Azoia – Cova Mijona & Poema Rocha

Another trip to Azoia was an excuse to stock up on our favourite bread rolls and the tiniest cheese ever at the very friendly village store 

… and to check out this sector about 500m further East from our visit a few days ago. It’s an unusual spot dominated by a couple of tufa-filled caves flanked by grey featured walls giving quality climbing from 5c to 7c in the space of a hundred metres. 

You arrive at Cova Mijona first:

… with Poema Rocha further around to the west (right looking out):

Also thrown in with the package is the ubiquitous jaw-dropping vista over the sparkling Atlantic (could be Main Cliff on Gogarth) 

… The only downside (this time of the year)  is that it loses the sun after about 1pm and Cova Mijona is shady all day. 

We made the most of the rays whilst they lasted, climbing half a dozen routes on the sunny walls of Poema Rocha  (even finding a couple that weren’t total sandbags!) 

Then wrapped Helen up in all the layers and fluff we had at our disposal to heroically belay in the cave. 

This has a series of five 7a s in a row, which climb VERY steeply up the back wall of the cave to finish on the lip of the roof (about 60ft up and 20ft out!) 
 Salto Imortal takes the ragged crack up the middle of the back wall, via a series of good holes and pockets, leaving you tired but hopeful in the roof, staring out to sea at the lower off dangling another 5ft out of reach. A bit of a knee bar allows the arms to get something back, and it’s a wild undercling move to reach the chain. WooHoo – first 7a in more than a week!

Lowering off I pondered  whether to stick or twist, but couldn’t resist the equally steep line of pockets leading up to the right which join together to make Fiesta da Laranja. These all fall into place until a stiff pull at about 2/3 height, which I just about make, then it’s all over apart from the same top move, which hasn’t got any easier but at least I know where the holds are! Another instance of 7as being like buses – you don’t get one for ages then you get two in a row! 

An early finish allows us to enjoy the setting sun at the campsite, and a chance for Helen to defrost… 

Then we take a stroll down the hill from the campsite down to the port 

Where the Lobo de Mar serves what must be some of the freshest fish you can find – about thirty yards from the quayside, you chose from a huge array on a stainless steel slab and then it’s  grilled to perfection on an enormous range and served with salad and boiled potatoes. So simple and amazingly tasty! 

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