Watermill and a taste of Kyparadiso!

After a peaceful night on the beach we opened the door to find ourselves in our own tiny slice of paradise

Carlsberg don’t make van stop-overs, but…

However, it was obvious even at 8am that we were in for a scorcher and there would be no point going to the Watermill sector until the sun had left it around 1pm. Oh no, a morning of idleness awaits, with coffee on the beach,

… a crossword, a bit of light reading and even a swim (only Helen was brave enough!)…

Watermill is a really impressive crag, a couple of minutes from the road, with outstanding routes from 6a through to mid 8s. We’d visited on our last trip https://www.google.com/amp/s/rockaroundtheworld.co.uk/2017/10/22/kyparissi-sector-watermill/amp/ and ticked three 🎶 routes, including Kyparissi, 6c+ and Thanks George, 7a, and I was chuffed to find they both get 7a+ now – Result!

Having guzzled the cream on out last trip we worked our way through some of the less celebrated routes: Kelis, 6b (over bolted and with a one-move-wonder to reach the chains); Koumara, 6c (interesting tufa climbing with the meat in the last 5m – a bit damp) and Cave Man, 6c (huge and little-travelled adventure at the right end of the crag, with slightly worrying rock but reassuring bolting and fun moves).

Time for a shot at the adjacent and well-named Kyparadiso, 7a…

Here’s a random Brit grappling with the initial burley moves.

These are actually not as tough as they look, and you are soon cruising through broccoli up to a blank section of tufa blobs and smears. This is quite tricky but really intricate – satisfying when you puzzle it out, and you are rewarded by a worrisome run-out to the obvious tufa cave and a no-hands rest. Getting out of the cave is a bit perplexing… BETA ALERT: Pull out rightwards beneath the roof to an obvious low jug and shuffle a little further right and then upwards on improving and well-chalked holds. It’s now absorbing but steadier climbing to the belay, and a well-earned 7a tick (wouldn’t be surprised if this one gets a plus in the next guide!) Another Top 10 contender for the trip.

Back to our beach paradise, and we figured we’d “invest” the equivalent of the two night’s free camping in a dinner at the adjacent Cavo Kortia taverna. Greek salad, outstanding fish soup, pud and wine for £15. Pretty view of the jetty.

Next morning we’re heading across the Penopoles towards Patras, but just have time for a couple of routes. If only there was somewhere roadside… Wait a minute, what about the routes at the start of Watermill?

Yup, that’ll do! Here’s Helen on Titos, 6a

And here’s me enjoying the no-hands rest at the top of “Welcome to Kyparissi” extension, 6c (visible at the top of the picture with the van in it, if you look carefully!)

Still time for a quick recce of the remaining Kyparissi sectors on the drive over to Sparta on the way north.

This panorama from the parking area shows Jerome’s House (left hand side, viewed from above) and Stavros (on the right). Both worth a future visit, as is Psilovrachos. Oh no, we’ll just have to come back for another trip!

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