Kaly-, (greek) prefix, meaning good, beautiful. Kalymera, Kalyspera, Kalynykhta, Kalypipe, Kalyhrona…
We arrived at Kalymnos on a stormy Thursday night after looking at it from afar (Kos) during the whole day as no big ferries could cross the tumultuous waters to take us, and our camper van, there. Finally, the wind decreased and we were right on time for a Greek dinner at Tsaki’s. We met Jesse, Alex, Sone (on crouches with a freshly broken foot) and a few other late-season climbers who were enjoying the now peaceful crags atmosphere. After a chilly Fix beer, a Greek omelet and a feta feast, we were ready to sleep facing Telendos and still dream about how it would look like for real. Kalynykhta!
Kalymera! On the following day, the greatness of this mythic place was up to our expectations: climbing paradise, stunning landscape! Tufas everywhere – tufas to squeeze, tufas to sit on, tufas to stand with no hands, tufas for knee bars, drop knees, unseen tufas’ shapes, unheard tufas names (kalypipes, brocolis…), tufas, tufas !
We spent one month climbing and trying to avoid the rain (somehow always possible in the island of the beautiful waters) at different sectors : Panorama, Grande Grotta, Arhi, Kastry, Ivory tower, Odysseia, Olympic, Noufaro, Inspiration…Along with fellow climbers: Jesse from Australia, soon heading to the Moroccan swells; Elise, an American from Squamish; Gery, the steel Sheffield lady who’s now local; Chris, another English escaping her majesty’s rains, also, currently living in Kalymnos ; Alex, bold French skier developing rock skills for a guiding title; and, Sone slowly recovering on a top rope diet, Norwegian; we alternated steep, fun tufa climbing with friendly, winter, spicy warm dinners at each other’s studios and our van. Kalyspera!
Rainy days brought up another “predicted surprise”: surfing is possible in a wintry Kalymnos, and – as for the mediterranean in general – the Aegean sea produces some short spells of swell under stormy winds! No worst than the analogous atlantic conditions and, definitely not to be wasted whenever there’s a board around…
After 1 month and 2 days of Kalymnian rock, generous onsights, rains, Quercus chasing hundreds of street cats – bringing some balance to this insular habitat -, goats and feta cheese in dramatic proportions, baklavas sweetness, one alternative christmas dinner*, one New Year’s eve (Kalyhrona!) and lots of more rain, we decided to hit the sea. Time to improvise.
*Aïoli cream, Greek Salad & Red, Mushroom Couscous.