Arco

Last time I wrote anything I fell asleep mid sentence so, I must confess to slipping standards and the need to catch up. We have been in Arco for 3 days now and would love to stay longer. For this post I am going to throw caution (read: data) to the wind (read: Vodaphone) and try to recount 3 days in pictures. Wish me luck…

Arrived late Monday 19th August all campsites full so hung around down by the river with all the other cheapskates.

It may not look much but its home (and feee. Yay!)

My guidebook for this area is sitting at home in Berkshire so borrowed a book from the neighbouring van and took some photos.

Copyright be damned (bought book next day)

For those interested in how such diagrams help it goes something like this;

    Find crag (Climbing area) A dark art all of its own
    Try to make real rocks look like diagram – this is akin to a vet using a Walt Disney drawing of Pluto or Goofy to operate on a real life dog
    Select climb from diagram – use same analogy as above but now we have to find the dogs appendix
    Climb 30 metres of rock using a description of a mere 5 words e.g. follow crack to tricky overhang. (Thanks for nothing description!)
Mr P pretending to climb when he is really just crawling along the road towards a bush

This is day one of climbing near Arco. South facing slab and super hot so, I’m wearing a buff under my helmet to keep the sun off my neck. Lunchtime, I take helmet off. Mrs P takes photo, I assume because I look cool but no, it is because I look like a pillock.

‘Fashion is art and you body a canvas’ says Mr P

I have included a definition of the word ‘pillock’ for my non-English readers but I think the picture says it all

Met up with some old friends back at the campsite. Mr & Mrs McD. We first met this splendid pair last year in Switzerland. We all went off to do a via Ferrata above the village.

Mrs P always keeps a small Scottish person in her back pocket in case of emergencies

The return trip passes through Arco and its assorted bars and pizza restaurants. We succumbed to temptation and stayed for both.

The following day, 21st August (Aside: Happy Birthday Mrs P’s brother) we set off to higher climes (and climbs) to a crag 550 metres up. A lot cooler and both lovely and quiet.

Did a climb called Winnie the Pooh (5a+) which I’m not entirely convinced the bear after which it was named would have been able to scale. Fun but no honey.

Mr & Mrs McD joined us and had a great time. Both nearly 10 years older than us Mr McD only took up Climbing a week ago!

Mr & Mrs McD reading a book entitled, ‘teaching old dogs new tricks.’

I also climbed a 6a+ without crying (well, not while anyone was watching anyway). Mr McD took a couple of nice shots of me on the way down after the falling off bit.

6a+ route. If you look closely you can see both me & Mrs P
Mrs P. The best belayer ever!
Can I open my eyes yet?

That brings us to today. Thursday 22nd August. Just a few climbs on a crag local to Arco followed by a visit to Arco itself.

When we were last here in 2006 it was a pretty quiet place with lots of climbers but only 2 climbing shops and not much else. It’s changed though…

Let me take you by the hand and lead you through the streets of Arco

Every other shop seems to be a climbing shop.

A display of shiny climbing things in shop number 20

I was very good, I only spent €3 on a pair of laces and I bought Mrs P a small gift for being the best belayer ever.

Our favourite pizza restaurant however has not changed. Still perfect pizzas at reasonable prices in delightful surroundings.

Ristorante Pizzeria ai Conti, Arco
Perfect pizza, perfect surroundings, perfect company

We must leave Arco in the morning but have vowed to return for longer next time. So much to climb. So much to see. (So much pizza to eat!)

Walking back into Arco after a tough morning climbing

Tune in tomorrow as we head back to the South Tyrol…

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