A couple of weeks ago, laying in my cottage at Traveller’s Rest, I had an interesting moment of being stuck between sleep and awareness. I was literally stuck, unable to move my limbs, knowing I was nearly asleep. I remember thinking this should have worried me but I felt peacefully safe. I also knew I would eventually wake up.
As I sit now at the airport, waiting for our flight from Cape Town to Colorado, I feel similarly about our entire trip to South Africa. It was a dream in which my biggest worry was where I would climb the next day. I was stuck in Rocklands, unable to tear myself away, and loving it. But I also knew I would eventually have to wake up and return to real life. The plans are already lining up; tradeshow meetings, Psicobloc commentating, coaching, clinics, and of course outdoor climbing goals. They are now next week’s plans as opposed to six weeks out. It’s almost time to wake up…
Photo: Courtney Miyamoto
…but not quite. I’m still able to vividly remember my dream that was Rocklands 2014. I can still feel the wild, heart-wrenching joy upon arrival, the excitement at simply being in my favorite place. I can see the crazy cloud striations that made every sunset memorable. I can hear the garbled chattering of the de Pakhuys campground bar filled with people having fun with friends they had met the day before. I can taste the English breakfast we had every morning and smell the ever-present rooibos tea that came with it. I can picture all the people I met, the people I saw again; the moments of laughter at the boulders, around the braai fires, and everywhere in between.
I remember all the climbing of course, and had quite a productive trip. But there’s nothing I can tell you about Rocklands bouldering that you haven’t already heard from videos, articles, pictures, and word of mouth. I will only say that everything you’ve heard is true, and that there is no other place I would recommend before South Africa. But for me this recommendation is not just based on the high quality, vast quantity, five-star problems. It goes beyond the beautiful sandstone, the gymnastic movement, the huge potential for development. My recommendation is based on the “whole package,” that is, the entire lifestyle that embodies living in Rocklands for nearly two months.
Photo: Courtney Miyamoto
As I wake from this dream, and write this long-ish blog, I applaud the reader for making it this far. I feel that my writing skills (or lack thereof) cannot adequately convey the love I have for South Africa. Those that have been can understand where I’m coming from. Those that haven’t… I can only encourage you to see for yourself.