Saturday, 1 August 2015

Cliff running to the Maia and back

July 7 - This was one of the best runs of the trip.  We had borrowed a car, and not more than 200m away from my grandma's house, we were flagged-down by a woman wearing scuba-gear.  She asked if one of her friends could have a ride up the mountain to their car.  Greg said sure, and the next thing we knew a large, hairy man named Eric - wearing only a tiny speedo, jumped into our car.  He was very friendly and appreciated the ride.  He encouraged us to come check out his company, which ran canyoning, coasteering, treking, jeep safari, and biking tours.  That sounded awesome - I guess we'll look into it for next time.  We dropped him off at his Jeep, and were on our way.
   The trail started at the town of San Esprito, to the Maia and back.  The beginning of the run was much like running around Santa Barbara, lots of running along cow pastures on rolling terrain, then the trail started following a stream - where we saw wild calla lillies growing, and it soon got much more rocky and technical.  We approached the ocean cliffs and followed the trail as it led us down the cliffs.  I was nervous, and running very carefully on one particular part where we were running along a cliff-ledge with a rock-wall on the one side and a 200m drop on the other.  I have never run on trails like that.  Waterfalls were mixed in there as we ran down.  There were some rocky sections that slowed us right down.  The beach town of Maia was pretty.  Much more tourist-y than our beach.  The trail continued to a lighthouse and then down to an abandoned whaling factory (again we explored).  It started to rain, so we didn't want to run back up the cliff.  We ran back past the lighthouse and met the lighthouse keeper (a marine police officer) who gave us directions to get back to San Esprito by roads.  Oh man the roads were hard to climb too.  Very long climbs, but with great views that made it worth it.  As we got closer to the end of the run, the roads were lined with big flowering blue hydranga plants - so pretty.  We think it was about 16k. It was a great run.

One of my favourite pictures - look at that road!  We ran up that.

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