Finale Ligure – Italy, March 2016

My next adventure takes me to Finale Ligure in Italy, what a beautiful place with some great climbing available for all abilities.

I was pretty upset before heading out as I had planned in my head this awesome week of adventure, fell running, Via Ferrata, Climbing, Sea kayaking just to name a few…I may have been a little over enthusiastic fitting all that in to a weeks holiday but even so my heart was set on some epic adventures and all that had to be re thought due to an injury meaning I was no longer very mobile. Psychologically injuries can be a nightmare particularly when like me you just love to be outdoors. That time when you can clear your head becomes lost and you can struggle to see further than the injury when in reality, its not the end of the world and having supportive partners, friends and family make this so much easier to see.

The trip to finale started on an epic! We (John and I) were flying from Gatwick so we had got the train down to London a few days before to visit family and friends and perhaps do a bit of sightseeing. However, given my injury and John being ill that was short lived and we managed lunch out visiting my friend and that was about it. London is not the place to be when injured and thankfully we found a trolley so I could be pushed around!

The day of our flight we were up bright and early at 4 am to get the Gatwick express…I was pushed around again in a trolley and we made the train all in good time but then….yes we were almost late for our flight as there was a medical emergency on the train delaying us. I always experience this  feeling of guilt in these situations as I feel I should be up there offering my services as much as I can given my medical back ground but as I started to hobble off to where the problem was to see if I could offer any help, the person in question was taken off the train in a wheelchair and taken to hospital. By the time we reached the airport we were running rather late and the crowds at check in were something I’ve never experienced…I think carnage would sum it up! We were called through as a priority as we had half an hour before boarding shut and we were still to get through security. I went to call for assistance as there was no way in my hobbling state I was going to make it in time and received this response down the phone:

“we can come and get you but we cant promise you will make your flight!!”

Great!! With that I started hobbling off and found a really friendly guy who worked for the airline who sorted us out with a wheelchair and fast tracked us through security through the family section. I got fully searched now I was in a wheelchair and I did feel slightly un easy as in my hand luggage I had my climbing harness that was now going through the scanner! John then ran with me through the airport making boarding literally in the nick of time! I have noticed since me and John go travelling together we have no end of adventures from start to finish! Thank fully this was it with the travelling. Everything else ran smoothly arriving in Nice on time and picking up our hire car to drive to Italy along the coast road. It was a pretty awesome drive!

We arrived in to Finale early afternoon and the sun was out so we had a relaxing afternoon on the beach awaiting the arrival of the rest of the group. The rest of the week involved me hobbling with a ski pole or being piggy backed to climbing locations and taking pictures and relaxing. Towards the end of the week I started to try a bit more as I was hoping to be back in work the following week and needed to know my knee would be ready for me to be walking around on it all day. As it happened I found climbing didn’t seem to irritate it at all but it was the walking that did it. Me and John went and did Via Ferrata and I loved it as I felt like things were slowly improving and I was outdoors in the hills which is what I love most but, what I hadn’t considered was the walk out after and I really struggled the following day. It recovered fairly quickly but that was just too much too soon.

I have put together a little slide show of the weeks adventures…for me, the highlight was leading a grade 5B!!


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