Two Weeks Adventure Climbing and Sailing in Kalymnos Greece

…And the award for biggest procrastinator goes to…. I know it’s been months since this epic life changing adventure. It’s taken me awhile to get it all out, mostly because how can you begin to put into a short summary of a two week long climbing trip of a lifetime?! I know this is going to be a long one, but for the most part I’ll let the images do the talking. I hope you enjoy the photos I took!

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Here’s me as we pulled out of the harbor in Kos. Setting sail for the next 2 weeks at sea.

Back in June 2018 I took my very first trip out of the country. Vertical Sailing Tour invited me to come on board for one of their week long sailing climbing adventures. They were planning to make a promotional video and content for their business and asked if I’d like to be a part of it. I decided to stay on board for an extra week just for fun. I took it as a sign and a perfect excuse to finally make my dreams come true and leave the country. It was definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity so I had to take it.

All right, well let’s go back to where I left you guys in my last post Kos, Greece…

If you haven’t kept up with my previous post I spent the first couple days in Athens and a couple days in Kos before the rest of the sailing crew arrived. By the evening of my 4th day in Greece all 20 of us were there and our two boats left the harbor right before the sunset. On board the first week was mostly Italians who for the most part were all friends and knew each other. With the exception of one other American girl who joined last minute, Courtney from San Francisco, everyone else spoke mostly Italian. Some of them barely any English. They ranged from experienced pro level climbers to beginners. One thing is for sure, Italians LOVE to party!

On the second week of the sailing trip was a whole new crew. There were only 10 of us, this time from all over the world.

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Me hanging out on the boat the first day on Kalymnos
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Inside my boat home for 2 weeks

Here are the two boats we lived on for the first week. The inside shot is the boat I lived on, the smaller of the two, for the entire two weeks. When we would drop anchor in a harbor we would tie the boats together so we could all hang out. There was 5 rooms on my boat, 10 people on each boat. A little bit crowded but surprisingly not to bad.

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Hanging out on the boat

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The Catamaran
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The guys napping in the net
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The harbor at Sikati Cave

This is Sikati Cave which was where we spent the first couple days of the trip. The Sikati cave was one of my favorite places on the islands. It’s a huge hole in the ground; a cave with no roof, 50-60m diameter, 70m deep in some parts. The walls surrounding the hole are full of overhanging tufas and stalactites. You have to repel down into it and it’s about a 5.6 climb out or you can rope up and jug up.

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View of the Sikati cave from the beach
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View of Sikati cave from the rim
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Me at the top with the boat behind me
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Gigi and Lorenzo climbing the tufas
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looking up from inside the cave

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Inside Sikati Cave

This massive hole in the ground was such a glorious sight to see! Signs made by hand that said please don’t leave food in here, the wildlife will come to eat it and not be able to get back out and die here! Crazy huh?! The climbing is also pretty epic! I actually got to go here twice, once with the first crew and again the second week with a different crew.

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The first week’s crew standing in front of Telendos Island

Here’s a group of us after a day of climbing standing in front of Telendos, which is another one of the places we climbed. Behind us is our sailboat waiting in the harbor. Since the harbors get shallow the sailboat can not come any closer so we drop anchor and take a smaller boat called a diggy to shuttle people back and forth to land. That got really tricky during bad weather and rough water! But on days when it was hot (most days) we would take a nice swim back to the boat and have one person shuttle our gear. It was the best thing after a day of climbing to wash off in the Sea.

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Ruins all over the Island
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This appears to be an old resort or nightclub that is now abandoned
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Taking in the sights. It was sad to see so much trash all over the islands though.
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View of Telendos
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Wild Thyme grows all over Kalymnos! The smell was incredible
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Lorenzo the owner of Vertical Sailing Tour and I after we got dropped off on the shore of Telendos
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The crew started to make the long hike up to the top of Telendos to go climb!
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Courtney and I taking in the view
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Courtney, Me and Alex at the crag
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Jane brought her silks
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Me climbing on Telendos

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Climbing on Telendos!

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Taking a dip. So salty!

This is one of the Harbors we stayed a couple days. Both sailboats are behind me. It was so beautiful and the water so warm and clear.  We would swim to the shore to sunbathe, cool off and visit the restaurant. Plus showers were scarce onboard so we often times just went swimming in the Sea. It was incredibly salty! I wish I could remember all the names of the places we went, but honestly I was having such a hard time understanding everyone between the Italians and the Greeks. I just gave up after a while and sat back and enjoyed the ride. Haha

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View of the shore
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Paradise
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Some of the girls taking a swim in the Sea
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I’m actually not a fan of the water so it took a lot to get me in! I’m happy staying dry most of the time.
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I loved this restaurant on the beach

This was one of my favorite restaurants. We ate here a few times. On one of the down days I spent all afternoon here. Most of these places are family run and owned. Their whole family works there including the grandparents, mom, dad and the kids. I asked them if I could use an outlet to charge my computer while I sat and got some work done. They kindly cleared off a space for me inside next to a little boy playing video games. They treated me so nice and served the best food. I couldn’t believe how cheap it was! Oh my goodness can we talk about the seafood in Kalymnos! WOW!

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The view from the inside of the restaurant
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All of us joined together for celebratory food and drinks!
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I can’t even begin to describe how epic this all was!
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Sun going down on the Mediterranean
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Cute little house on the island

This is the most iconic place on Kalymnos, the Grande Grotto! It’s a magnificent cave high up on the hillside that overlooks Telendos. The best time to go is in the evening when the sun is setting behind the island so you are not being blasted with full sun. The cave is full of hanging tufas and the climbing there is spectacular allowing you to get completely horizontal!

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There’s me tieing in about to clean a 12a/7b
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For fun they asked if I would swing out from the cave for a photo. It was such a rush!
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Photo of the inside of the Cave. Fredrica is on lead
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Here I am climbing the 12a/7b
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“DNA” 12a/ 7b

This climb was way out of my league but I went for it anyway. It was a major fight but I had a great time trying my best! Those overhangs are no joke!

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One of my absolute favorite things about Kalymnos are the GOATS!!! There are more goats on the island than people who live there. It was quite something to have goats hanging out at the crag!

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This guy was extra curious. He followed me everywhere and insisted that I scratch him on the head! It was hilarious.

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Who knew goats like to be scratched behind the ears!
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And another one. This guy was trying to get everybody’s food!
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Momma goat and her baby
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Crag in Arginonta bay Kalymnos

Another spot that we climbed a couple times, and one of our favorite harbors where we spent the most time was Arginonta. It has such a beautiful view of the beach down below!

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Here’s me taking a selfie from the top of on of the climbs

I didn’t get to many photos of myself climbing on this trip, but I wasn’t to concerned with it. It was one of those times where I just wanted to experience everything more than worrying about being in the photos. I stopped to take selfies from time to time to show I was there. Haha These limestone climbs where just absolutely stunning!

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Standing in front of Arginonta bay. You can see our sailboat way down there!

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This is Teo’s restaurant. It is owned by Teo and his family and he is very good friends with Lorenzo the owner of Vertical Sailing Tour. We ate here quite a few times and they are so kind and generous. They fed us so well and hardly charged us anything. Everytime we came here I left so full and drunk from all the Grapa!

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Teo’s place. Such a cute little restaurant.
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View of the harbor
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And there’s sheep! That’s about the only animals I saw on the island. There isn’t much else there.
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Climbing in Arginonta
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Another view of the beach
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After a long day of climbing a couple of us girls went to the beach and kicked back on the sunbeds and had a cocktail

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Hanging out on the beach getting some sun and a couple others did some acro yoga!

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This couple was from Germany

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Another view from the top of a climb right by the Sea in Arginonta Bay! What a view!

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Can’t beat these views
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And that sunset!

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Down time on the boat consisted of a lot of this. We climbed and hiked a lot! So on our down time we would sit out and enjoy the sunshine and fresh air and sometimes sleep right on top of the boat!

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Below me was my cabin, the front of the boat where I slept with one other girl. We had to be very careful not to leave the door open a lot because if a big wave came in it would soak our bed. Which happened a couple times. Not fun to sleep on a wet bed.

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The ladies getting some sun. It’s not uncommon for women to be topless there. I am not so brave!
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Hiking out to the Secret Garden. The only way to get there is by boat or a couple hours hike in.
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Lorenzo climbing at the Secret Garden Crag
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Feels like your on the edge of the world!
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Waiting for the boat to arrive on the shore of the Secret Garden Crag
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I can’t get over these clear blue waters
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Deep water solo and slacklining

On the last day of the first week we had such a fun day on the water. We got to do some deep water soloing (which is climbing above water with no rope so if you fall you just go into the water) We got to play with the stand up paddle board and swim around, it was a blast!

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This was my first time on a stand up paddle board! I loved it
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Me stand up paddle boarding while Courtney swam around with her goggles on

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Last day on board!
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Selfie!
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I hung out on the paddle board riding around and chillin watching the others climb the rocks and slackline
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The Italians!
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Courtney and I
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beautiful view of the sun shining right after a heavy rain…and my finger.
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Everybody taking shots of the last sunset.

What a journey! Two weeks on board a sailboat living and climbing in the Mediterranean. What an unforgettable experience! Even though it was extremely difficult and scary at times, sometimes I felt all alone with the language barrier, uncomfortable or sick from the sea, and missing home and friends. There was even more amazing life changing experiences that outweighed the bad. I saw incredible places and did unbelievable things! It was such a wonderful adventure and I 100% would do it all over again!

I’m already planning my next climbing adventure out of the country. Next month I will be going to Mexico!!!! Stay tuned for that one. I’m going with a group of friends this time and I’m so excited to see the Mexico limestone next!

xo

April