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swartkoppies slowly

doug in co

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sheesh, I take five weeks off to travel around the world, and the Loop suddenly wakes up ?
Loved reading the updates, thanks garbanzo for the prompt and everyone..

Around the world in five weeks went like this, Denver > Boston > Doha (in Quatar) > Johannesburg South Africa.
Two weeks there with DW's family.  DW came back the same way (an out-and-back), son Christopher and I went on to Perth Australia. 3 weeks there with my brother and his family, then I came home Karratha > Perth > Sydney > LA > Denver. That took about 2 days. I left Sydney at 11am Tuesday morning, and arrived in LA at 6am Tuesday morning - two Tuesdays but wasted them both on planes and trains.  There's a 15 hour time difference between Karratha/Perth and Denver, which is taking a little time to work through.

Anyhoo here's the running-related content 😉 a short jaunt up in the hills of eastern Gauteng province, on a private farm reserve, along the Swartkoppiespruit (translates to black little hill creek).
Otherwise there wasn't much running in South Africa, as Johannesburg isn't safe for running. I did see a couple runners along the main roads during the day. This is the only outdoors run possibility in Jhb, as there are enough people around that you probably won't get mugged for the running shoes and watch. Otherwise the run clubs do have long weekend runs and a rich tradition of weekday evening time trials, which are safe since the groups are large.  It surely gives me gratitude for running in the USA.

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This is the route on a topo. MapMyRun didn't know about the dirt road, nor did the topo, so I had to use satellite view to get visibility.  If I was a 21st century runner I'd have Strava on my phone and GPS to map it all, but I'm a dinosaur plodding along with old school online tools..

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The house we stayed in is just above the red dot start. The trail down to the road is steep and rocky, more than my ankles are worth to try and run it.  In the pic below the road shows up just to the left, on the far hill. That's the goal.. looks a bit intimidating from the bottom.

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Those odd-looking plants are a kind of aloe. Later in the spring they all turn pink, just in case they didn't look weird enough already.

Here's a view of the house from a hike we took another day. Very Out of Africa.. This also shows the beginning of the switchbacks on the middle hill, L on the picture.

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Back in the 18th century there were pedestrian races over six days. These were known as go-as-you-please events, combining walking, jogging and running. That's the way I do all my runs these days, I go as I please - run until I can't, walk when I have to, stop for a little breather now and again.  Sections of the switchbacks had concrete laid down in the ruts to prevent erosion and improve traction. I took these as a walk signal. The spectators were not impressed.

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Up in 48 minutes after a stern push to break 50, down again in 43. Just below the house is nature's jacuzzi, a plunge pool below the weir. Excellent for a little soak, until the baboons started babarking at me. They sound like an angry dog, rahg ! ragh ! 

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A good morning's run. Notes on Australian runs to follow..

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OMG!!!  A giraffe!!!!  I love them so much.  I've seen them in a zoo but never in the wild.  Thank you for sharing the pictures of your incredible adventure.!

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