About the running I do, wherever I go. It's the greatest thing in the world to seek out fresh places to run. With a map, a river or lake or even city streets, I can plot my own adventures and be an explorer. I almost always end up with a totally positive experience.
This morning at Lysterfield
I went for a nice run at Lysterfield. Instead of following the road down to the lake I took the Eastern Boundary Track, for the first time. There were lots of kangaroos but very shy and they hopped away from me. Twice I saw a Joey scramble into its mother's pouch.
And then I saw this fella by the trail as I was almost done for the day.
Where to begin? The lovely name, maybe, Never Summer 100 kilometres. I'm a 'never summer' person, always chasing a winter somewhere, so the race had my name all over it. I knew it was going to be hard and I suspected it was going to be awe inspiringly beautiful. I love a loop course. Even though I read the info on the website carefully I was caught unawares by just how difficult and just how beautiful it was. But I had come here for beauty and I had done the training; I kept reminding myself that I had done the training. Not that I was able to train for the specific demands of this high altitude, midsummer Colorado race in the Australian winter, living at sea level, with a distinct shortage of talus, snow and mountains near my house. Downed trees are unusual at home. Bog dries out. Shade is plentiful. But you prepare as best you can. In running well over six hundred kilometres in a six week period before I left for the US I had already outdone any previous burst of training …
Kumano Kodo Trail, an old pilgrimage route across the Kii peninsula, through the mountains from Kii Tanabe on the west coast to Kii Katsuura on the east coast. From Kii Tanabe to Kumano Hongu Taisha shrine (the goal of the pilgrimage) it’s the Nakahechi route and from there it’s the Kogumotori-Goe route to Koguchi and the Ogumotori-Goe route to Nachisan near the coast. Monday Train from Himeji to Osaka, dropped my main bag off at Osaka left luggage, train to Kii Tanabe, bus to Takijiri and then I could start walking. There was a little shrine at the start and then the path went straight uphill into the forest. Mostly it was big, rocky steps or steps made from logs. I was taken aback at the steepness, having assumed the route description was an exaggeration. But it was lovely and quiet. I stopped at a cave, some tiny shrines and lookouts over the mountains and had lunch at the top of the first hill. The path was crisscrossed by tree roots and rocky, and the forest was dense with spindly,…
So I’ve been in India a week now and it’s time to reflect. Getting through immigration was a joke as the fingerprinting machines just weren’t working properly and I got off lightly with only about five failed attempts per hand. I set out for the city quite soon. I was surprised how busy everywhere was at this time of night. The driver couldn’t find the hotel. He got me to find it online but that didn’t help, then he tried to phone them without success. He went and asked a group of rickshaw drivers for directions and eventually I spotted the sign across the road. The man on the front desk woke up with a jolt when I walked in. I was dead tired as it was 3am on my body clock, but he insisted I look at two rooms to choose between them (and of course the lift wasn’t working properly); neither were very nice. Later I noticed dead cockroaches on the floor, mothballs in the basin (this is an Indian custom), no toilet paper, and a view of a grimy wall. In the morning I ordered breakfast at the …