North of Madrid lie mountains. The city reminds me of Denver, in its position on a high plain, backed up by large-scale rocks beckoning you out of the bustle and into the hills.
My love had once lived in Madrid, and climbed on the walls and boulders around La Pedriza. My modest climbing career had lately been limited to the gym–but I had a couple of classic Boulder climbs that I’d muddled through in my 20s. Those were the days…
We stopped in for a couple of days on our way north to France one hot late July. My grandmother would pass away as we’d set up our camp by a little creek–we were out of touch long enough not to know just when. I cried at missing her final passage, but knew that she would approve of my travels, and seeing more of the world.
We climbed a short pitch to warm us up–we’d never climbed together before, and we had things to sort out. It proved the perfect way to get us back on the rocks–and the cerveza at the camp store an hour later took off any rough edges we’d scuffed up on the granite.