I’ve written before about the importance of having friends as impulsive as you. No one wants to fling their feces at traffic alone, or drive two hundred miles for a few hours of bouldering alone. Fortunately this blog is about the latter. I’m not allowed to write about the former until I’m released and pay the owner of that Austin Princess six pounds eighty for a new car.
In this life you can never be sure where the next adventure will come from. One day in April, an adventure was born from Steve’s desire to buy some new seats for his van. Remember that van from the last blog? The van that claimed the eyebrows of anyone who dared step inside it? This time I only had one eyebrow, but that wasn’t the vans fault. If you have no idea what I’m talking about it’s because you haven’t read the previous blog. And just like that you want to. Hows that for marketing?
Anyone who has ever brought mildly obscure car parts will know that they rarely show up on your doorstep, and if an obscure car part you need does show up on your doorstep you should treat it with extreme suspicion. If it’s been left unattended just run as it’s probably a bomb. Sure it looks like furry mirror dice, but it has the power to wipe a small English village off the map.
Because of all that stuff I just said, when Steve did eventually find some pilot seats for his van, they were a hundred miles away. As Postman Pat was busy shaving the cleg nuts off of Jesse’s arse, he would have to travel there and pick them up himself. As the old saying goes, ‘If you need to go pick up some seats for your Volkswagen a hundred miles away, you might as well drive two hundred miles to Dartmoor and have a climb’. An adventure was born.
At some point in that tale I just told I was invited along.
On a sunny Thursday we woke up bright and early, waited until half twelve for me to finish pesky work that pays for all these adventures and is extremely flexible, then set off for the moors of the dart variety.
After many hours we arrived at Dartmoor. For those of you unfamiliar with Dartmoor, it was originally built as a kind of mild Takeshi’s Castle for escaped convicts. These days, thanks to the national trust and a B&Q loyalty card, it’s become a pretty sweet bouldering spot and place to let your dog shit.
We still had a few hours of precious daylight left, so we grabbed our stuff and trekked to the rocks. We started with some nice easy bouldering to warm ourselves up, but it wasn’t long before Steve was flying up rocks without any protection like some kind of gibbon with a death wish. Of course, the good thing about having friends who can climb is they can set you up a top rope once they’ve done the hard work. After that it’s just a matter of sitting in a harness while they hoist you up like someone trying to get a new sofa in their flat.Pretending to be a sofa will only keep a brain like mine entertained for about five hours, so we soon had to move on to something else. That something was a my first ever go at a multi-pitch climb. I won’t pretend that we were spending hours of our lives on some cliff face, because there’s photographic evidence of the contrary. A cliff arse? Even though it wasn’t the biggest climb in the world, It gave me a pretty good feel of how a multi-pitch climb works. and it felt good.
After that extreme feat of human endurance, we wondered around the boulders finding something else for Steve to do that I could watch and still claim to be part of. Turns out the next thing was Steve Climbing a fairly high and tricky route, the only protection being a rather shitty spotter who ended up with some rather shitty pants. As illustrated in this video. If you skip to 2:20 you see the exact moment I soiled my pants.
What to do when you achieve something great and aren’t sure how to top it? head back to the van to eat pasta and drink cheap scrumpy. I never fully understand the point in being a millionaire. If you can sit in the doorway of your mates van watching the suns last rays warm the horizon with pasta and scrumpy for less than twenty quid, what more could you possibly need. A house to go back home to instead of living in a bin? you elitist little shit.
Being alone in the wilderness may seem like a dream, ninety nine percent of the time it is. The following paragraphs will detail the one percent of the time spent desperately needing a poo in the lonesome wilderness. Trudging through the moors in the dark of night trying to find a toilet, only to arrive at the toilets with terrible poo pain to find them locked. Then having to walk five miles back to the van fighting the urge to sacrifice a sock. Followed by sleeping on a poop filled stomach all night leading to a drive to the same toilets the next morning and one of the most relieving poo’s I have ever written a blog about.
After a terrible ordeal like that it’s only right that we had hot dogs for breakfast.
We fought of the weather as long as we could. Unfortunately, just has Steve had finished one of the most challenging routes of the journey, the rain let us have it. We quickly packed up or moist cameras and gear, and made for the shelter of the van.
After a great couple of hours, it was time to pick up the seats, and head on home.
Adventures come in all shapes and sizes. Some are the extraordinary result of months of planning. Some are the result of an unnecessary detour on an unnecessary drive. Some are just the everyday happenings of two friends in a van, driving from one disaster to the next. Those adventures always seem to be the ones I like best.
Until the next disaster,