Posted: June 27, 2016
Stepping off a plane in Tokyo is pretty routine, you cruise through customs, pick up your bags and then head down to the train station to catch the express into the city...... This is where it goes straight to defcon 5. The train station is like stepping into a human ant farm. There are people everywhere, scurrying around you, past you and almost over you. However, amid the chaos is unbelievable organisation. Tourist information booths help the bewildered fools find their way to the correct train and offer advice on how best to make it to your destination. Tokyo is an enormous, sprawling metropolis, unlike any city I have visited before. But the train system makes it a breeze to get around, even with zero Japanese and a heap of luggage, the trip is not too arduous, though a packed Tokyo train is quite an experience. The words jammed in like sardines barely does it justice. You cannot move and it is a fight to not get caught up with the human tide as people try to decamp, just hold a handle, plant your feet and let the tide break around you. We arrive at our ryokan feeling a little washed out, it's evening time, I'm hungry and a little bedraggled. A ryokan is a traditional guesthouse, you sleep on tatami mats, the rooms are tiny, but its cost effective, comfortable and they have their own version of an onsen (Japanese bath) upstairs. We get freshened up and hit the streets to find some food. I'm not quite sure what the story is, but it seems that there is a restaurant or a hairdressers in every second shop, so if you have hair (unlike me) or are hungry (definitely me), you have enough choice to make you walk on and on just to see what is available. The options for food are endless, mostly you can be lead by pictures, but every now and then its great to just jump in, go native and see what happens... After a couple of big days in Tokyo, having the sensory overload that one expects, as well as checking out some sweet sumo action, it's time to head to the blissful co
Posted: October 19, 2015
Having not been in the Grampians for months, due to work and a mind boggling trip to rocklands, I was frothing to get back to some of my projects. Weather looked primo and I was feeling refreshed, so we decided to head to an old crag that I hadn't visited in years. Having been ravaged by fire a couple of years ago, this area has seen some intense regrowth, which makes for an interesting walk in, 8 foot high weeds are not the best friend of a budding boulderer. But, we made it to the crag nonetheless. It was still as good as I remember. We ran around and repeated some of the primo lines, including the proud highway, which I did the FA of almost 10 years ago. It is still one of the best lines I have ever been on and I enjoyed every second of it, 3 times... Next up was an old project that I had almost forgotten about, there had been one move that had rebuffed me repeatedly. However, with fresh eyes and plenty of psych, I found a new sequence and managed to send this cool roof problem pretty quickly. Time lapse 7c was the result... Now all I need is to get through the next week so I can head back there again... Cant wait!! Simon Proud highway Time lapse This is a classic, but has no name...