Yesterday saw us taking a fun, bouncy ride on a rubber duck from our floating 11-story hotel to the paradise, uninhabited Portuguese Island. This approx. 6km circumference island lies just off the Mozambique coast, and is encircled by warm sea and endless vistas.
One of the best parts of being fit is being able to use your fitness to explore interesting destinations. We’ve loved going out on a run to explore the local neighborhood of foreign countries we’ve visited. Equally exciting is running our own spectacular destinations whether the amazing promenade from Sea Point to Camp’s Bay in Cape Town, or the majestic Drakensberg mountains, or the thrill of running in a game reserve.
But yesterday we had the awesome opportunity to do something we’ve never done before, to run around an entire island. Within minutes of setting off we rounded the Southern tip of the island and left the busy spot where everyone was huddled together and were alone on our island paradise. Lying off to the west was the larger island of Inhaca. Before us, stretched about 2km of pristine beach framed by turquoise sea on the right and tropical island bush on the left.
A run like this is not really a run, it’s a full-body experience. It’s a feast of touch, sight, smell and sound. The beach was strewn with incredible shells that created mandatory walk breaks. Being such a small island means that every turn brings new surprises. The shells change, the birds change, the beach changes, the views change.
Just as the warm sun started to make it’s presence felt, a deep inlet of water pushing its way across our path beckoned invitingly. Resisting it’s Siren’s call was futile as soon we were floating languidly within its cool embrace, staring up at the endless blue vista of the sky above. But soon we were on our way again and rounding the northern tip of the island. Anchored off the western edge was the majestic Sinfonia. a sign that we were on the homeward leg of our run.
However before us lay “The Gauntlet”. Every run needs something to remind you that you’re running. The Gauntlet was that something. An approx. 300m stretch of soft sand…blisteringly hot! In a vain attempt we increased our pace as we bounded off across the sand, feeling more like lumbering elephants than nimble gazelles, as the thick sand sucked at our feet. Soon thoughts of molten glass running in rivulets through the sand started to seem real. Thankfully we were equipped with a towel and we leapt onto it as the tendrils of smoke rising from or smoldering feet slowly abated. One final dash and we were running through the cooling salve of the waves as they lapped onto the shore.
Moments later we spotted the busy throng of non-runners still lounging where we’d left them. Our island run was at an end but what will never end is the memory of one of the most amazing runs I’ve ever done. It’s so amazing to be fit…it’s even more amazing to enjoy this fitness.