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Spain, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, Chile
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May 13, 2009, 9:39 AM
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Registered: Sep 16, 2002
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Spain, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, Chile
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I just got back from almost 6 months traveling and climbing, and after going back to Lincoln Woods in RI, I am now certain that I got weaker! Too much sight seeing, not enough climbing, for getting stronger, at least.

But, my wife and I did get some good climbing in though. Because we were going to so many different places, and it wasn't strictly a climbing trip, we left our trad gear, only draws......

Spain---Late November 08': Fun climbing at El Chorro.

Thailand---December-early January: Cursed from the beginning. We tried to fly there right after the airport protests in Bangkok, so between getting re-routed to Singapore, kind of loosing our luggage, and migraines, it took us four days to get from Spain to Chaing Mai. Actually, northern Thailand was awesome. But then we headed to Railay/Tonsai, and the curse returned with a vengeance. First of all, that place is now a shithole(I posted about that before somewhere). I'm sure it was wonderful once, but not anymore. Then we both got a bout of diarrhea that would take months to finally go away.

Australia---January: As I said, we had only draws, and we had only 10 days here, so we flew to Sydney and took the train to Katoomba. In the Blue Mountains were were limited to train-accessible sport, and there was more than enough, and sooooooo much more. As far as quality goes, the Blue took the cake. And after Thailand, having a sweet crag with a sweet view to yourself felt like heaven. Our favorite spots were Centennial Glen and Upper Shipley, both of which were suppose to be uber popular, but it didn't feel like it at all. Definitely going back, with trad gear, with enough time for the more of Australia.

New Zealand---January-March: The climbing here is pretty good but nothing you'd fly here for. Whanganui was our favorite. Castle Hill is beautiful, but too polished now for friction-dependent climbing in my view. There are other areas that aren't as popular yet but are similar. We did more hiking than climbing here.

Chile--end of March: Even though we saw a bunch of cool stuff here, we kind of screwed the pooch and didn't check out Cochamo till the end when we had only a day to spend there. This is another place that we mean to return to, with more gear. While we were there we learned that Cochamo is one of many rivers in Patagonia that may get damned in order to power copper mines in the north of Chile. In fact, the water rights for Cochamo are being auctioned this month (May 09). This would be another Hetch Hetchy if it went through, very sad.

All in all, it was a great trip.

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