We drive from Leonidio to the Athens airport, where we meet up with our friends Joe and Jessica. The direct flight to Kalymnos is convenient, but the plane is small and easily battered by wind. Many flights get cancelled, delayed, or rerouted to Kos (a neighboring Dodecanese island). We land safely and get into our rental car. The airport is atop a mountain, so the switchbacks provide a scenic overview of the island.

The AirBnB is in the neighborhood of Plati Gialos (which translates as “back shore”). It’s up on a hill, allowing for a nice view of the Aegean Sea and the sunset.

Early the next morning I drive to Pothia (the port town) to pick up two more friends (Luke and Maria) who arrive by overnight ferry from Athens.

We climb almost every day, experiencing the full variety of rock and styles.

From Masouri (the main climbing village) and the many surrounding crags you look out at the nearby island of Telendos, which split from Kalymnos in an earthquake 1,500 years ago.

The south side of Telendos has long multi-pitch climbs. We wake early and take a small boat across. Our objective is an 11 pitch sport route with a total of 250 meters of climbing. It ascends the right edge of an enormous cave.

The two Jessicas and I climb as a party of three. Joe and Luke climb another route 200 feet left of us, and we meet at the top.

The descent is a long hike across to the North side, down to the water, and then East to the port village. After some lunch, skinny-dipping, and ice cream we return to Kalymnos by boat.

View of Kalymnos from Telendos

Our four friends fly to Athens for sight-seeing. Jess and I enjoy a couple more days of Greek salads, climbing, and snorkeling before it’s our turn to leave the Mediterranean.

This vacation was just the restorative we needed; once we are stateside the work of moving West begins.

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