Zion Canyon 2011

Zion Canyon 2011
Zion Revisited 2011

How To Approach an Ultra or Ironman

Jordan Rapp quote sums it up!

This Jordan Rapp quote sums it up.
"It's about the process. It doesn't matter what you do tomorrow and it doesn't matter what you did yesterday. It's about today, and making today count. That's especially true in training, but it's the same mentality that I carry into racing. Focus on the task at hand, not on the finish line, or the next part of the race, but what it is that is right there in front of you in the moment."

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Day 8, 9, Capri !

 Capri is a rocky island just off the coast of Naples. The cliffs are incredibly steep, rising 1800 feet almost straight up from the ocean. It has been inhabited since the stone-age, as it was once attached to the mainland. Caesar Augustus and Tiberius vacationed here before Christ was born.
  I had heard about Capri, but it still blew me away with it's beauty, it's food, and the fact that anyone would even think about settling there. There are actually two towns on the Island. Capri, the larger town with the harbour, and Anacapri, which is smaller and perched high above Capri. They are connected by the "Mama Mia" highway, one of the scariest roads I've ever been on, and I've been on some pretty bad roads.
The hotel bar. It was located beside the pool. Handy.
  We apparently missed Leo DeCaprio by a week. His hotel was just down the street from ours, but our guide was saying one night there costs more than our entire holiday. We saw Georgio Armani's house, and  also the (baby food famous) Gerber Family  residence, which we could see from our hotel. This is the playground of the rich and famous. So we all felt right at home.
This is where Leonardo stays when he's in town.

There's a brass statue of a guy on top of that rock that welcomes you into Capri harbour.

Anacapri is where I had my only run of the trip, but more on that later.

This is us on the balcony of our hotel room. Sweet.

The girls got all dressed up for dinner .

A rare shot of me with a beer in my hand.

The guys are all dressed for dinner

A cruise ship passed by our hotel the first night.

The hotel pool. This place was incredible.This area  was so nice we spent the afternoon of the second day just sitting around the pool chatting with our new friends, drinking beer/wine.

Sunrise in Capri. Frickin' great.

If you look carefully, you can see a road clinging to the side of the mountain. This is the "Mama Mia" highway. As you come around the corners going up, it's like 1500 feet, straight down.

The view from Anacapri
The streets are very narrow in Capri.....
......so this is what their street sweepers look like.

Church in Anacapri.

The floor of the church was covered in these weird frescos of animals with half human faces.
Mostly animal, a little bit human.What's up with that?

This is a Fenicular, a train that goes up the cliff from the harbour to the town.
 Our second day in Capri was a full day. We took advantage by having a bus tour  of Anacapri, (where I had my only run of the trip, but more on that later) followed by a boat tour around the entire Island.
This is us, getting on the tour boat for a circumcision of the island.
 Before our water tour of the Island, Dario, our guide in Anacapri, told us we could bring food and drinks onto the boat. I was thirsty from my run in Anacapri (more, later) and took full advantage, Portage grabbed a couple of beauty sandwiches, and I picked up six Peronies for the 1 hour cruise. What could go wrong?
A grotto, visible from the water. If you look closely, you can see a walkway going past a stalagmite that people swear looks like the Virgin Mary.

That is some blue water.

Another shade of blue.
Inside the famous "Blue Grotto". We didn't go in, it was $20 euros for 5 minutes, and our local guide said the guys in the little boats that take you in expect a $5 euro tip. He said by the time your eyes get used to the dark, they are taking you back out.If we had gone in, this is what it would have looked like. I stole this photo from the interweb.

The "Tunnel of Love" The theory is, if you kiss your sweetie while passing through the tunnel, you will be together for at least 10 more days.

It works! As far as we know, Keith and Lenora are still together after 10 days.

Me, with a beer early in the day.

Three Amigos

One set of these feet are mine.(Hint, missing most of a big toenail).

Internets! And 2 more beers.

A cemetery in Anacapri. It is incredibly neat and clean. All the graves seemed to be tended to that morning.

Beware of dog, taken from Tiberius' house on Capri. It's over 2,000 years old.

This is the view from the bus window on the Mama Mia Highway!!! I don't think that little guardrail would help stop a bus if the brakes failed.

The Mama Mia highway, taken from Anacapri.

This dog had very strange eyes, I couldn't get him to look at me for a photo, though. When he did look at me, he was looking into my soul, freaking me out.

Trying to get organized for a group shot.

One of things is not like the others....................

I got this neat shot of some fishing boats.

Hi girls, I'll be down in a minute. I just have to finish my 10th beer or so.

Here's to Capri!

This was apparently my meal our second night in Capri. I think it's a darn good photo, considering I don't remember taking it.

Vinnie does the ciphering for the final bill. Those empty wine glasses must belong to me as well.

The Italians say you don't get a hangover when you drink good wine, and I must say I felt remarkably good the next morning.The Gerber Family house is on the left, just out of the pitcher.

This was the only way to get our bags down to the harbour, since the streets are so narrow.

We jumped back on the Funicular for the ride down to the harbour.
The song Funiculi Funicula was written in 1880, commemorating the grand opening of the funicular on Mt. Vesuvius. The Funicular was destroyed multiple times, but was never rebuilt after a big eruption in 1944.  To hear the song (sung by Pavarotti and the Chieftons!),  click here.
Or, you can watch Andrea Bocelli sing it the Collesium in Rome by clicking here
 If you have any appreciation of music, you will agree Pavarotti was in a league of his own. Such a powerful voice, it gives me chills at the end of the song. Nice try, Andrea. Good effort by the other two tenors. But there is only one "Pavarotti".
Ron had his eye on this nice 100 footer
  Oh, about that run. We visited Villa San Michele, a famous Swedish doctor's house in Anacapri. They (strangely) had public washrooms. I had a backpack with our "very important documents" in it. I took it off and set it on the floor.
  About half an hour later, I asked Portage if she had the backpack. No. DOH! So I remember what I did with it and start running towards the doctor's washroom, which is about a mile away, and to make things worse, our bus back to Capri was leaving in 10 minutes.  I run about about 20 steps, and realize I will get hopelessly lost unless Portage comes with me. I have a terrible sense of direction, and Portage can find her way around anywhere. So off we go, Portage running in sandals and carrying her heavy camera. I finally see the doctor's house and sprint ahead. I find the stall I was in. I try the door. Dang, it's locked. So I wait a minute or two and bang on the door. "Scuse'a, Scuse'a, is there a back pack in there?" No reply. Not good. I wait a minute more, then look under the door. No one in there! I reef on the door and it opens. No backpack. Check the gift shop, no backpack. So I start running back towards Portage to tell her the bad news, and I see an office on the left. I stick my head in the door, and there's my backpack! I say to the guy, "hey, that's mine"! He says they found it and were going to send it back to our hotel. They knew which group we were with and which hotel we were in because I had our information in there. I thank him, run back to Portage, we sprint back to the bus with one minute to spare. I'm sweating like crazy, it's 90˚ out and I just did a six minute mile.
"Whew, we just made it", I say to our local guide Dario.
"We can't go yet", he says, "there's still 5 people missing. Oh, I see you got your backpack".
"How did you know about my backpack"?
"The Doctor's house called me to say they were sending it down to the hotel for you, so all that running was unnecessary."
Long pause.

"fungoo" (Under breath) 

  That stuff just doesn't happen where I'm from.
 Fifteen minutes later, the 5 stragglers appear (you know who you are!) and the bus leaves down the Mama Mia highway.

Next up, Day 10. Capri, Sorrento and back to Rome for the farewell dinner.

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