Small splinter group that went to Kalymnos – Sue Paddon

Having heard such rave reviews about Kalymnos and then seeing the excellent slide show about it my friend Kendra and I decided to make a flying visit there. We arrived late on Saturday and had to leave early Wednesday so only 3 whole days, but really worth the effort!

We arrived at Kos and caught the last ferry, which waited for the delayed Athens flight, and got to our lovely accommodation in Armeos, Kalymnos at about 11pm. Our landlady was waitinig for us and showed us around our twin room; it was small neat and very clean, it also had a good sized balcony that over looked the next island, Telendos, and faced the sunset which was great every evening. Our studio was €25 per night total.

On the Sunday we went for a hike to the crags to gaze in awe at the topless rippling dudes climbing the 7b’s and c’s. Funny how in any language you know how ‘frustrated’ someone is when they fall off! The scenery was lovely and the weather nice and hot, the climbers all incredibly friendly and chatty so obviously all that watching and silent critiquing had given us a tremendous thirst so we headed into the village for a cocktail at a bar called something like Fatisillas. Two scrumptious Mia Tias later (love those European measures!) we went for an explore of the beach and then back for a bit more hiking up to examine the crag and climbers.

On the Monday we had hired a guide called Simon, a French guy who had been on the island for three years. Two main reasons for us having a guide were, we only took hand one case (cheaper) so didn’t bring any gear and both of us are complete novices to sport climbing. Simon was a very nice and patient coach, who took us through the various things that need to be done, which I’m sure the readers here all know back to front! So for those of you who have been, or are thinking of going the climbs we did over the two days, at the crags of Spartan Wall and Afternoon, in no particular order were: Organiser 4b/17m, Layo and Bushwacka 5c/20m,Tigryonak  5C/40M, Strange Little Girl 5b/17m, Energy 4c/17m, Origano 5a/18m, Tsopanakos 5c+/18m. , Hibicus Market 5c+/25M  (I believe Simon the guide felt this was possibly a 6a),

Simon led some harder stuff for us to top rope, I can’t remember the names of them but Hibicus Market was one of them, which I either red pointed or on sighted, anyway he said well done for not resting or falling off, so whichever term is correct! I need a climbing lingo lesson!

That was a great day and what a lovely place to start your sport climbing career in. So hot, very knackered and hungry we showered and then retired to a lovely restaurant for a great meal and maybe a cocktail or two.

Tuesday Simon had very kindly lent us a rope and the lady in the climber’s Nest, a gear shop, also kindly lent us some quick draws. We went in search of easy non scary climbs, of which there are plenty. We did repeat most of the climbs we had done the day before, just so we didn’t get out of our depth! When we were tired out from climbing and well and truly baked by the sun we called it a day. Later in the evening we went back up to the crag to do another spot of watching, always a joy!

We didn’t hire mopeds as we were only there a couple of days and stayed right under a crag with plenty to do, but it seems most people do hire them. All in all it felt like we had made friends there very quickly and I would go back to tomorrow, but stay for at least a week next time!

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(You can see other pictures of kalymnos on the home page banner, and the main gallery)