Thursday, April 09, 2009

New path found

I've been able to get back to running 4-5 times a week, though my mileage
isn't very high. Last Sunday I thought I'd go 7-8 miles (I'd done a little
more than 7 the week before). Although it rained on Saturday, the rainy
season is definitely petering out now. Thus, when I set out, I had great
hopes of being able to cruise on that nice flat section past the river. I
was a bit surprised when I started down the far side of the killer hill past
Kubalota and the mud was very, very sticky. But when I got to the river, it
was lower than I'd ever seen it, so I was anticipating a great run.

But then at 2.5mi out, I was stopped in my tracks. The path was totally
flooded out (see photo). I looked left and right, and there was water as far
as the eye could see (see next photo). Oy.

Now, it could be that it wasn't that deep (it was at least 6 inches and
maybe up to 12) and if it had been a moving river, I would have just crossed
it. However, this filthy standing water on a flooded path is pretty gross.
First, chances are good that I'd just sink into the underlying mud and maybe
even lose my shoes. I've come close many times. And this water makes all
sorts of gunky junk end up in my shoes, causing irritation and blisters. So,
phewy, I turned around.

After re-crossing the river, I noticed a path off to the side and thought
this must be the route that people from Gnulahage take when they walk in to
Buala. I ran past, then ran back and decided to pursue that path and see
where it leads. Coming from the other direction, I've stayed on the beach in
Kubalota (rather than going behind the village and up and over the killer
hill that is part of the "main road") and come to a rocky outcropping. I've
gone up the path, but never followed it all the way to where it meets the
"main road" though I knew they must meet somewhere. So, now I'm thinking
this is the other end.

The path led through the forest and past some sort of storage shed and then
dumped out on the beach. There was a path to the right that ran along the
beach for a bit and then I was standing on the beach looking at what must be
the other side of the rocky outcropping. That was what I would have to climb
over. The path went straight up the rocks and on the top there was a very
narrow muddy path that undulated along the top for awhile. I mostly walked
since any misstep would mean a 20 meter fall into whatever lay at the bottom
of the rocks. But soon, I recognized the path I had come to from the other
side and climbed down to Kubalota beach. A new path found! It always makes
me feel like and "insider" when I discover the paths that the locals take. .

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