I don’t know what is going on in this picture, but it looks like we’re having fun.
I don’t really have the creative energy right now to try to re-cap two weeks in paradise, but I’ll try to give a few critical glimpses into what our trip involved:
The first thing that comes to mind is when Jason Grubb, pictured above in the chair, got totally wasted from drinking approximately 3 liters of wine. It was my favorite night. During the course of trying to reign him in, I slapped him across the face FOUR TIMES. I mean, really, really slapped him, almost punch style.
I kept saying, “Grubb, if you keep yelling right now, I’m going to slap you again.”
Grubb would yell, “BOOOOOOOOONNE SPEEEEEEED” really loudly.
Then, I would slap him across the face. One time, I slapped him in the face so hard that I knocked him off the stair case into the sand. It was just like that scene in Snatch when Brad Pitt gets knocked into the air in slow motion, with his body horizontal to the ground.
Sam was also yelling at poor little Grubbles: “You’re such a child. I can’t believe what a child you are!” Then, for no reason really, I slapped Grubb in the face again. When your friends are really drunk, this sort of behavior is permissible. After this slap, Grubb said, “Thank you for your patience, Mr Bisharat. See Sam? See how patient Mr. Bisharat is?”
It was hilarious. You can’t make that stuff up.
Then, Grubb puked onto a terrace of grape vines (which was ironic). I sat him down on a step. I went and got a hose to clean the puke off of the terrace, but decided to also spray Grubb down. Again, when your friends are drunk, you need to take advantage of these rare and wonderful opportunities. I said, “This isn’t a big deal, Grubb. You’re covered in sand, and this isn’t a big deal.” Hose right to the face.
I don’t know if you’ve ever sprayed someone who is drunk with a hose before, but it has to be one of the more satisfying things on earth.
FOOD, FOOD, FOOD
The food on this island is off the hook. No matter what you do, you can’t spend more than $15 a night on all you can eat. The seafood is fresh, the feta is plentiful and salty, and the olives are delicious. It really was some of the best cuisine I’ve had in a long time. Needless to say, we ate too much every night.
Some people think that Kalymnos is too hot in the summer. We were there in June, and while it was hot, it was hardly unclimbable–and this is coming from a total conditions snob from Colorado. We woke up every day at 6 am, went climbing until 3 pm, and then, spent the rest of the day lounging around on the beach, drinking ouzo, and eating really good food. We were in bed at 10 every night. This also seemed to work perfectly with our jet lag.
Kalymnos is famous for the Grande Grotta–the large overhanging cave of stalactites. We climbed there the first couple of days, and quickly became tired of it. It’s novelty climbing, and totally worth doing, but it’s not the most badass stuff to do there. I actually found it a little overwhelming: it was too three dimensional, and navigating through an overhanging sea of stalactites actually makes your head hurt more than your forearms.
The best wall we saw was this crag called Arhi, which also happened to have the shortest approach. There was one of the most amazing 8a+’s I’ve ever climbed on there, and just really great, long overhanging routes on more two-dimensional holds. I also recommend visiting Odyssey, a tremendous wall with some memorable, high-quality 7c+’s.
The island is a climber’s paradise, pure and simple. If you want any beta, just send me an e-mail and I’ll try to give you more details.