Nov 4, 2012

Distance today = 50.68 km; Total distance = 14,030.85 km; Location = Santa Celia – 32 48.487′ S, 70 55.998′ W; Start time = 0916, Finish time = 1752


It’s certainly a change, running in Chile. We got very used to life on the road in the US. We now have to adjust to conditions in a Spanish speaking country. Luckily, we have had lots of help from locals, including Alberto at the Alecon Hotel in Valparaiso, and Patricio and Evelyn at the airport.

Today I headed off a bit late after sleeping in, and looked at Google Maps after about 5 km. It was placing me in the middle of nowhere, despite the fact I was on a busy road. I have found there are many Chilean roads that actually exist, but are not on Google Maps. I guess it’s better than the other way around.

We also had trouble having Carmel meet up with me on the road. She found a somewhat similar issue with Garmin maps. And the data on my phone went AWOL. We were so lucky we could still make phone calls, or she would have had no idea where to find me. Carmel often finds herself driving on a road that the Garmin shows as a car icon on nothing (for those who are familiar with GPS imagery).

Another problem occurred last night. We drove to a pizza restaurant and ordered a large pizza. I was told it would take ten minutes. While I waited, and as Carmel drove around the block multiple times, I was accosted by three drunk guys who wanted to share a beer with me, expressed in a rather rude and crude way. Struggling with the language, I politely declined, not actually knowing what they were saying. Another Chilean local apologised for them, and helped me with my order, which was taking some considerable time. It turned out the pizza oven had broken down. After an hour (just what I need in my tired state), I finally received a pizza with slightly uncooked dough. In the end, I simply didn’t care.

The weather here in Chile is great, with totally cloudless skies, although it’s a touch on the warm side for pleasurable running. I was still a little below par, but persevered. After 20 km, I passed the 14,000 km mark. The whole day was pretty much gently uphill, with a net elevation gain of about 1,000 feet. It will go up a lot more quickly in a couple of days time.

I can now clearly see the Andes in the distance. They are an incredibly impressive sight. Tomorrow I’ll get to the base, and will start climbing in earnest on Tuesday.