Temple of Aphaia

Cds IMG 3002The Temple of Aphaia is in the mountains of Aegina, a small island close to Athens. When we were staying in Vagia, a small village in Aegina I decided to go for a run, and the temple is a perfect turning point for a nice loop. But its a brutal climb up the mountain. When I got to the top I was hot and thirsty, so I went straight to the kiosk to buy a bottle of water. The lady helping me thought I was having a heart attack and wanted to call an ambulance. She just couldn’t understand that I had just ran to the temple.

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When I went back the next day with Lois (this time we drove), they gave us a braille guide book, and that is something we found a lot in Greece – the awareness of blindness and disability. In many countries the tourist spots have braille guide books but you normally need to return them. In Greece they are to take home. The only problem is that we found out after we got back to the hotel is that while it was in braille, it was not in English! We still don’t know what language that guide book is in.

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At the temple in a Two Oceans Marathon race shirt. The person who took the pic for me thought that I was a professional adventure runner – not quite!

Running in the Tatra mountains (part 1)

One of the things I wanted to do in Zakopane was to go running in the mountains, so I make sure to pack my basic trail running kit (hydration pack, first aid kit, space blanket, compass etc). It was pouring with rain for the entire day before my run, so I knew that the trails would be wet, but it was far more wet than I expected.

It started very civilized. The trails were wide, flat and well-maintained, and on the route I encountered groups of tourists & families going for morning walks. It reminded me of a very wet Newlands forest.

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The beginning of the trail. There are loads of trails on the Tatra mountains (you can even cross the border into Slovakia if you go all the way), so I just picked a random route up beforehand and started running. By the way the trail maps are excellent, so it was easy to figure out a rough route and avoid getting lost.

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Everybody was hiking in their winter clothes – jeans, thick jerseys and sturdy hiking boots. I was running in my usual running gear. A technical short and lycra shorts.

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The rivers were flowing fast, and there were plenty of sturdy bridges crossing these small gorges

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To be continued…

Grape run

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The Constant winelands

Last Sunday was one of my favorite races in Cape Town. The Grape Run is a half-marathon (21.1k) race through the vineyards of the Constantia wine farms. The scenery is spectacular, and for a total elevation of over 420m, for a half marathon it’s a pretty tough run. Note I say run and not race. While of course you can race it, this is an opportunity to enjoy the route, take a few photos, and of course stop for the mid-race wine-tasting. Yes you heard correctly. There is a 10k wine table, serving Klein Constantia wines.

While you almost never get wine on a race, this particular wine-tasting is a Grape Run tradition, it wouldn’t be quite the same without it!

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Running around one of the farm dams

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At least the farm dams still have water, so if we run out of water in Cape Town we can still drink Constantia wine

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Mid-race fuel

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Because its on the farm roads, there are almost no supporters, except for the occasional overprotective cow and calf.

Mushrooms, anybody?

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When walking through the forest I saw these mushrooms growing happily on an old and decaying tree trunk. I know that you can gather mushrooms in the forest (my inlaws in Poland and their neighbours do it all the time), but my knowledge is dangerous. Actually my knowledge is not even dangerous. It is nonexistent. I know nothing about what mushrooms are safe to eat, so I though it best to just look, take a photograph and leave my breakfast until I got back to the house.

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