Monthly Archives: July 2006

Friday am: a week passes so quickly…. on vacation

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It’s now Friday, one week is about the length of time it takes me to decompress down to holiday mode and start to truly appreciate that I am here to rest and indulge. Despite the very hot evenings I sleep well. No central air, naked, cotton sheets and a small fan….. it probably wouldn’t work if weren’t for the sound of the waves crashing on the sand. Quality of sleep is right up there on the list of critical elements in my never ending training cycle[life].
Tom, Clo & K were complaining of earache, which we put down to a combination of the flight and snorkeling …. You know, hold your nose, blow… it’ll go away. . But it didn’t in fact it got worse. So we spoke with a couple of the residence down here… basically you can walk into any Dr’s office and for $20 they’ll see you and you leave with a prescription. Juan the condo dude knew an E, N & T specialist who gave us an appointment for that afternoon….. why doesn’t the Canadian system work like this? The Dr. was a super nice guy with 15 words of English
Tom & Clo had an infection and K had the bunged up ears without the infection although she is still suffering more than the kids. The prescriptions included…… and here’s the running angle…… 2 syringes and a couple of viles of Cortesone to reduce the inflammation….Holy crap Batman are we supposed to start giving eachother shots…. The Doc said in the butt! When in doubt get a second opinion. It just so happens M-A’s (M-A is Clo’s pal who’s down here with us) is a doctor too… she strongly advised against doing the shots in the butt thing… so they’re getting drops and antibiotics and getting better. The source of the infection ws probably the pool which is having it’s PH corrected and shock of chlorine.
Yesterday’s training was a doozey…. The sand on the long beach where I run gives me the option of running close to where the ocean hits the beach, on a fairly firm surface but sloping heavily towards the water….. very hard to run on. Or, higher up the beach in very soft fine sand that your foot sinks into and requires a real hard “launch” to get you on to the next footfall… both options are killers and yesterday when the sun came up[again not a cloud in sight] the temp was in the low thirties….I was doing a run walk thing of 30/4 but I abandoned the beach for a dirt road after about 40 mins… the dirt road becomes cobbles and then becomes pavement…. The last half mile is uphill at about 12%. A fairly good workout, I’d say.
By the time I got back, Kayaking had been decided on as the activity for the morning, argh!. The boats are very heavy stable things so the good folk don’t fall in too often, but man do the take some paddling to get any forward mtion. I gat a double with Matt in the front to handicap me just a little more. I paddled for half an hour like this and then dumped him back on the beach to go get an popsicle while I took the single boat and went for a spin round the bay on my own… cross training?
By this time the sun is really belting down….. which was the boy’s cue to hold me to my promise of a game of football (it’s stange not having a south American team in the World Cup Final)…. Nearly an hour of this and I was ready to drop… I wouldn’t like to guess how much fluids I lost/drank yesterday

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Monday… still no bags. Delta lost baggage service is about as much use as a chocolate teapot

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So it is now Monday night and we still don’t have our baggage. The first couple of day we could shrug off as “just one of those things/ shit happens” but everybody is beginning to get fed up with wearing the same 3 items and yours truly is turning into a total bear as it is now 5 days without a run as all my gear is in my suitcase…. well that’s not quite true, as today I jogged for a couple of kms to the “other” beach and then jogged back… for a huge total of 25 minutes. Slow you might think. It was noon, about 100 degrees blinding sunshine and about an average of 12% incline up & down…….. on huge ugly cobble stones in sneakers [yellow, version 1.0] that I retired a year ago and have been doing the gardening since! It was wonderful and left the locals shaking their heads in total disbelief. Exercise is not a Mexican thing. It’s not as though I’ve been without a workout, I’ve swam every day, but I just don’t get the same buzz from an hour of breaststroke in the ocean. I love the swimming, the salt of the ocean, the sun on my back……slight burn on the first day, so I invested in a surf shirt which the kids maintain “makes me look gay”….. But it just isn’t running…… so back to the luggage thing.
On Friday we were promised delivery on Saturday…. which came and went. On sunday I called Delta in 1-800land and lost it. There really is nothing these folk can do. They cannot make an overseas call they cannot contact anybody locally wherever you or your luggage might be. All they can do is simply pass on the useless information that they have on the screen in front of them or when really pushed hey can give you a phone number in Guadalahara….. but what if there is no response? Anyway after wasting god knows how many hours going round and round in ever decreasing circles we finally got a call from Delta Guadalajara [GDL] this morning teling us they had our bags and they would be sent to us today… we went to the beach, leaving instruction with Juan the condo dude who said he would follow it up, which he did. So Juan gets a call in the afternoon saying they we had to go back to GDL to pick them up from customs as there was duty to be paid, no shit! Then he gets another call saying that they had made a mistake and the bags would be on the 4 o clock bus to Manzanillo… arriving 8 pm. Yeah right. WTF…… how hard can it be to get 4 suitecases to the bus station? Needless to say they weren’t…. and I’m sitting in my one and only pair of shorts….. sweating and watching the lighting of a T-storm pass about 15 miles away on the other side of the main port of MZO…. enough for now I’m off to bed.

Tuesday: Hostage luggage released, no ransom to pay!

So it’s 7:30 in the morning everyone else is asleep, I’m drinking very strong bitter coffee, the sun has just come up to reveal a cloudy, blue-grey sky with the occasional dull flash of lightning way off in the distance. Well, it is rainy season, almost anyway, and today we might just get some.
There is only one spot in the condo where I can catch the office’s wifi connection, it’s right next to our bed and K needs the sleep so I’m back to thumb typing ….. I’ll cut & paste later. I had blogged a bit of my frustration with Delta yesterday but the internet was a bit flakey so I didn’t get to post it I’ll stick that up too. Photos too, if I can get my act together.
By yesterday I had decided that I was going to run in my “gardening sneakers”, just a bit anyway to release the pressure that builds up very quickly when I don’t get my fix. It was a hill workout (aren’t they all?)It’s a bummer that I don’t have the bluetooth thing with me for speed/heartrate graph but I’m looking forward to seeing what my “hilly cobbles” run looks like on paper. I know what It feels like on my body. Very hard. The surface is probably the worst thing for a recovering stress fracture and I kid myself the constant unevenness of the cobbles is good workout for my dodgy right ankle. Anyways, once round took 37 minute and a couple of bags of ice. I now feel like a human being again.
When I got back the rest of the world was just getting up, breakfast…. and then “Juan the condo dude” called to tell us our our bags had arrived in town…. the other end of town that is….. down by the port….. I will go back to the “Estrella Blanca” office and take some photos as the whole thing was just too seedy for words. We laughed and got out of there as quickly as possible leaving behind the old lady and her squeaky fan in her 10 x 10 hole in the wall. We tried to imagine the possible scenarios of the less adventurous, comfort sensitive tourists if they had to find themselves in this place without a common language…. A class A nightmare! We’ll chalk this one up experience and laugh about it for years to come. Anyway the bags were sealed and in tact….. so we changed and went over to Barra de Navidad for the afternoon… man was it ever hot over there. It was one of those windless, slightly humid sort of days that gives everyone a wet shirt…. to a greater or lesser degree. It’s a little shocking to the non-mexican, non-runners to get your body temp up so high and loose so much fluid without pissing. My old “corpus delectus” thinks it’s par for the course, even cross-training, if you will. Bring it on.

seriously considering running barefoot for a couple of days…

…. finally we’re on vacation, and really the trip down was pretty easy. The kids…. all of them, are great travellers. We had to rent two small cars this time round as we are a gang of six and even if the mexicans are ok with cramming 27 “ninos” in the back of a nissan Tsuru, I just couldn’t imagine the insurance claim if anything were to happen… just take two cars. The drive down from Guadalajara was equally uneventful. The only screw up came courtesy of Delta who decided in their infinite wisdom that are suitcases were the ones to put on the next flight due to an excess of whatever…. that was on Thursday night we’re now Saturday and we still don’t have the cases…. For me and Tom things ain’t so tough…. you know: don’t shave, go commando and wear the one t-shirt with food on the front for another 3 days…. no problem. But for the girls it’s a little more challenging. Mastercard to the rescue…. guess what? we have this little insurance feature in our card that allows us to go get the essentials for survival [up to $500 per person wooohoo!] if our bags are delayed more than 6 hours…. argh! shopping…. and there really isn’t that much to buy down here!

Awesome weather, great food, beautiful ocean….. life is good even without the running. All we need now is for Delta to deliver on the promise of getting our bags here too!

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Did I ever mention what a painfully slow reader I am? ….. books take forever. I guess I have to digest every word, sort of trying to get the maximum amount of juice out of the writers lemon… if you know what i mean. I’m good for about 3 books a year and the ones that really seem to stay in my mind are always autobiographies and are always stories of alternative life styles or extreme hardship…. What’s grommit’s pick as light holiday reading this year? Stuart, a life backwards.

Enough of this, I’m off for a swim.