Apr 13, 2013

Distance today = 48.19 km; Total distance = 19,433.13 km; Location = Wittau – 48 10.920′ N, 16 36.284′ E; Start time = 0824, Finish time = 1711


Wow, when the weather changes here, it really changes!!! Today was close to summer. It was a beautiful sunny day, with temperatures in the low 20s. And it felt so different to the past few months. For the first time since Argentina, I was running in shorts and a short-sleeved T-shirt.

I ran from the north and into the eastern suburbs of Vienna, on the opposite side of the Danube River to the city. I had mentioned a couple of weeks ago how I was running along the banks of the Donau. I hadn’t realised this is the German name for the Danube. So, this is my second experience of the river.  The fact I was running along the river valley, means the day was very flat – a nice change from the past week.

I am often asked what the hardest thing is about running around the world. I think I now know the answer – communications. The running looks after itself, but we are constantly at the mercy of our internet connections and phone reception. Take today, for example. Because we’re only briefly in Austria and Slovakia, we’ve decided to keep our Czech SIM cards until we reach Hungary, using roaming for phone calls. The downside is, we don’t have any internet on the phones. Carmel really needed to finalize accommodation for Vienna, and we’d had some offers from friends of friends. She vitally required the internet to check emails for phone numbers she needed to call. As the internet wasn’t on her phone, she went to McDonald’s but the Austrian McDonald’s Wi-Fi is hopeless, and kept dropping out. She then went to a different McDonald’s, but got the same result. And again at a third. She then found a café with internet, and this worked just long enough for her to make some progress, before it too dropped out. She managed to get a phone number to call, but then her phone couldn’t get through to that number. It was incredibly frustrating for her, and the result is that we could not take up the offers of accommodation, and have had to book into a hotel (luckily, the Vienna Marathon tomorrow has not resulted in a total book-out of the city’s hotels). Running is a breeze, compared to all that.

A minor milestone today, when I passed 4,000 km run in Europe since I started on January 24.