Run 44 : Aruba – Oranjestad

RTW Aruba 3

Please give generously to Cancer Research : https://www.justgiving.com/Dan-Thompson11/

Date : 18th January, 2015

Time :  53’ 32”

Total distance run to date : 440 km

Run map and details :  http://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/683240964

Aruba’s the first country I’ve visited that I hadn’t heard of before Run the World. Luke can’t believe this gap in my global geography. Everyone knows “Aruba”. It’s the opening lyric in the song ‘Kokomo’ by the Beach Boys, he exclaimed. A song that went to no. 1 in the US, Japan and Australia in 1988 and was nominated for a Grammy.

Help! Not only do I not know my countries of the world but there appears to be a hit song from the last 30 years that I can’t remember!

But then I looked into it further. This is no Pet Sounds era classic from the Beach Boys. This was a song specifically written for the soundtrack of ‘Cocktail’. A film that won two Golden Raspberries for Worst Movie and Worst Screenplay. A film no self-respecting person should ever have seen – let alone be able to sing along to its soundtrack. I rest my case.

So what’s Aruba like? I’d describe it as an Americanised ex Dutch colony Caribbean island. The locals might not agree with my categorisation but I say it as someone who can imagine bringing the family back here on holiday.

And, if I do, I’ll be joining the million people a year who already visit Aruba. Pretty impressive for a tiny island of 70 square miles and 100 000 people.

It may not have the edge, or the interior, of some other Caribbean islands but it has all the gorgeous beaches, water sports and sunsets that you could ask for. And my ever reliable source of information, i.e. the taxi driver who picked me up at the airport, told me that there are virtually no poor people. Just lots of middle class people and a few rich ones.

It also has plenty of good quality accommodation including the Aruba Surfside Marina, my hosts for the trip. They’ve got a 5 star rating on Trip Advisor and they deserve it. Thank you Ianthe and everyone there. The support really is appreciated! (Pic above gives you a sense of the place – shame about the runner blocking the view.)

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, Aruba has lizards. Masses of them of all colours and sizes. Brilliant!

Back to the running and I set off on my third 10k in 48 hours. While my legs don’t hurt yet, they’re no longer fresh. No real pain yet – but also no bounce left

I run along the coast from the Surfside Marina past the docks and as far as the stunning Divi beach.  I then retrace my steps and, perhaps because it’s still quite hot, I don’t find it that easy. Not excruciating – that’ll come later on this trip – but not as easy as I’d like my 3rd run to be. I sense I’m going to regret all the training I missed due to illness over Christmas.

Anyway, I’ll worry about the 4 runs to come at a later date. I’ve been travelling, running, emailing and blogging since 3.40 a.m. and I’m going for a beer at the local beach club!

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About Run the World

I'm running 10 km in every country in the world - a total of 205 countries - by the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. I'm doing the Run the World challenge to promote the benefits of sport and physical activity and to raise money for cancer research following the death of my mother from cancer. If you'd like to donate to Cancer Research - https://www.justgiving.com/Dan-Thompson11/ - then I know they'd be very grateful.
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