In 2015 while Lindsay, Bird and I were in France climbing, our buddy André told us about a climbing area in Spain that was very unique. I had never herd of it till then, we agreed that a year from then we would all go- and we did.
ALBARRACIN is the most beautiful little town surrounded by great bouldering of all styles. The history of the place is incredible, the medieval architecture is staggering. The streets are narrow and winding, there is a bar/restaurant or hotel on every corner. Spanish in this part of the world is so beautiful and isolated. Only 1,200 people live in the town so they all want to meet you and the feeling reminded me of Mexico in that they were glad you were speaking Spanish(or trying) and they were grateful for your business. Oh France, you have much to learn:) Lindsay and I daydreamed of moving there the whole trip, it helped when we met fellow American climbers Jill, Nick & Iris from Bishop CA. They had lived in Albarracin for 1 year without working and really seemed acclimated to the oddities of the country. The couple we stayed with through AirB&B Andrea and ____ introduced us to Jill and Nick as the Americans who live here. Andrea spoke no English which forced us out of our comfort zone immediately. Those old Spanish muscles got a workout over the 3 weeks we were there, what a blessing to have this adventure with such friends. It was cool meeting up with Daniel Perez- I’ll never forget it. The three of us would walk out our little basement apartment a few steps next door and sit down outside to eat at our favorite restaurant for some deer stew… a car came by full of people and this guy hung out the window and shouted JEREmy THOmleY!! I thought I was back home and shouted Heeeey! The I realized who he was… I had met Daniel on Instagram a year ago while looking at pictures and realized he was from Caracas and knew Gustavo! I told him I was coming and his crew from Barcelona and he had come down to climb for the week while we were there. I think they were all people he had meet at the gym. We had a wild crew of 15+ climbers working problems and having a great time, those days we climbed as a crew were so funny to hear all the Spanish. At some point I started getting sick and that was a whole different challenge but I still managed to climb well enough. The doctor at the hospital spoke English and that was a free visit- thanks Spain. The prettiest girl in town (before Lindsay showed up) ran a little grocery store. I remember the look on Birds face when we walked in.. the translation was something like “this place has everything”. She had an ugly boyfriend and the were always snogging but it was still one of our first impressions of the town and it stuck with me. We saw way more beautiful people there than you would expect form a town so small and secluded thats mostly old people. If I were going to move to Europe tomorrow… Santorini or Albarracin:) Anyway It was a challenge filming with only 3 of us climbing and spotting etc. It was not always pretty, I should have brought a tripod and really I should have made Gustavo come. If he had tho the Spainish part of the trip would not have been so much fun so perhaps the Next trip to Albear we can take the real camera people and document the trip more better. Baby Mike… we coulda forced him to go. Ah well it will never be repeated, even if we stayed in the same perfect little apartment and same amazing food there is something special about all those firsts you have on an adventure like this one. Thankfully nobody got hit by a car this year, regrettably I did get the cold/flu from hell and wrestled with it the whole trip practically. But all in all it was the most hassle free trip I have been on. Even the side trip we took to Mallorca for my birthday weekend was awesome- Lilly Antic lives there and really took care of us. I had never been out in Palma or really seen much of the night life at all so that was wild. That place had some beautiful people, wow. We took Lilly to Cala Barques and Bird and I got spanked by the wind and cold water. The rock was wet with spray and it was just as I remembered..HArd. I do l love that place but man is it an ego spanker. At days end I was so happy to go home to aibarracin for our last week of bouldering before ewe left. We all had projects to send and altho Bird normally got his on the first few goes… It was a battle royal for me most every time. I thought HP40 had a monopoly on mantles but not so.. this place has some serious mantles, it was amazing how you’d think you were done and then suddenly you were on the pad again. Wow what incredible sandstone. Thank you everyone for making the trip so fun and especially thanks to Linz and Bird for the love and companionship each provides. We had some conversations for the ages in that little apartment around that fire. We would talk till 4am and wake up in time for lunch at our spot and a long day of climbing… ok enough. You shoulda been there:) Thanks everyone:)