have decided that we shall now dedicated the rest of our lives to becoming more like these Italian men. As soon as we get away from all the glorious food that Beric's family is feeding us in Croatia we will become Italian men. It is hard right now as we are living like kings with consistent divine 3 course meals everyday. You see to be an Italian man, you need to have absolutely no body fat whatsoever. Beric befriendedall of the Italian men. Especially the Alpha Italian man, Mario. and after much time and trust Mario told Beric the secret to being an Italian man. 

" ....errr.. Coffee... and.. Cigarettes.. thats all "

Turns out Beric has an awesome cousin in Bosnia called Mario also. And Mario is already an Italian man at the age of 16!!

For the record, on paper Beric is actually an Italian man. He comes complete with Dual Italian and Australian Citezenship thanks to his Nonno. Any extremly attractive girls that can rock climb hard and are looking for a husband please keep in mind that a European passport is veeeerry handy. Wink wink. Nudge nudge. Cuts out all that visa crap if you want live or work in Europe.

Which one is Steve??!

Enough with all the words, lets let a Movie do the rest of the talking:


  1. You guys be trippin. The first and third "NOT RODELLAR" pics most certainly are Rodellar. Stay away from illicit substances and I will see you in about two weeks. If you can find your way there. PS: Kalymnos is an island belonging to Greece.

  2. That was so awesome! I'm sitting in my office in California and I am having a hard time concentrating on work after this blog post. Man I wish I could go back to Spain!

  3. haha thanks for the advice lee, you should have told us that before we went to AMsterdam! haha we should be right in greece, steve is greek you see..

  4. thanks Andy! spain has definetly been a highlight of this year. You will have to send suzie back to work once the baby is born and you and the baby can go to spain with us :p the baby will need tufa training.. Beric