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Final Day in Havana: 12/1/17 Friday

Final Day in Havana:  12/1/17 Friday

I got one last run on the Malecon before packing up and making sure all was ready to go when we had to leave later this afternoon.  We had quite a few hours to spend in Havana before that, though.  Cleve had another group of guests that had arrived and begun their tour, so he [...]


The Valley of Vinales, and my first Cigar: 11/30/17 Thursday

The Valley of Vinales, and my first Cigar:  11/30/17 Thursday

Amauri and our van taxi driver arrived about 8:15 this morning to take us all on an 2.5 hour drive west to the Vinales Valley.  It is known to be some of the most scenic & lush green landscapes on the island, as well as home to many small tobacco farms where most of Cuban [...]


Just go with the flow: 11/29/17 Wednesday

Just go with the flow:  11/29/17 Wednesday

This morning I ran the direction we had driven yesterday to find a walking path Cleve had pointed out to me.  It’s built into a wide median in the middle of the street for miles down Embassy Row which is a pretty nice area of town.  There were lots of people out walking, exercising, getting [...]


Cuban National Hotel & Fusterlandia: 11/28/17 Tuesday

Cuban National Hotel & Fusterlandia:  11/28/17 Tuesday

Charlotte, Anita and I took the 10am tour of the Cuban National Hotel this morning, and loved it.  We had an excellent tour guide named Aeleen (Eileen) who knew the Cuban history back and forth.  The tour is offered free to guests of the hotel, or anyone can go on it for 5CUC$ (Cuban Convertible [...]


Monday Rain, Market, and more Old Havana: 11/27/17 Monday

Monday Rain, Market, and more Old Havana:  11/27/17 Monday

My run this morning was sun-less, cooler, and graced with a beautiful cloud-layered sky.  Soon after our group left the apartment, it began to rain which turned into pouring rain.  We were headed to the San Jose Market right on the water but fortunately for us it was completely enclosed so it was a great [...]


A Hard Look at Reality…. and the Ballet: 11/26/27 Sunday

A Hard Look at Reality.... and the Ballet:  11/26/27 Sunday

Today began with a nice run along El Malecon (sea wall), this time in the other direction.  There were less people fishing and running than there were yesterday, and after a couple miles the paved path ended into a neighborhood.  I kept going another half mile or so because I liked seeing the streets, houses, [...]


Anniversary of Fidel Castro’s death: 11/25/17 Saturday

Anniversary of Fidel Castro’s death:  11/25/17 Saturday

…of note because this is the background reason I’m even on this trip.  Fidel passed away last November just as one of Cleve’s travel groups were flying out to Havana.  When they arrived, their whole itinerary was altered because the country  pretty much came to a standstill.  Many places were closed, and no alcohol was [...]


Arrival in Cuba: 11/24/17 Friday

Arrival in Cuba:  11/24/17 Friday

The day began with a 5:30am wake up call in our LAX airport hotel room.  I had met up with my amazing octogenarian friend Charlotte so we could travel together to Cuba.  If you aren’t an “older adult” yourself, or work in the field of aging services like I do, you may want to know [...]


Colorado Road Trip with Leetle Brother – Labor Day week 2017

Colorado Road Trip with Leetle Brother - Labor Day week 2017

I often call my youngest brother Jay “Leetle Brother”, or sometimes “Leetle” or sometimes just “LB”.  I think it came from a silly Christmas package label one year a long time ago. He’s the Little Brother and I’m the Big Sister. But of course we must say it silly so I’m “Beeg Sistor”.  Otherwise abbreviated [...]


Return to Wonderland Trail, Mt Rainier 2017

Return to Wonderland Trail, Mt Rainier 2017

Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.    John Muir August 9-12, 2017 Looking back on last year’s trip on the Wonderland Trail, I started my blog entry with this John Muir quote.  I feel [...]


Final Day of Costa Brava Running tour

Final Day of Costa Brava Running tour

October 26, 2016 After our final, satisfying Spanish breakfast buffet we three slightly-tired, trail-worn Americans and our fearless, shoeless, happy and inspiring leader Pablo hit the road for a half hour drive to start today where we left off yesterday at Port de la Selva (the eastern-most part of Spain. Today’s run would be one [...]


Dali, Inspiring landscapes, Eastern-most point of Spain

Dali, Inspiring landscapes, Eastern-most point of Spain

Oct 25, 2016 Cadaques to Port d’ el Selva Cadaques is a small, beautifully-preserved city on the northern coast of the Costa Brava area of Catalonia.  Tourism and specialty restaruants are important here.  It is also well-known for being the home and inspirational landscape to surrealist artist Salvador Dali and his muse and wife, Russian [...]


Double Run Day and back to the Coast

Double Run Day and back to the Coast

This morning we got a late start, which was pretty nice in that everything was laid-back and flexible. With running every day – even though I love love love it- it’s quite nice to sleep in, eat a leisurely breakfast and have time for it to digest before heading out. It is now only us [...]


Coastal trails, Paella, and another “Castle”

Coastal trails, Paella, and another "Castle"

Today was my most favorite day yet!  I think it has a little to do with getting into the flow of things.  I remember that when I did the Camino it took me a good week to get a routine down; with unpacking and re-packing each day, with the time change, with meals and navigating [...]


Running to the Sea!

Running to the Sea!

Oct 22, from Peratallada to Llafranc, a Costa Brava coastal city I awoke in Peratallada bundled in one of the coziest beds I’ve ever slept in, with large pillows surrounding me. It was barely light outside and almost 8am but was chilly and cloudy out. I met our group for a very light breakfast (the [...]


Peratallada, “carved stone” village

Peratallada, "carved stone" village

Oct 21, 2016 Today our group, again led by Pablo, ran about 25k (15.5 miles) from just outside of Girona into a town called Peratallada which means “carved stone”.  We saw remnants of a castle, many old stone walls, a moat, and a church, along with some highly ranked contemporary restaurants which suprised me!  Not [...]


Girona on foot

Girona on foot

Oct 20, 2016 Girona is one of the major Catalan cities, and has a complex and interesting history through stories and rulers of the Iberians (indigenous inhabitants), Romans, Visigoths, Moors, and Charlemagne. Though all those changes various religions dominated and combined. In the 12th century the Jewish community flourished in Girona. All of these noteworthy [...]


Return to Spain; Oct 19, 2016

Return to Spain; Oct 19, 2016

Barcelona to Girona! October 19, 2016 After an unfortunate mechanical delay which required over 3 hours and an unplanned plane change in Newark (though with gritted teeth I reminded myself to be thankful that a malfunction is caught before the plane leaves the ground..), I was finally en route to Spain. The excitement has been building [...]


Wonderland Trail, Mt Rainier

Wonderland Trail, Mt Rainier

Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.    John Muir  August 4-6, 2016 “Choose your own adventure”‘ Abram Dickerson tells our group of 10 runners who sit around the picnic table, eagerly listening to details [...]


Day 30, Oct 28: Finisterre back to Santiago and Home to Boulder

Day 30, Oct 28:  Finisterre back to Santiago and Home to Boulder

Some people do walk back to Santiago from Finisterre, or by way of Muxia where I had already been.  I felt fortunate to have had the time to walk out to the sea, but needed to bus back to Santiago to fly home on Thursday. I had a leisurely morning, with some breakfast and coffee [...]


Day 29, Oct 27: Muxia to Finisterre, 17.5mi

Day 29, Oct 27:  Muxia to Finisterre, 17.5mi

Last night I stayed in a “Pension” (accent on the o), which is basically renting a room in a house.  I think they are usually listed/advertised as such, and have some loose regulations of what they’ll provide, but I have also had people ask me in cities if I’m looking for a room to rent [...]


Day 28, Oct 26: Dumbria to Muxia, 12mi

Day 28, Oct 26:  Dumbria to Muxia, 12mi

Today was a planned shorter day, since I walked longer yesterday in the sunshine.  It rained a lot last night – I heard it – but I awoke to a partly cloudy/sunny morning.  I eased into the morning, no rush needed.  Bacchus, the only other pilgrim who stayed in the albergue last night, was getting [...]


Day 27, Oct 25: Negreira to Dumbria, 27.5mi

Day 27, Oct 25:  Negreira to Dumbria, 27.5mi

The time changed here in Spain last night!  Unexpectedly, to me.  My watch was an hour off when I awoke  (the time on my phone read correctly).  I changed my watch and didn’t think much of it.  It was lighter, though, which made getting up and going out much easier.  There was some fog, but [...]


Day 26, Oct 24: Santiago to Negreira, 13mi

Day 26, Oct 24:  Santiago to Negreira, 13mi

It was strangely hard for me to leave today.  I let myself sleep in because of 2 nights in a row staying up so late (experiencing the late-night food scene!), and today I don’t have that far to walk to my first destination on the way to the coast.  But, I really felt like I [...]