I’ve mentioned previously that Kalymnos is a mecca for rock climbers. They come from far and wide to challenge both their mental and physical abilities on the surrounding rock faces – an activity I don’t think I’ll ever understand. Well I wouldn’t, would I? Considering I’m afraid of heights.
Not that I haven’t sort of given the mountain thing a go – with a husband who enjoys hiking and such like and having lived smack bang in the middle of the Three Peaks at one point, I was bound to try it at some point, wasn’t I?
Which is why one March morning, I arose and suddenly announced to my other half, Robert, that finally we’d be climbing Pen-y-Ghent together… and although it didn’t actually involve the use of ropes, I say ‘climbing’ because at one stage we did literally have to scale rocks.
Mind you, Robert, who’d made this journey previously didn’t actually warn me about this bit until it was too dangerous to turn back (yes, I did say dangerous!) probably because he knew I’d have backed out the second I’d been informed.
Still, you can just picture the scene, can’t you? Me, hugging a rock face, clinging like a limpet as if my life depended on it; at least 80 mph hour winds swirling round the mountain to hit me smack bang in the face – a face that was contorted enough already, thanks to the sheer drop behind me… And throughout all of this I’m crying and barking orders at Robert to get in simply because I was convinced he was going to get blown right off the edge, leaving me all alone and stuck in that position for ever and ever…
Of course, at this stage poor Robert’s wondering if now would a good time to call out Mountain Rescue – like I hadn’t lost enough dignity already!
Anyway, goodness knows how I managed it, but I did eventually pull myself together enough to scramble my way onwards and upwards. Only to then go and slam my head into a protruding rock because I was too scared to look where I was going. Although I’m sure you appreciate that at this point I was ready to sod the ‘sense of achievement’ I’d been hoping to feel and just jump clean off the damn thing. Which clearly I didn’t, I just got on with it – remaining on all fours not just until I was out of the danger zone, but finally at the top.
Needless to say, I subsequently insisted we took the long route back – no way was I facing that sheer drop again. But wouldn’t you know it when we did begin to make the long trek down, it was then that the whole heavens decided to open.