The Monkey Tracker

Monday, October 31, 2011

2 Monkeys, 1 Italy!

With just six days to go until our flight to Kalymnos the two remaining monkeys (yep Nomad disappeared again) set out to explore Italy. First stop was Arco in the northern provence of Trentino. This place is the European equivalent of Moab in the USA, full of outdoor nutbags involved in activities like hiking, windsurfing, cycling and climbing. We were slightly dissapointed with the lack of rednecks in jeeps though...

Apart from being one of the most famous climbing areas in italy, Arco also has the most gear shops we have seen anywere in the world. After several days worth of testing and cross comparison Beric ended up with a new harness and Steve some fancy new "claw toe" shoes for Kalymnos. The Arcterxy 320, approximately 210 grams lighter than his current harness, arrrghghhh lightweight, compact, gear loops!

One afternoon we decided to climb an easy 200m multipitch route called Aspettando Martino. This climb had it all, loose blocks, runouts, crap bolts, rope drag and slow NooBs all over it.

At the top of the climbing we found our first Via Feratta, which is basically a big mess of of steel cables and ladders bolted to the rock.

Even the sections of flat ground had cables that the Noobs would attach themselves to:

Arco recently hosted the IFSC Climbing World Championships on this insane climbing wall. The lead final was on a 30m+ long 8c / 33. Ondra won the overall competition of course.

The only food we could find in Italy was Ice-cream and Pizza...

After a few days we drove to Rome and finally returned the faithful Nutbus II, the Teepee. Good riddance! That thing was a burden, always with the refuelling, parking, navigation and avoidance of crashing while driving 170 Km/hr on some death highway.

Our accommodation for the next two nights was a strange country club somewhere in the forest on the outskirts of Rome. This place had a huge campsite, hostel rooms, a fancy restaraunt and a big private castle in the middle. It was also overrun with punkass German teenagers. Go to school!

The next day we set out on a mission to see Rome. We walked around the Colosseum, but decided we didn't need to line up for two hours to go inside and look at some old bricks that you can see from the outside.


After that went to what appeared to be the Vatican, although one can never be sure. Yep, we've seen it all and never have to go back to Rome.



 The Vatican was well guarded by these two guys:

On the way back to the hostel we met Nina, Molly and Cara from the USA. Somehow they convinced us to spend the afternoon lying around the the beach.

It had been a while since we had met any Aussies, these two chicks from Brisbane were fair dinkum. We recognized their Bogan Aussie accents from twenty meters away in the Rome airport.


There you have it, Italy in 6 days. Stay tuned for a much more exciting blog soon, next stop was the best climbing area in the world, Kalymnos!

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