Spain 14 March: Ronda – La Línea de la Concepción
Happy Birthday Zoltan! The tallest member of our team turned 30 today. We are scared that if we keep feeding him he might not be able to fit into the car before we reach Morocco.
We were sorry to say goodbye to the Enfrente de Arte Hotel particularly after the best breakfast we could possibly imagine. But as always we had to get a move on.
This morning started with a TV interview at the Ronda Town Recreation Centre. We also met “The Road Runner Ladies of Ronda”, well that’s what we like to call them. It was great to have these active women join our boy’s team for the morning.
They even astonished their own personal trainer who didn’t believe they could run as far as they did. Zoltan was a little embarrassed when they started clapping and singing happy birthday to him in Spanish.
Like yesterday we faced lots of hills and strong gusts of wind but just to make things even more interesting, the road from Ronda to San Pedro was a series of sharp switch backs and blind corners. The beautiful scenery was compensation enough for the difficult conditions.
As the team entered the town of San Pedro de Alcántara we had the great pleasure of meeting runners from Club Atletismo San Pedro These super fit athletes look like they must have spent years training in the mountains nearby.
Our large group was guided by a police escort to the steps of City Hall where we met the Mayor of the City, Mr. Jorge Chacón Jimenez. It was a great experience for the team to meet the Mayor of this great city. He really made us feel welcome.
We also had a huge press conference with 3 television stations and one newspaper.
Things just kept getting better as we ran to Colegio Público San Pedro de Alcántara (Primary School). We had as our guide a lady from the City Hall. She was so inspired she ran in high heels the whole way. Very impressive.
So many cars were cheering us blowing their horns.
Finally we arrived to the city of La Línea de la Concepción where we met our resting place very generously provided by the city.
Most of the time we find ourselves eating quickly during our break from running so one can’t expect to eat a great range of food out on the road. But as a visitor to southern Europe I am continually blown away by how much bread and cheese we find ourselves eating on the run. I was surprised even more with the eagerness that some members of our team expressed for eating raw carrot at breakfast! Personally I have a general policy of not eating carrots before noon. But that’s part of being on the team, recognizing and accepting people’s differences for as we are learning day after day there is far more that unites us than divides us.
The children formed a pathway for us to run through as we entered the school and everyone had enormous fun running with the torch around the playground.We continued running to our today’s final destination along the Mediterranean seashore. It was the first time we came to the Mediterranean Sea on our journey. What a change comparing to the mountains from today’s morning!