Feb 26, 2013

Distance today = 50.92 km; Total distance = 17,107.38 km; Location = Thermes-Magnoac – 43 17.762′ N, 00 35.156′ E; Start time = 0855, Finish time = 1706


A very hilly day, with almost a thousand metres of climbing, but it was made easier by the “winter wonderland” condition of the landscape. For much of the day, there was a full blanket of white, with powder snow constantly falling from the branches of the trees.

The day was one of minor mountain passes, punctuated by valley floors. The topography in this region seems to consist of a series of parallel ridges, and I was running across them. There were very few towns of any significance, and no shops along the way until I reached the 43 km mark late in the day.

A few people have commented on the temperature readings from the Garmin device. I guess with the snow these past days, it’s natural to have a look to see what the low temp for the day was. The problem is that the Garmin device I’m using is designed to be mounted in a bracket on the handlebars of a bicycle. In this position, it can take accurate temperature readings. However, I’m holding it tightly in my palm as I run, which means it picks up the warmth from my hand. Therefore, the reading is always higher than the true air temperature (unless the air temp is greater than the 37C of my body, in which case it is lower). You can also often see the temperature spike up if I have lunch in the car (or go down on a hot day due to the air conditioning). So, unfortunately, the Garmin temperature data on the link is not really very useful. Sorry about that. Everything else is, though.

Finally, happy birthday to all those celebrating it on the 27th in Australia – Ellen, Krystle, Lily, Debbie M, and anyone else I may have forgotten – oh, and Rob de Castella, of course.

PS We still do not have data/internet on our phones. The phone company, SFR, continue to charge us, even though they say they are unable to help. Carmel visited a telecommunications store, where an expert, in response to the problem, said “Welcome to France”. He was scathing about the country’s problems like these, indicating that, although there is technically no issue, it could take many days for the phones to start working properly. Actually, Europe is a mess when it comes to mobile phones, with a new SIM needed in every country. Many companies that are present in all European countries, such as Orange, could offer a low cost universal SIM, but then they couldn’t rip everyone off (like they all do) by charging exorbitantly for roaming.

I am also unable to get my phone connected to the internet via the hotel’s wireless, so I can’t get the tracker to update its position. This will have to wait until tomorrow. My position is in the town of Thermes-Magnoac.