Do You Speak English? I’m Lost

Do You Speak English? I’m Lost.
I believe this is going to be my theme for the week. Already I have used this phrase countless times. I am having a difficult time with the roads not being marked well or even reading them at that! I never had this much of a problem anywhere I have ever driven and am starting to wonder why the lady at the car rental actually talked me out of renting the GPS. The Map; it is a marvelous tool, if you know how to use it. Luckily, growing up as a country girl there are two other things my Dad taught me (next to driving a manual) map reading and direction. I learned my north, south, east and west – and using my sense of direction has gotten me far on this little island; as long as I know where east is, I will make it back to my apartment. Learning how to read a map is priceless, but I will say, with modern technology, it is much easier having someone speaking directions to you, rather than pull over every fifteen to twenty kilometers to check your map, since driving and reading don’t go hand and hand very well.
But loosing my way has gained me many adventures. I got to have an amazing date tonight in what is one of the most romantic pieces of paradise I have ever seen with Myself. A hidden cove where the locals hang out. Around 6 pm the fresh evening baguettes are dropped off at the stores, so I picked one up, got an apple, Spanish cheese, almonds water and chocolate and had myself a picnic. Sitting there along the beach, the kids are playing, lovers snuggling, an old man swimming laps; this is a daily ritual for these people. I sat and enjoyed the people and the place, had a wonderful time with myself. After eating I decided to climb the volcanic rock that surrounded this little cove. Words and pictures cannot begin to paint the picture of this natural beauty. The water beneath is this dark clear blue, the reflection of the dark sand is something I’ve never seen off the coast of the US, Caribbean, Mexico or India. After my dinner, I continued to loose myself through the streets of Puerto del Carmen I got to see boys playing on their balcony with Super Soaker’s shooting unexpected passersby. It is amazing what you will see and find when you allow yourself to get lost.
As I took a dip in the water today for a lap around the course I swam into another fellow racer who is from the UK, taking on his second Ironman. After talking for awhile we found ourselves making a swim date for tomorrow morning, which I am looking forward to.
I also got the chance to hit the run course and do one full lap (since it is a three lap course, each lap getting shorter). I will be first to say, it is NOT flat like they say it is. However I will give credit to it seeming flat after everything you go through on the bike course. Small rollers, but they will feel bigger after 180km of biking leading up to and the wind could play a factor, as well as the lack of shade…which is none. As the days get closer I am getting more and more excited. Athletes from all over Europe are starting to arrive and no matter what language they speak, everyone speaks the language of “The Nod”.
The Nod is eye to eye, wordless acknowledgment and slight tip of the head form of communication that I have found all over the world with other athletes. I find you get The Nod more often when traveling overseas. Everyone here does it. No formal introduction needed, no handshakes required, just The Nod and you find yourself socially accepted.
As the evening comes to an end the smell of the salty sea air is exchanged for smells of local cooking. Rain starts to fall and I quickly run to the balcony to grab my drying clothes, now wet. I make a cup of tea and start to go over my pictures and find myself feeling so lucky that I have a life where I get to see all these things. It really is amazing what I have got to see throughout my life and can’t wait to see what else the world has to show me!

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