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 Page 6 of 7. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 40 | 41 to 60 | 61 to 80 | 81 to 100 | 101 to 120 | 121 to 138
European Sport Climbing Extravaganza
5:26:55 AM
Back again. I keep hitting OK to ensure I don't lose anything I have already typed.

A day trip to Florence. We checked into a weird hotel in nearby Vaglia. The place is stuck in the 50s, and we suspect they haven't realised that the war is over. Sam went into the telephone room to make a call and encountered an old-style-non-touch-button-phone and a whole bunch of guns. When the reception man realised she was in there, he came and stared at her and followed her till she returned to our room. Scary! We think he is having us watched for the remainder of our stay in Italy. Anyway so we headed into Florence for a spot of shopping and sightseeing. I bata-d my way to glory to become the proud owner of a piccie for my wall at home. The conversation went like this (in Italian): Jac "How much are these?" Vendor "Ten Euros" Jac "Will you take 7.50?" Vendor "OK five" Jac "....OK... five it is" That guy drove a hard bargain. After this Neil and I were sick of shopping and went to see the fancy church (aka The Duomo). It is very fancy on the outside, and very fancy on the inside. It has such spectacular flooring that we decided to cough up the cash to walk the stairs (all 463 of them) to view it from the top of the dome. It was quite a sight. We also got up close to the paintings that are on the inside of the dome roof. They go in tiers. The bottom tier depicts hell, and as the pictures rise towards the ceiling, they get nicer, depicting Heaven. Neil was very disturbed by the excessive use of nudity in the pictures, seeing as the Romans are supposed to be Catholic and everything. He was also quite shaken by the evil Hell creatures that were poking big fire sticks up the backsides of screaming people. Very un-Catholic stuff. Neil has mentioned it often. We also saw the Statue of David, which is most impressive and for the most part, lives up to its rep of being life-like. I however am unhappy with a few things. Firstly, David's right hand is unusually large. Secondly, there is a distinct absence of some prominent ankle veins. All the other veins are there. Why not these ones? Thirdly, there is a hint of deformity in his toes, suggesting he has worn one too many pairs of tight climbing shoes. So David was a climber. Perhaps he wore an early model of EBs? I think I need to write a letter. "Dear Italian Tourism Commission. On a recent visit to Florence, I saw your famous 'Statue of David'. Unfortunately, I have noticed a few flaws in the model, and do not feel you can continue to claim that the statue is lifelike...."
5:35:50 AM
Last crag for the trip. Sperlonga is awesome. Climbing on the beach. Yeah! When it gets too hot, into the water you go! It has a spectacular stalactite cave that we spent two out of three climbing days at. It was the scene of another 6a for Sam. Woo hoo! My last Euro climbing day was awesome, featuring a lovely lineup of a 7a onsight (gr23) followed by a 7b (25) flash, followed by what the Italians insist was an onsight of 7b+ (26) roof climb, and I am still deciding. It was a ground to successful clipping of chains effort. There is a hold above the chains that is chalked, though I didn't use it to clip the chains. After clipping the chains I figured I might as well try the move and slapped the hold but didn't hold it. The Italians insisted once the chains are clipped, that's it. I have never contemplated the matter. There you go kiddies... that's a fiery forum topic for you. If you can clip the chains, is it essential to continue grabbing at holds that are above them? This should provide hours of fun. I guess it comes under the same category as "do you have to follow an enforced sequence thru a route?" Anyway, back at camp, we have been nurturing a sick little kitten back to health with regular feedings of tuna. He has a hole in his stomach. Yes we have pictures. It is very odd. It is a hole and it seeps. It seeps gooey stuff... all over Lee's climbing pants as it happens :-) Upon our departure, Sam and Lee left their tent set up, and we piled all our pillows and cushions and abandoned mattresses into the tent, thus creating a little cat kingdom for our little "Holey". I have never seen a happier cat. He was just slumped on top of those cushions, lazily looking out the door of the tent. That's one happy cat... until the campground Nazi does his morning rounds and wonders why our tent is still there...
5:42:54 AM
We arrived in Rome yesterday, to be greeted by a spectacular display of Italy's entire collection of "Polizia Municipale" (Municipal Police usually responsible for directing traffic and dealing with minor traffic infringements), "Polizia" (regular police) and "Carabinieri" (riot police equipped with machine guns... fondly referred to by Neil as the 'Carabiner-eye'). I TOLD YOU THAT DODGY RECEPTION GUY AT THE HOTEL IN VAGLIA WAS HAVING US FOLLOWED! Police everywhere, and all for us :-) Well, maybe not all for us. Maybe some of them are here guarding all the fancy Roman buildings and a modest collection of European leaders that are apparently here for the European Convention, handing power over to the Italians for the next 12 months or some such guff. As you know, every second building in Rome is very special, so you can imagine the awesome display of the local law enforcement lads all dressed up in their fancy outfits and their fancy hats - all looking bored as hell. Many of them are asleep in their vans, or playing card games and smoking cigarettes, or sms-ing their girlfriends, or checking out the girls that pass by. The Polizia Municipale are bitching about how the Carabinieri are bossing them around, and the Carabinieri are looking very stern and serious with their machine guns. Directing tourists to the opposite side of the road, away from the fancy building, with their machine guns. God bless 'em.

I'm quite sick of typing now... we fly out of Europe tomorrow and spend a day in Singapore. So probably one more update before I see you all live in the flesh back home :-)


9:52:54 PM

3:47:05 AM
chains are clipped.... All over red rover.

8:00:46 AM
Okay what about if the anchors are rings and you only clip one of them before loading rope, does that make it done?
8:06:08 AM
On 1/11/2004 rodw wrote:
>Okay what about if the anchors are rings and you only clip one of them
>before loading rope, does that make it done?
Only if your scratching some part of your body with the non-clipping hand at the same time.

8:25:25 AM
Great onsight adenture climbingjac.
Thanks for writing it up; it makes for VERY entertaining reading.
10:04:11 PM
Hi everyone,

Well Rome is all done... we left the spectacular display of military boys behind and exited the country with a ridiculous amount of excess luggage no problemo. The Lufthansa checkin lady said to Neil and myself "Your combined luggage weighs over 70kg... you are only allowed 40kg... you must be more careful next time." Our care factor was of course zero. We scuttled off to spend our remaining Euros on chocolate.

Our arrival in Singapore went very smoothly - it is a very organised and clean country. As an example, when the trains arrive on the platforms, the train bodies themselves are sheilded by a metalic wall ala elevator style. This is presumably to protect them from graffiti and to make things safer (ie u cannot fall onto the tracks accidentally and get crucial climbing limbs cut off).

We stayed in a very fancy hotel with a chandeleir, and Neil was insistent on getting his money's worth... so he rushed to the pool for a 2min swim to ensure he'd used the service.

We have eaten lots of great food which is stupidly cheap (eg less than AUS$2 for a yummy beef stirfry) and bata-d our way to glory for electronic goods (and in Sam and Lee's case.... also watches, and bags, and clothes, and........)

Tips for shopping in Singapore include:
* Do not ask the price of something... just declare the price you want to pay
* They won't budge much on camera gear anyway
* Camera and other such prices are quoted excluding tax, and assuming you will buy a wad of accessories. The quoted price is null and void if u just want a camera
* Prices quoted are valid only for your first visit to a store. If you don't buy on that first visit, and return after researching prices in other stores, they will punish you for it and put the price up by 100 Singapore dollars (around AUS$80).

Anyway, the long and the short of it is that I now have a fancy digital camera (not quite as fancy as Neil's, but I couldn't be bothered lugging something that big around anyhow).

Neil and I had huge hassles getting all our gear on the plane, and thus angrily packed heavy stuff such as ropes, cameras, sleeping bags, into hand luggage. It is 35 degrees today and I'm exiting the country wearing my goretex, as it is too heavy to check in to main luggage. The silly part is, all the weight is going on the plane regardless... so I don't see what all the fuss is about!

25mins left to buy chocolate and board the plane.

Signing off.

Thanks for your attention folks! See you in Melbourne!!!


10:08:12 PM
well bloody done folks, lookin forward to your safe return!!

8:55:15 PM
Let the media onslaught begin!....

First batch of photos from the french bouldering mecca of Fontainebleau are here...

9:01:03 PM
sweet as neil. good to see your back safe. how did the finger hold up?

9:24:42 PM
fantastic photos neil, welcome back to all ...

11:33:40 PM
keep the piccies coming- they're AWESOME!

12:52:16 AM
Great shots neil, welcome back. I am very jealous. Would be great to catch up for a drink as id love to her some stories about ur travels...
Cheers, Phil

P.S You heading to the gramps this weekend :)
mikl law
4:39:19 AM
Font, she ezz too cool for good speling.
Lovely shots, I kept thinking I could recognise problems.

Phil Box
9:44:05 AM
Hahaha love the look on Lees face as a busts his chops trying to make that move cuddling that boulder.

1:12:47 PM
OK, guess I now believe this wasn't all some sort of internet hoax while you were hiding in a remote cave somewhere in the gamps... How many GB of pix did you take? Needless to say, the usual stunning quality..

2:09:21 PM
Total was 4.9gigs of photos! + I shot 5 rolls of slide and Marty shot about 20+ rolls of slides. All the photos will be a logn time coming. Does anyone have a slide scanner? I am 'away' from work at the moment so i don't have one readily available.
4:02:40 PM
On 3/11/2004 Phil Box wrote:
>Hahaha love the look on Lees face as a busts his chops trying to make that
>move cuddling that boulder.

I thought that was the pick of the photo's posted so far also... Fontainebleau is such an amazing place - thanks for posting them Neil and welcome back!

Same to you Jaq, welcome back and thank's for going to the trouble of suppling the running report!

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There are 138 messages in this topic.


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