Feb 26, 2012

Distance today = 49.01 km; Total distance = 2600.11 km; Location = Camarillo Airport – 34 13.311′ N, 119 06.003′ W; Start time = 1005, Finish time = 1651


Once again the day greeted me with cloudless skies, a perfect temperature, and a slight but cooling breeze. After expressing our gratitude and saying goodbye to Jacki, James, and Harry (not to forget Buster), we drove to my starting point for the day, and I headed off toward Ventura. (It was a late start, so I was very happy with my final distance for the day).

As I mentioned in a tweet, I was running along the Ventura Highway, and it was in full sunshine. I found myself constantly humming to myself in Dmaj7 and G6. However, the heavy and noisy traffic made it difficult to fully appreciate what once must have been an iconic drive for surfers and others looking to enjoy the laid back and relaxed southern Californian coastal life-style. So, I pushed onward.

The rest of the day passed very quickly, perhaps because it was extremely flat and I was able to make good time. I felt good because of the shorter distances over the past couple of days. Running always seems to pass more quickly when you're feeling good and doing it easily.

I finished near the town of Camarillo, where the support crew spent most of the day inspecting (aka shopping) the four mile strip of factory outlet stores. Mmmmmm, yeah …… I was pleased to be running.

We are currently booked into our hotel in Ventura, watching the Academy Awards that are happening just down the road from here. And, of course, enjoying a red wine.

I have decided that this run around the world will entail an additional component (to the running). I intend to, wherever possible, sample the local reds, with the aim of determining the best value red wine in the world. The criteria will be simple – I will rate the wine out of ten and divide by the price (converted to Australian dollars), to arrive at, what I will call, the Red Wine Value Quotient – the RWVQ for short. The higher the RWVQ, the better the value. It's only early so far (just NZ and California), but the leader at this point is the Oak Leaf Cabernet Sauvignon from the Napa Valley, which I rate at 6/10 , but at a cost of US$1.67 (and FX conversion ratio at the time of drinking of 1.07), gives it a RWVQ of 3.84. Anything above unity is good value – above 3 is exceptional. Stay tuned for updates, but that's gonna be hard to beat.

If you're wondering why I have instigated this wine value metric, think “travelling on a budget” – a harsh but necessary reality on an extended trip like this. Who would have thought a $1.67 bottle of wine could be so drinkable? Of course, I'd prefer to be drinking a JB Shiraz from the Barossa Valley (a little gem that Big Andy and I discovered on the 2010 Tour de Bois), which I rate at 9/10, but that ain't gonna happen again for a while. It's all about value now.