**** WARNING not proofed. I ran 70km today and want to sleep!!****
This morning I woke up with a very simple plan. I needed to get to Rivas but that was too far to run in one day so I had found a town in the middle and was going to make it a two day run covering about 70km. The day didn’t start exactly as planned. Breakfast was fine and I had a lovely conversation with my sister but after that is went a little wrong. I paid for breakie and hit the road. To get to the road out of town I had to navigate through the hustle and bustle of the market and after I had successfully managed this I tapped my packet only to find the keys for my room! There was a brief moment in which I thought I could run on but honesty got the better of me and I am glad it did. I fought my way back to the hostel and returned the keys. Rather than retrace my steps I decided to find another route to the main road. But doing this I got to see a part of Grenada that I hadn’t seen before. First there was a beautiful church (there are lots of churches here) and then there was the graveyard. I have visited some cool graveyards in my life but this was special and I am so glad I got to spend some time there albeit short. I would thoroughly recommend a visit to anyone who is visiting Grenada.
After my brief detour I hit the road out of town. It headed straight up a hill to the right of a volcano. After about 6 km I was nearly at the top. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a pink tank top a top of a cart racing up beside me pushed by a young chap. It didn’t take too long to realise a race was one. Of course I won… but I need to point out that there are probably a few good reasons for that. His cart had 2 very think wooden wheels, mine had 3 highly engineered performance wheels. I have been running with a cart for 8 months, I think he was just being a joker. And lastly I think his load may have weighed a little more than mine – no offense to the girl but I only push about 40kg!
After the little race I came across a school teacher and his son at the side of the road with a bucket of iced water and a glass. I gulped down as much as I could and filled my bottles before hitting the road again.
I am more than aware that my descriptive skills may be lacking. I worked in PR and my job was to get a message across not describe the scenery… but today I did see awesome things. There was the cart of long grass pulled by two beautiful white oxen. On my right as I ran was a lady getting water out of the well. Rather than turning a wheel she had a much more creative idea…. She had a rope tied round her waist and after she threw the bucket down the well she would start walking away and in turn raising the bucket for her companion to empty into other containers.
I found myself at Nandaime and saw the hotel I had been told about. It looked closed and having only run 20km I didn’t feel I deserved a bed just yet. I asked around and learnt there was another hotel 10km further on so off I set. When I reached the hotel I realised it was slightly out of my price range but I liked the loo of the pool so handed over the money. I was shown to the room which was on the first floor. We managed to get the stroller to the door when a girl rushed up and announced I was not allowed to have the stroller in my room. Me and my stroller do not get separated, not in a Hilton, a Camino Real and definitely not in a road side hotel with delusions of grandeur. Moments later I was in the reception getting y $25 back and making a video about how much I hated them.
This left me in a dilemma as I was 42km from Rivas and the next hotel. The chap in shop next door then told me there was a hotel 8-10km further on. Excellent – I pushed on. Alas there was no hotel but there was a very nice road side eatery that did a good chicken burger! Refuelled and feeling good I decided to do the bravado thing and set my targets on Rivas. At this point it was 30km away and I had three and a half hours of sunlight. I had to get my running shoes in motion.
When the world goes against me I seem to be filled with a new sense of determination. I like the challenge. Not because I want to shout about it but because it’s a challenge, a hurdle to overcome. My mind immediately looks at how to overcome this problem and then I set about doing it with huge focus. In this case it was 10km an hour with a short break in between. Amazingly it worked…. With rocking tunes pumping away and the most beautiful scenery I managed to keep putting one foot in front of the other. Three hours later I was in Rivas.
I had built Rivas up in my mind. I thought it was a cool traveller town but that really is not the case but it had everything I needed. There was a hostel (Coco) which had a room for less than $10 (though we did need to check out a few rooms as the stroller wouldn’t fit in them all…), a surprisingly nice restaurant and a shop!
So that is how a short 22km jog becomes a 69km run. Now I just need to work out what to do tomorrow, a side trip to a volcano island or an afternoon at the beach! I think that will be answered in the next blog!