Climbing in Arco… and a little surprise

sarca river
Sarca River

We visited Arco in Italy for a climbing trip in April. The trip was a mixture of ecstatic happy moments, worry and fear, good sports, a 30th birthday celebration and a lot of tenderness. It was so overwhelming that it took me three months to digest before I could write anything about it. Here it is, our trip to Arco: Part I!

Our trip in Arco started in a very special way. I have to mention this because it had a big impact on the rest of our stay there and brought a lot of questions, worries and happy times. The first day we arrived in the village was followed by a fantastic Italian dinner during which I refused to drink any wine. To his great astonishment – I never refuse a glass of wine! – Amoureux though oh well, she must be tired after that long flight. But it wasn’t that at all. I knew there was something strange going on inside my body and I just decided not to drink any alcohol. Unfortunately, Amoureux finished the bottle of wine on his own – no consideration of wasting Italian wine here! And we just hit the bed for a good night sleep.

The next morning we attacked our first crag, the Belvedere in Nago. It was crowded. The rock was, on a lot of routes, quite polished. I was not expecting so many people in April but I guess the well-established walls that are very close to the villages must attract more people. That day either I was not feeling good, not safe and I did not want to lead; I was afraid of taking any big falls, not so much that I was worried about hurting myself but I was afraid of doing something wrong.

Amoureux noticed and got a bit concerned that I was there, in Arco, Italy for climbing, and did not want to push myself a little – I did spend three months working out especially for that trip, after all. After a nice afternoon and a couple of climbs we decided to enjoy the 28°C on a terrace in the lovely centre of Arco. Quite funny again, I refused to drink any alcohol. It just didn’t feel right. Amoureux was surprised and did not understand. “We are on holidays in the Alps in Italy and you don’t want to sit on a terrace with a beer???” – He knows I love beer – “You are cranky, you don’t want to lead what is going on? Are you pregnant or something?!” And at that moment… well… I thought it was the perfect timing to tell him… “I might be?” I said nervously… thinking “oh my god… he is going to run and leave me alone in Italy with no car and my non-existent knowledge of Italian” – I like to pretend that I speak Italian – “and my only option will be to move in with my mum and a newborn baby and I will never learn proper Italian or see the father of my child ever again…” But, of course, he did none of that and instead embraced me in his arms.

At that moment, we were both looking at the Sarca River, eyes full of tears, without words, half shocked and half excited, absorbing the new reality of the little surprise that decided to show up in my belly one random day of March.

Of course, all the questions like: How the hell are we going to travel and climb with a child? Is it safe to climb now that I am pregnant? Am I going to kill the baby with that Italian raw milk cheese I just ate? Echoed in my mind, even though I have spent my  life thinking that freedom does not go away with babies. And the first things Amoureux was concerned about were: we need to check our insurance and open a saving account for the child’s university… Good thing he thought about insurance!

À suivre…


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