Friday, December 8, 2006

Closing in on the Big Wall

I sit backward on the moped as we bounce along the pothole filled dirt road. I am filming the scene and come close to falling off - straight under the wheel of Ryan's moto. My body is buzzing - the excitement - the adventure. Ryan and John are carrying our large boulder pads and I have to continue to laugh at the whole scene.

We are driving down a random dirt road, on mopeds, with 4 local Cambodians. We are in the middle of nowhere and going to where we think will get us closest to the route. The countryside is amazing. The houses are bamboo shacks - basically tree houses. Huge cows, pigs, chickens, and dogs all roam about.

We continue for a while and end up in some random village. Apparently we have taken a wrong turn. Within seconds we are surrounded by a swarm of children. Smiling, giggling, laughing and very curious. They have never seen people like us before.

I show them the video camera- and they go bonkers looking at themselves.

We turn around and get back on track - we think. Soon we turn off and are now on a very narrow side trail. The mopeds bog down in the sand, we jump on and off, we dodge locals swinging machetes, big cows, and a number of random farmers who look at us with disbelief. And then we see them: THE BOULDERS! Littered across the country side are big rocks - ready to be climbed. Our excitement builds each time we stop. "Did you SEE that?!" "Holy *&#^%" We are grinning from ear to ear with the the potential that this area is bringing for bouldering. (FYI: Bouldering is a form of climbing, using steep rocks that are typically about 15-30 feet in height.)

We continue on the dirt roads, trusting these guys know where we are going. We check in periodically to find our location on the map. The drivers do not read, nor do they understand the concept of our map.

Ryan asks, "Hey Tim, is this what you had in mind when we climbed the Jensen Direct 10 years ago? Is THIS what you thought this would lead us to?" We both smile and nod as if this IS the perfect culmination of our climbing. This is what climbing has brought us to. We still have yet to climb anything, yet the adventure is already a amazing.

I wonder how long it will take to get back to the guest house...and how long we have until sunset...

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