Day Four: Eduardo’s Road to Fitness

We all know that if we change one little variable you can end up with something so very different.  Substitute sugar with salt and voila your coffee is ruined. Take a beautiful girl and add huge amounts of facial hair and voila same effect.  Ferraris are meant to be Red.  Do not, whatever takes your fancy decide to paint them an earthy brown. The same can be said for places.  Beaches are wonderful places, if of course you like them in the first place that is. Assuming that you do enjoy the soft hush of waves, miles of white sand set against an azure blue sky and the fresh salt air upon your face you will appreciate how changing one variable can make such a difference.

Wind.  Add a 30 knot wind to the beach equation and you are left with salty coffee and earthy brown Ferraris driven by women with huge amounts of facial hair.

Yesterday was an odd day. I thought I had it all planned out.  A nice healthy breakfast (no I didn’t have an English fry up) followed by a run along the beach, a gentle bike and an open water swim.

I managed the healthy breakfast but then was interrupted by a man with a ferret.  A very skinny man called Jesus decided that driving to Austria to take part in the Masters World Championship Road Race with his ferret in the car was not such a good idea.  My wife, being easily persuaded by people called Jesus, said yes to looking after the ferret whilst Jesus raced his bike up hills in Austria.

So we drove along the coast to take a look at the ferret.  I had tried to explain that perhaps looking after a ferret, along with our two cats was perhaps a bit much given that we live in an apartment but hey what do I know?

They say owners often look like their pets and Jesus was no different.  I have seen prisoners of war with more meat on their bones.  He was long and thin with small lips tightly drawn across his face.  Even his eyes were small.  He did lack a tail and his finger nails were short but apart from that, he and his ferret were twins.

The ferret visit was playing havoc with my training routine but luckily for me Jesus lived on the beach at Cabrera de Mar, a small spot not far from Vilassar de Mar and Mataro.  I had packed my running shorts and shoes along with my swim gear and thought I would do a 30 minute run then have a quick change and jump into the sea and swim for twenty minutes or so.  The beach looked great on the Internet, with a long expanse of white sand set against a bright blue sea,  complete with healthy looking sea gulls, plenty of fresh water showers and with a board walk running for miles and miles.

What I had not counted on was the wind.  I was being sand blasted as I ran.  I had to close my eyes several times to avoid being blinded.  My shins were taking a battering and the sound was deafening.  There were no people on the beach.  Not a sea gull in sight and to be honest I was feeling pretty grim.  Thankfully I decided to run into the headwind and return with the wind.  It was not pleasant, in fact if it had been a cup of salty coffee I’d have poured it all over the earthy brown Ferrari and told the lady with the facial hair to bugger off.

Determined to make the best of a steadily worsening day I thought about my swim, of the delight in washing the sand off me, of feeling the cool water soothe my roasting hot feet.  I ran back, looking for Rosie, the kids, Jesus and his ferret on the beach where I had left them.

I found the spot where they had been.  They had left my flip flops on the sand but they were no where to be seen.  I figured they had gone back to the flat so I walked into the complex and rung the door bell.  Not a sound.  I let out a sigh and guessed they had found the sand blasting too much and had walked up to the beach bar about five hundred metres back along the beach.  I had not seen them as I had run past it but where else could they be?

I jogged back to the beach and battled into the headwind again to the beach bar.  Nobody was there, well I say nobody, what I mean is nobody that I was looking for.  There was one chap with his face in a beer and another lady glued to her mobile phone but apart from them and some rather bored staff it was empty.  I started to walk back along the water’s edge in case Rosie and the kids had been hidden by the sand dune, but the beach was empty.

By now I was covered in lots of sand, blown by the wind it had stuck to my sweaty skin.  I  took my shoes off, ditched my running vest and dove into the sea.

The current was ridiculously strong.  Any attempt to swim against it was futile.  Indeed even trying to stand up in waist deep water was a challenge in itself.  The current was running parallel with the beach at about four knots.  My idea of swimming out to the yellow buoys was out the window.  Instead I had to make do with playing in the current, never venturing out into water deeper than my waist for fear of being swept along the beach and dashed upon the rocks at the end of it, a mile distant.

I got out of the water and headed back to the flat. I tried the doorbell again but there was no answer.  I looked around and it struck me that perhaps I was ringing the wrong doorbell.  I was.  I hopped over the low wall separating the two flats and rang its doorbell.  Jesus answered, his ferret sat on his shoulder.

It was time to go.

I thanked Jesus when we left for his hospitality and wished him and his ferret all the very best.

I think we pick it up next Saturday.

I can’t wait.

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