Friday, 7 October 2011

A little bit about running routes...

So, there we were, Andaman Islands. I have a rule for packing for trips. Each of us owns a pull-man. And I strongly recommend fitting all out shit into that pull-man each. And wheeling it around individually. This can be a bit stressful at times, because, after all is done, my shoes and my big bag of toiletries (puh-lease. Its not Make-Up. Just enough toothpaste to last us a month, my special soap & condi, & plenty of stuff for when I have my period. Which I do. Invariably. Whats a beach holiday without a glorious period outbreak?) well, they rarely fit into my little brown suitcase. Thankfully, the husband was bringing his big backpack (for unspecified reasons), and his big suitcase (I really don't know why). I don't object when he carries bigger pieces of luggage because they are not my problem or responsibility. He will never whine about them. Unlike other people I travel with. Or myself.

So I merrily wore my flipflops on the flight and packed my asics & the vibrams. I wanted to really chill out and run nicely there. Specially given my new toy (no, its not a boy), the Garmin. For once in my life I would be able to tell what distances/pace/elevation I would be indulging in. And perhaps, just perhaps, I could see our location on googleearth/maps upon returning. I was pretty excited, for sure!

We reached the hotel (about 2 hours by ferry from Port Blair) in the afternoon. It looked really calm and peaceful though the guy spooked us a bit about insects and scorpions and snakes - after the fall of darkness, that is. We unpacked gently and hung out and laughed about the mosquito net thing and went to dinner. Which was good. As was the beer (choice of Tuborg/KF; lots of good alcy otherwise; one day I had a pretty swell Bloody Mary).

The next morning, bright and early, I stepped out in my vibrams. I thought it was obvious that I have to run along the water, on the beach. And perhaps if luck was on my side, I would traverse the perimeter of the island! Some such ridiculous plan in my head. I was happy to find satellite (GPS) reception on my watch, and also remember the way to the beach. But when I got there I was not so happy. The tide was in, which means the water was close and I had to run in the slopy part of the sand. There was tons of sea-weed and crabs scuttling everywhere and not a single soul far as the eye could see. Our part of the beach was also separated from the rest of the island beach parts of the world by some green rock formation that looked spooky. Yes, spooky, thats the word. I was thinking 'dang where are my truckload of gujju aunties , white couples with overhanging tummies in bikinis, and such like? where IS everyone?' The water was also super loud - in an angry sort of way. I left many footprints in the sand as I ran back and forth and forth and back on the small itty bitty stretch of the beach that I had at my disposal. Then I gave up and went back to the hotel reception.

Who asked you not to run in the forest? John said, hiding his cigarette behind his back.

Well, don't waste your cigarette on my account, I countered and took off again.

I went along the route we took to get to the resort - through the forest - not very thick - just some really crazy tall trees with mungo jutting out roots that I had to skip over. I love skipping over things in my vibrams, so yeah, that was pretty fun. The trees made some grunting sort of noises at me and I thought I heard some growls too, but convinced myself it was all good. Plus, there were people around. Not tourists. Which is good. I was on the main-ish road, soon enough. I took off, waving at kids all spruced up for school. I encountered many a beautiful bird and on either side of me were these lush farm lands with patches of forests. I went past the cow that first day and found this massive hill - like a 60 degree angle in the road, I swear. I got up on to it, saw my ridiculous pace as I puffed up the hill, and decided to call it quits.

Back down the hill and past the cow and the beautiful red-headed andaman woodpecker. Kids still waiting for the bus? Oh damn. Wave. Wave. Smile. Grin. Soon I was running through the grumpy woods and was in the resort. On that first day, including the beach part of it, I only ran 7 km. My pace totally sucked - which is fine if I keep in mind that I suck royally at running uphill, and there was a fair bit of elevation I had to contend with (especially after I saw the Garmin entries, this is like obvious). But it was so fun! Seriously fun!

I ran this route (skipping the beach), getting further and further along the road past the tethered cow, a couple more days during our stay there. The air smells better, I swear. And I just love the green of paddy fields. Of course I love having a road cut through a crazy wild forest. Who doesn't? 


Choxbox said...

Okay tell me the important thing - what did you eat?!! Am told its tricky for us ghaas-phoos folks in the Andamans, so pliss to enlighten, will be hugely helpful.

Spaz Kumari said...

(in relation to old discussion - you don't look funny running at all! not in pictures anyway.)

kbpm said...

Chox- Lost my own reply comment. Sorry. Food wasnt a problem. We were on a resort. We mainly ate roti-subji-dhal. It was really good - like home. the island doesnt have access to too many vegetables, but i did feel that were creative with what they had...

Spaz K- Thanks dude! Guess you mean my latest FB adventure??