heels on fire: Day 6

Monday, May 08, 2006

Day 6

6th May 2006

Day 6 (Run Day 5)
Cheruthuruthy to Vadakanchery – 13Kms

The Heat Wave Strikes!
With a heat wave sweeping though most of India, we began our run with trepidation and fear. It was the hottest day so far hitting 100 F (and in Delhi, the hottest day in 5 years!). Having travelled the six hours from Thallasserry to Cheruthuruthy, we were running in the evening when surprisingly it gets hotter and even more humid. To add to our concerns, we had just feasted on one too many curries and far too many barotas (the local equivalent of a roti - only fluffier and tastier!). We seriously misjudged our meal timings. In running terms, this could mean trouble.

Father-of-Bride scouts foreign groom?
One of the major sights that lured our interest was a beautiful gate/ archway being constructed made of coloured cloth and bright lights. A proud father and son were busy make preparations for a family wedding later in the day. Amazingly, they were not too busy to invite us in for a drink. How many people on their daughter’s wedding day would take the time to invite two sweaty foreign runners for a drink into their house a few hours before the big day?

New Styles, New Scars
There were a lot more hills on the run today. And the climb was hard work. The heat was draining but once again at the hour of need, Pete had some words of advice. “Own the hill” a voice chirped in my ear… “Dominate it”. I was thankful that Des, Sudeep and Stevie were not around to witness the struggle. Particularly since I had developed a new running style intended to protect my knee from further injury but only resulted in clipping my left ankle with my right heel. An interesting sight! As I saw my white sock turn red, I felt like I was now truly engaged in the epic struggle. Thoughts of Terry Butcher in the 1990 world cup, his bandaged head soaked with blood, came to mind. Perhaps somewhat fantastical but it were these mind games that kept the body going.

The “Bathroom Tile Shop Per Capita” Index
With the sun still burning down on us we took every opportunity to stop and chat with people along the way. Many of the villages we have passed have houses of a scale and prosperity that were not as I had expected. With at least one member who is working in the Middle East, or in other parts the world, the remittances sent home seem to provide the foundations for seemingly affluent lifestyles. I wonder whether the tobacco, coconuts, bananas and fishing industries here can also generate this kind of grandeur. And something else I didn’t expect; I have never seen so many tile and bathroom shops anywhere in the world!

The Sights and Sounds...
Later that day, the sun was slowly taking pity on us (as were the fish curry and barotas!). We hit the most beautiful terrain yet. Rolling hills, lush green fields and bright red soil. A train track ran by us with long, loud and colourful trains passing us by with a loud hoot before disappearing over the bridge. Trains are truly the veins of India.

At the end of another day, the heat has taken its toll and I am struggling I am a little worried that I am holding Pete up from surging ahead. But when a group of kids see us coming and shout for us to join them for a game of football, I must admit, he seemed as happy as I to stop.


At Tue May 09, 07:01:00 AM 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having a good giggle at the top picture. Despite what you may think I am not talking to my broker on the phone. I am using a walkie talkie to try to find out where our support vehicle is? Its hot, stressful, buses are coming from everywhere and there is a major junction ahead and no road signs other than the one behind us.

Folks please get your teeth into the discussion forum on the web.


At Wed May 10, 06:33:00 PM 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I am rather more concerned about what is happening around your "shorts region" in that photo, rather than you speaking to your broker on the phone.



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