It has been almost a month I am in Rocklands now and time has come to write something about my trip. I landed in Cape Town on the 26th of June under cold heavy rain, and coming from 38° in Italy it has been quite a refreshing start... My friend Clement was waiting for me and time we got the car we were already driving along the N7 dreaming about rocks and red sunsets of the Pakhuis pass.
This time we found a nice place to share at the Alpha Excelsior Farm: here is a vineyard, a lovely coffe shop run by Becky and we're just in front of the Pakhyus campsite where to go bouldering or meet people around the fireplace in front of the bar at night.
We soon got to know some finnish, norwegian and slovenian guys who are sharing the house with us and it's nice to go climbing together, having a barbecue at night or just discuss which is the best pizza recipe...
Weather has been fairly good comparing to last year, it means not too warm and good to explore new climbs in the lower sectors I struggled to visit last year because of the heat. Just one thing got worse: you are now quite sure to be charged 5 euros a day if you want to climb, even if you just want to try a problem for about half an hour in the evening... it feels more like going into a climbing gym instead of being free bouldering into the wild.
I had time to try some of the boulders I was more willing to climb, and luckily enough I've already managed to climb some really good ones such as Leap of Faith, The Arc, Tea With Elmarie, The Hatchling, Megalo, Quintessential end El Corazon...
Each of these problems is really good and I think I will remember about the feelings it gave me for quite a long time, I just don't want to talk about grades at the moment, as I still think there are many inconsistencies with most of the places where I use to climb in Europe, and it will deserve deeper thoughts on the difficult subject.
At the moment I prefer just to leave you with fresh shots of our experience in this nice strange place: when I'm not climbing I'm trying to get some good pictures you can see on this Flickr album, while Clement is always willing to film what's going on and show it in his weekly updates on his Vimeo account. I'm really happy he captured my ascent of El Corazon, as it was one of the things I most wanted to do and I can now show you the fight it has been on my first session this year.
Now we're just in the middle of our trip, much has happened and much still have to happen, but we do need a small break from climbing now. Luckily enough some rain has come leaving us time to rest our bodies and eat some proper food that will make us stronger than ever when the sun will come to shine on Rocklands again.
See you next!