Alex and I are embarking on this weekend a wonderful running cruise this Sunday.
We went on it a couple years ago and had the best time since our days wandering around Vegas and the Southwest on our honeymoon many many honey moons ago.
What I really love about the concept is the idea that running can be recreation, not just a "workout" that you have to do and the pace is wonderful for really experiencing the countryside.
Inevitably, we will be sharing the ship with an awful lot of people who are there, it seems, just to eat themselves to death. Last year, on one of the afternoon sail and rum excursions (we are not, after all, immune to the delights of sun and rum) another women from the cruise and I started up a conversation with a brother and sister from the States. The family had decided, after the death of the last parent, to take some of the estate and go for a holiday together. Great idea. Unfortunately, it also looked like the family ate together as well - a lot, and often.
In speaking to them I was amazed to see the brother's facial expression change from from one of utter amazement that beings such as our self existed (and were drinking rum) to thinking that he could also do it. I know it was the alcohol talking on both sides but by the end of the conversation this guy was ready to start walking with running in the future. I hope he made it.
There are runs organized on Tortola (race for King and Queen of the Mountain), a 5 k on Barbados, on St. Lucia to a lighthouse lookout, another race on St. Thomas where you predict your finishing time and, by far my favourite, a run on Antigua to a colonial fort via a lovely dirt road through a village with the friendliest people I've ever met.
You get instant friends that you don't have to explain yourself to - many are inspirations in their level of fitness, many will look up to Alex and I as role models, and everyone is just so much fun.
So, off we go to the charms of the Caribbean.
I'm not forgetting about the horror of Haiti right now and the controversy relating to cruise ships stopping for BBQs on the island. The problems in Haiti go back so far and, as I understand, the loss of stable family structures, and corrupt political and administrative issues aren't at all aided by environmental degradation. I'm not sure what it's going to take to keep this planet habitable for all life, including ourselves but, I can't help but think that getting handle on how much we consume, most especially including calories, well that might help out a lot. The majority of the cruisers seem to travel to eat and then shop at the various ports. I like supporting those economies but, endless landfill sold in endless port stores isn't good for anyone. Strapping on your shoes, really seeing how people live, interacting with them - that's a start. Money can be exchanged for local services as well as goods.
And yes, I know that the best choice for the planet would be to just stay home but, I'm just as human as anyone and I struggle with my choices all the time. No answers here, just observations.
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