Worse Places to be stuck.

This week on the road we have:

Tried to climb, tried to surf, waited for a parcel that never actually set off, tried to drive the wrong way up a mountain according to satnav, tried to climb again, stealth camped because we didn’t want to drive, eaten Mcdonalds (success).

So, the climbers mindset is not fully back yet, the level of commitment has been, well, more about burgers and junk food than elevation gained and meters climbed. But, it is important to carb load and I will not turn down junk. I am still 25lb lighter than when I started this trip.

In San Diego we stopped at my friend Axels’ apartment. We did commence training with running in the air-cooled gym and some basic circuit core work. We did discover around here the time to climb is not when the sun is high. It’s an effort even getting to a crag. Every attempt to climb above 5.10 has been thwarted by heat and poor motivation. But it’s there, I know it is coming each time we get back out. Climbing steep for the first time in a couple of years is like relearning. From when rock can be trusted to support a smeared foot to tying bunny-ear anchors (climbers knot to belay from).

We have also tried to surf. I remember when I was learning in oz and back home the pain of falling forwards into a wave, swallowing lots of water, trying to paddle out and nearly breaking my nose, unsuccessful. This was almost the same. But I am now considering getting a cheap board as it is good fun.

The fingers have been sore, I smell like the sea and I am tired from last nights camp. Last night was stealth camping. Basically in fancy areas they don’t like people pitching tents anywhere, they charge extortionate amounts to even park a car. And so we are forced onto side streets and into the back of a vehicle. It was a neat fit, but not the worst, we can both fully lie down in the back, a few inches above head to the surfboard, and a mess of camping chairs, bags and towels all around us.

I looked in mirror while Karli was driving this morning and felt 10 years older, I almost didn’t recognise the guy staring back. Bearded, worn, sunburned, bruised, painful fingers, a nearly repaired cracked rib. I remember looking at all the late 20 to young 40s surf and climbing bums back home when I was 18 and wondering if I would end up like them. I guess I have, because staring back in the side mirror this morning was a tired, battered but content person with no place to be in the world.

Finding out the parcel I had been waiting for hadn’t left the city I live in was devastating. I’ll be honest, it was not what I expected. I thought it was in Costa Mesa nearby, Instead its been waiting for a customs exemption form before it leaves home. I sat down in REI and then lay down. The rest of this week is now waiting, Mexico is evading me in every way possible. There is a nice crag nearby with camping at the bottom. I am thinking a week cut off from civilisation would be nice. It would be epic. Nothing but climbing and noodles.



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