What is amazing about Europe is that it is so full of good rock, no matter where you decide to travel, you can almost ALWAYS find good climbing nearby. The most difficult part is usually just finding information on the rock the area. Finding good information about climbing areas on the web for all the small, less known areas there are throughout Europe requires quite a bit of research, word of mouth, and even some good old and exploring on your own. Frank has developed a particular knack for this. We usually just go down our never ending list of European places we want to visit, and Frank finds the climbing nearby.
This time of year, traveling with tour kids and grandparents, we needed somewhere warm. Greece was at the top of our list, but airline tickets were ridiculous, and there happened to be a huge climbing festival right during our window and we weren't particularly thrilled with the thought of the island swarming with loads of other climbers. As tempting as it was to just return to Sardinia, the amazing deals on Ryan Air from Nuremberg to Pisa (59 euros a person) are what swayed us in the end.
Sure enough, Frank had just talked to some locals here in the about the amazing and long, beautiful routes in Tuscany. We had been to Finale and climbed all over the coastline, so it made sense that the neighboring coastline was also filled with very similar climbing. The word was that was the best in the area, so we situated ourselves in , just below the limestone covered peaks nearby.
We did have a bit of rain on this trip, which provided us with perfect rest days and days to go see the cities. On sunny days, we hiked to , checking out the long and steep, black and white infused limestone cliffs in the mountains. It was everything I hoped for and more.
ime we would leisurely arrive on the sunny days. is amazingly beautiful. The trail begins at an ancient water mill, which is fed by a gorgeous and rugged mountain river where people fill giant water jugs for their home. Right next to the mill is a neat little waterfall lapping into a pool which swimmers must frequent on hot summer days as evidence from a rope swing. There are different signs all along the path displaying the areas diverse , fish, birds and other flora and fauna. It was a reasonable approach to do with the kids, beautiful setting, and has awesome climbing. Even with the few rainy days we had, the routes managed to dry up by the t
|Locals were filling bottles from a spout coming directly from the river|
|Macroinvertabrate sign! In my previous job, I sorted water bugs for a living...|
One interesting feature of this area that we were not expecting was...SCORPIONS! We were hiking around with Cooper one day when he pointed to something on the wall and asked "whats that Mom?" as he gently touched it and it fell to the ground. When I looked down I could not believe it was a scorpion. A little unnerving especially after we started looking around and finding more and more. I mean, the place wasn't "crawling" with them but I did feel the need to look before I sat down on a rock or a log. After a little research we found they are only slightly venomous with a sting much like a bee or wasp. Still, freaked me out enough to hesitate grabbing into deep holds.
|I fell in crossing on the slippery rocks, so Cooper decided to join me and test the frigid water.|
|Me resting on one of the knuckles|
|Awesome Water Hourglass|