2nd Trip to Kalymnos October 2012
Meet the Kalymnian
(Di, K-love, Wonder Womb'n, Eric the Great, Me, WAG)
Our mission, to successfully conquer sector after sector of endless tufa laden walls, to recklessly scooter rally around the island with frequent stops at mythos watering holes, to bravely sight-see in Turkey and consume fried cheese in between the consumption of countless Gyro's.
During our 3-week stay on the Greek island of Kalymnos we choose to fuel our super hero rock wrastling skills by local Kalymnian favorites such as:
Kaly Thyme Honey
Staples - Breakfast, Lunch and/or Dinner
He (WAG) could of ate them every day
The Feta Stuffed Squid
A Fatolitis memorial to those attempting to conquer the TUFA
Over-head X-ray Vision
a superpower we first discovered in 2010 - A belayer's dream come true
WAG discovers his Kryptonite
falling tufa at the
Di's Secret Weapon
The Celebratory Kung Fu Kick after Crushing
K-Love Conquers the TUFA Pipes of
Me Barely Smiling on the Popular Polished Pockets of
Di Defying Gravity on
WAG Methodically Battles through the TUFA Forest of Priapos for 45 Minutes
Me Planning the Asault on the TUFA Curtains of
After the departure of Wonder Womb'n and Eric the Great the rest of us were left with an secondary yet very important mission...The recovery of Wonder Womb n's hat. It was believed that some of the locals had taken the hat and were seen around town posing for pictures with the infamous hat.
The Longtime Protector of the
Afternoon Sector: Billy Goat Gruff
Pulled the WW hat from a climbing pack
A local Sponge Exporter: Sponge Bob Grey Pants
offered facial sponges to the ladies in an attempt to keep the WW hat
The Talkative Corner Shop Dude
K-love exchanges a hug and her ear for the return of the WW hat
K-Love recovers Wonder Womb'ns Prized Position
Me on a Victory Lap After our Recovery of WW's hat
WAG's best Impression of the Kalymnian Crime Thugs who tried to take WW's hat
Till Next Time Kaly
Telendos Island from
Me Storming the Kastelli Castle
K-Love Peacefully Posing on Kastelli Castle
1st Trip to Kalymnos May-June 2010
The Trip's Conception:
When I met Chuck in New Mexico he was finishing pharmacy school - about the third time I hung out with him we where talking about him graduating and I asked where he was going to go to celebrate. He looked at me kind of confused, then I realized maybe everyone doesn't go on a trip to celebrate...I had just finished a few month trip to South America to celebrate my 30th b-day. After his initial confusion he said Greece...are you going w/ me? I said maybe....6mths later we met up in the Athens airport (as I had come from AK and Chuck from NM)
Supposedly Chuck didn't know how amazing the climbing was in Greece when he suggested it initially. Soon it was turning into a climbing trip - Chuck was an avid climber I could count on one hand the number of times I had been climbing. So thanks to Libby, Tanya and Todd I received a crash course in climbing a few months prior.
was an amazing place to really start climbing. With huge tufa's in front of you and the blue/tourquoise sea behind you. A bit stressful at first w/ so many routes, climbers and everything being new - towards the middle I was hooked. When I led my first 5.10b (
) it was a euphoric experience - climbing on tufa's - using everything I had to clip the anchor - almost falling at the anchor. I've done a lot of physically and mentally challenging things but that route/lead combined both in a unique way. I think I was more upset when we left Kalymnos than Chuck about not being able to climb more - maybe because he was heading back to NM where he could climb and I was heading back to AK where the climbing is....limited.
The rest of the trip - Greece is an amazing country. Great people, food and scenery. Our first night we sat and had dinner under the illuminated acropolis.
We wandered around Athens stumbling upon ruins at every turn.
We took ferries around to a few of the islands.
an island that had been a double cratered volcano that blew was trapped in time. We wandered the small, winding streets watching the locals and jumping out of the way of scooters.
was very touristy - but for good reason - it was amazing - houses and churches built on the cliffside - amazing sunsets - so much so that cruise ships would unload it's thousands of passengers just to see it. There where numerous people who got engaged during the sunset's including our friends Mike and Jen that we met up with in Kalymnos.
"I saw Kristin's ASS" as said by my clever brother (Sean)
Back to Kalymnos - it wasn't just an amazing island full of climbing. But a beautiful, laid back, relaxing island. It is also full of great people - we found a little local mom and pop restaurant that had great local food the last night we where there the wife sent her husband down to the docks to pick up out fresh calamari and she specially prepared stuffed calamari for us that was amazing.
We will definitely be returning to Kalymnos soon and would highly recommend it for anyone who likes to climb or wants to get a crash course and dive in!
A perfect example of one of the abundant no-hands rests at Kaly - Les Amazones 5.11a
Joggel & Toggel 5.11b/c
Grande Grotta containing the planets most photographed sport route Aegialis 5.12d among a dozen others
- The all-new 2010 edition features:
- - 64 climbing sectors
- - Nearly 1,700 routes
Great informative websites:
Trip Planning Beta:
Some Kalymnos Pearls:
Kalymnos belongs to the Dodecanese Islands in the Aegean Sea. Kalymnos is the fifth largest island in the Dodecanese with a population of approximately 17,000 residents.
The capital of Kalymnos is Pothia – a lively and picturesque town built around the port and combining island traditions with the hustle and bustle of a modern town. Other island villages include Panormos, Myrties, Masouri, Arginonta, Skalia, Emporios, Vothini, Vlichadia and Vathi
Although once known as “Isola Umbrosa”, the island of shade, today the island is virtually bare of trees. The impressive rocky landscape which gives the island its distinctive personality is, however, dotted with low vegetation. This barren land was what drove locals to the sea to earn a living; many men became sponge-divers, a traditional occupation for which the island was best known until.... the onset of rock climbing!
Enough Already - How Do I Get There:
The Kalymnos airport opened in 2006. Olympic Air flies Athens - Kalymnos once a day, and a return ticket costs approximately 150 euro. The problem with the Kalymnos airport is that it is small; its runway can only accommodate smaller prop aircraft, and if the weather is bad or windy flight is cancelled. Best option is below and gives you a taste of "island hoping", plus a flight to Kos is only 70 euro.
Kalymnos is best reached by boat from the island Kos. Take a plane to Kos (70 euro), usually from Athens. Once in Kos catch the bus to the port in Mastichari. Followed by the next boat to Kalymnos.
Regular ferries and smaller speed boats make the Mastichari - Pothia (Kalymnos) route regularly. The ferry ride takes approximately 45 minutes and costs 3.50 euro; the speedboat takes approximately 25 minutes and costs euro 6.00. There are several connections between Kos and Kalymnos every day, year-round.
When you arrive at Pothia (the main port in Kalymnos) you will find a number of taxis waiting. A taxi ride to Massouri costs between 15-20 euro, depending on the number of passengers and luggage. Alternatively, you can rent a scooter or car, or inquire about the public bus schedule departing in front of the City Hall. The bus is by far the cheapest option, 2.00 euro. I would suggest against renting a scooter in Pothia, save the gas and rent one in Masouri, as it is closer to the climbing.
Where do I Stay:
Hotels and rental rooms in Kalymnos are widely available –the latter at very reasonable prices. There are places to stay and climb throughout the island, so no matter which part of Kalymnos you stay in you will never be too far from a good selection of climbing crags. On the other hand, there is no organised campsite on Kalymnos, and unregulated free camping is strictly prohibited.
Most hotel rooms in Kalymnos cost around 40-60 euro per day (depending on season) with breakfast. Studio apartments with private bathrooms cost approximately 20-30 euro per day, and they feature kitchenettes so you can prepare your own meals.
Which areas in Kalymnos are closest to the climbing crags?
The villages of Armeos, Massouri and Myrties are the preferred choice of climbers. These villages face the small island of Telendos, which also contains developed crags. Besides hotels and rental rooms, these villages of Kalymnos feature a number of restaurants, coffee shops, small bars, mini markets, clubs, an internet café, shops to hire a scooter or a car, souvenir shops, a laundry and two climbing shops. There is an
at the centre of Massouri, which works primarily in the spring and summer months. Tap water in Kalymnos is not drinkable, but there are two springs in Massouri where you can fill up your bottles with drinking / cooking water.