Another relaxing day in paradise! I still didn't send my projects, but I am super close so I have rested like crazy all day (read: sat on the beach, slacklined and then played pool for 4 hours haha) and tomorrow I feel should be a success! I think I have mentioned before how every now and again I stop and just take a look around and think about how amazing things are, well my friend Mari who has just left today told me a story of how her grandmother told her many years ago to do the exact same thing so that you never forget all the good times in your life. So now those moments of reflection are called 'Grandma Moments'. I had a nice one today, all of us were playing pool by the beach, slacklining and juggling and I thought about how relaxing it is to be hanging around with some nice people and enjoying the simple things :-)
Time is running short for all of us here in Tonsai. Of our long term crew of about 20 people Mari was the first to leave today with the last being Bjorn-Eric leaving on April 1st. So Tonsai will be a very empty in a short space of time and not a single long termer will be left. Strange thought after being here for so long, to imagine no one I really know being left here at all. But all is not lost, I will be off to Vietnam and should meet up with one or two people I know, and then off to China where I will be meeting up with a heap of folk that have been here in Tonsai this season which will be amazing. Good times ahead!
What an amazing day! I got up and had breakfast on the beach as usual and jumped back on 'Tidal Wave' 7c only to find the last hold so slippery I couldn't let go to clip - devestating. I rested the rest of the day away with some nice Canadian girls I met yesterday, lazed around Railay Beach, had a swim, then a massive storm rolled over the hills. The temperature dropped and it was cool with only a slight easy rain falling so I thought that seeing as 'Tidal Wave' is under a roof I would have another shot. I found the crew sitting in a resteraunt so hooked up a belayer and ran to grab my gear. I went down and got ready and was joined by Hampus to belay me and Pit, Nina, Bjorn-Eric, Ken and Al with beers in hand to spectate. The storm rolled in and everyone moved well under the roof as it started to rain more. I fell on my first shot right at the top but the conditions were great so I rested and then with massive lightning flashing all around striking the islands nearby, thunder booming off the cliffs like a jet breaking the sound barrier and a great little crew of people yelling encouragement at me I finally clipped the anchors! I was soooo soooo happy when I did it and I was stoked to have Hampus there belaying me and all the guys there in support. I think it has to be my most memorable send and one I will never forget. I walked home in the pouring rain with a huge smile on my face the whole way.
That route has taught me a great lesson in patience and hard work. I fell at the anchors, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory about 6 times and just had to smile and say 'next shot' optimistically over and over again. So it was great to finish it after having been denied so many times, I feel like I really earned it. My other project, 'Gilles No Limits' 7c has taught me a lesson too. One of humility. All my friends that have been working it have sent it but I just kept getting shut down by the crimpy crux. I could do it off a rest on the rope but not from the start and now with time here waxing away so quickly I have had to let it go and take my quickdraws off it, a project for my next visit. But I learned a lot from that route so I am still happy with my efforts on it.
With my projects done with now and only 2 days left to enjoy Tonsai I will be doing nothing but spending time with my friends, relaxing on the beach and climbing some fun easy routes so I will leave this place on a high note. It will be sad to leave but I will be back here again one day.
Tomorrow Hampus, Jess and Ken are leaving. Another loss to the family. Jess is back off home to Australia and I can't wait till I get the chance to catch him for a climb and a beer or 2 in Oz when I am home one day - Your a hero man, it has been a pleasure and I can't wait to do it all again! Hampus and Ken are back home to Scandanavia. Hampus is one of the most genuine, friendly, laidback, amazing people I have ever met and I will be making sure I see him again one day. He has been a massive part of my Tonsai experience and someone I wont forget in a hurry - You'll be sorely missed man.
As for tonight we are off to have dinner and drinks for the guys last evening in Tonsai, should be another fun night! The rain is easing off as I type here on my balcony so things are looking set for some fun shenanigans :-)