Jonas’ Moped Adventure

After finishing school I wanted to spend some time traveling and climbing as long as possible.

Buying a car was too expensive. So the idea came to realise my adventure with a 30-year-old motorcycle called ”Schwalbe” (built in the socialist DDR between 1964 to 1986). Together with my grandfather we built a little trailer to carry all the stuff. October 2013 I started my 7-month moped adventure, hoping to meet many inspiring people.

Jonas op zijn brommer

First stop was the well-known area Finale Ligure in Italy.

To spare the ‘new’ vehicle, I decided to hop on a car-carrying train to Alessandria and drove the last 120 km through the old villages and many olive plantations.

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“It felt great to be on the road with the knowledge I have EVERYTHING I need with me…. The first kilometres on the coast felt like a dream. I drove through nice villages next to the sea and couldn’t stop smiling and singing.

My home for the next couple of weeks will be my tent on a free but legal campsite. After a while, home becomes more and more luxurious. Some Czech guys gave me an old chair and a little table before they left. Together with the clothes line I installed, I can call myself civilized…

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The fear I had not finding enough climbing partners is gone. Just after a German couple left with a warm hug, I met two guys from Cataluña. As a real ‘local’ I showed them the area. We climb a lot together, enjoying the fantastic rock, perfect routes and nature here.”

Next stop for was Varrazze a bouldering spot 40 kilometres away from Finale Ligure. It turned out not to be the best time from the journey. The weather was bad and except for some half-wet boulders, there was not much climbing here so trip went on to sunny Sardinia.

“The Landscape on the west coast is amazing. You don’t feel like you are on an island, seeing those giant mountains and endless fields.  I make a stop in Bosa and spent some nights there. First in a really cheap hostel, because the weather brought apocalyptic amounts of rain and thunder. Afterwards, I in an amazing cave with a perfect view of the untouched coast and the beach of Bosa.”

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After some bouldering in Bosa I visited some untouched Granite blocs in Arbus where the potential wasn’t that great. You have to hike a long way to find boulders which are high enough to climb on. There is a better place to visit, situated near Cagliari, where the granite boulders are next to the sea. Amazing boulders with strange shapes. The relaxed sound of the waves and the wind makes the atmosphere perfect.

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“It’s almost Christmas and it will be different than the previous years. During the night I  watch the amazing sky full of stars. Because there is no big city nearby, there is no light distraction so you can see a hell of a lot of stars and even the milky way is visible. A photographer I met told me that there are hotels with one to four stars but the night outdoors has million stars. I definitely agree. And even I had nothing but the sea as my shower. For the time being it was fine by me.”

Motivated to carry on exploring I moved to the next island, Sicilia. After I survived the traffic of Palermo I drove towards to San Vito lo Capo. The town is situated under a massive 5 km long limestone crag only 20 m away from the sea. Jackpot! I found myself a climbing partner the next day and climbed some nice and easy routes. I spent a month in San Vito Lo Capo in Sicily. A month full of climbing, sun, sea and nice people.

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“Preparing a nice meal in the ‘climbers’ kitchen’, different kind of people and good music in the background makes life in Sicily great. Also, in terms of climbing, I’m totally satisfied. I climbed an endless amount of nice routes, on different structured rock. Some walls are full of tufas, some with nice pockets and there are also perfect slabs around here. I even made some first ascents. In Sicily you get everything you wish and there is an endless potential for new routes.“

After Sicily the journey continues in Spain. Thé country with the endless amount of rock. Before Jonas went to the ”Catalan Fontainebleau” EL COGUL, he visited St. Joan de Viatorrada for some bouldering in the forest nearby. The Boulders are a mix of conglomerate and sandstone. There are many nice and hard lines even though the area is not that big.

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“The first morning, I‘m walking up the hill hoping to find some nice boulders. After a nice bouldering session with some locals, they take me to a new Sector they have found in a really quiet valley with nothing but an old house, it was paradise on Earth. Santi shows me the Boulders they have already cleaned and I am really amazed.”

Next stop in Spain was the area with the endless amount of limestone routes, Margalef. From El Cogul, it’s only 40 km driving on beautiful tiny roads and villages. 10 Kilometres before the village you are at the top of the mountain, from which you have an amazing view over the valley where the climbing sectors are.

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“Seconds after arriving, I ran into some friends I had met in Finale. I was sure that I wouldn’t spend a no evening alone here. The campground has a really special atmosphere with fireplaces, where there is always fire in the evening. It’s where everyone meets after climbing to show their bloody fingers after a session on the sharp pockets.”

The journey continued in Suriana and was the last month of my road trip. With the impressive limestone crags coloured in grey, yellow, red and blue it’s not hard to understand why this place is the best spot for climbers for a long time. In Suriana you can be sure to spend a nice time with people from every part of the world.

“Nowhere during my trip it was that easy to find climbing partners as here in Suriana. My last month passes away surprisingly fast. My time on the road slowly gets to an end. Realising that it makes me a little bit sad. It will not be easy to give up the freedom I have felt during this trip, but at the same time I’m happy to see my family and friends again.

I must say that the comfort of travelling with a Schwalbe isn’t maybe that good, but driving in my parents van home I realized how much more I have seen from the regions that I had passed on my moped. I will never forget the feeling I had on the road with everything I needed with me and the knowledge that it’s only up me to decide where to go next. Freedom is always around us, you just have to take a bite and taste it …”

Arrivederci e a presto.

Jonas

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