by Samantha Davis

My dad and I have both done a bit of climbing at our local sports centre. So we decided to go on a trip together, climbing the high rocks along the coastline of a small island. Although it wasn’t far from where we live, the journey across the sea took quite a long time – but it was worth it!

As we approached the island, Dad pointed out the rocks covered in colourful plants, wild goats and bees, which were once the only signs of life on this now popular place for visitors. The island has become well-known as a climbing venue and the ferry we took across to the island was full of climbers carrying boots and backpacks.
We arrived at the island’s harbour, full of brightly-coloured houses lit by the early-morning sun. We were met by a driver in an ancient old car, arranged by the travel company we’d booked with. The driver took us to the tiny apartment, which, like the car, had seen better days, but it was comfortable and we weren’t going to spend much time there anyway.

There are lots of possible climbs up the island’s rocks, and not all of them have been discovered by climbers, but many have places clearly marked out so climbers can easily see where to put their hands and feet. All we needed were shoes, ropes and the equipment for attaching the rope to the rocks, although despite the markings on the rocks, I still had problems! Anyway, climbing is obviously not without risk, and things can still go wrong, but you’re far less likely to get into difficulties on the island.

There was a wide range of climbers, both in ability and age, so there was no need for my previous worries about being the only teenager. Away from the rocks and back in the town, there was a very sociable atmosphere in the cafes, where we compared notes on what we’d achieved that day.

One day, our climbing destination was a rough cliff, with very little to put my hands and feet on. It was amazing how quickly I learnt to attach my rope onto the rock to avoid falling as I climbed!

Then I realised the boy climbing next to me was someone I knew. We waved, smiled and moved on, although he seemed to find the rock far less of a challenge!
Once Dad and I were down at ground level again, we stopped at a beach, which was deserted. We walked along with our feet in the water and promised ourselves that it wouldn’t be the last time that we sat on that stretch of beach.