Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Walking by the Salt Lake again

I like walking. But although I walk to local shops, and to friends' houses, I don't often walk just for the sake of it. Yet it's a great form of exercise - and it's far too easy to turn into a couch potato here, in front of my computer.

So, at the end of September last year, I started walking regularly with my friend Sheila. I didn't go every day, as she does, but three times a week I set out early, and walked either trails of either 4km or 8km, and once 11km right round the Salt Lake.  At first I wasn't particularly fast, and felt a bit achey, but gradually I became fitter and could manage the 4km walk (plus 1km getting there and back) with ease, at a comfortable pace where the 4km took me just over half an hour.  That's nowhere near as fast as either of my sons naturally walk, but is apparently equivalent to a little over 4 miles per hour, which is a reasonable walking pace now I'm no longer young!

I continued walking regularly right up to the start of April; then we flew to the UK for a few weeks. I did do some walking there, but not in quite such a deliberate fashion.  Then when we returned in May, we had the whole family here, and I was waking later... and I didn't walk.  I was persuaded to do a 4km walk about a third of the way through June, but I became far too hot, and developed a migraine later that day. So, I said, no more walking until at least September.

Sometimes September in Cyprus is just as hot as August, but this year it does feel at least slightly less humid, and the early mornings are quite pleasant.  So I said I'd try walking again yesterday, if I woke in time.

I did indeed wake shortly after 5.30, and was surprised to find that it was still totally dark outside. After I'd made coffee, I texted Sheila, and we agreed to leave at 6.00am.

The sky was just starting to get light when I put on my shoes to go out:

It felt odd to be wearing socks and trainers again, after three months in sandals and flip-flops only. 

I hadn't been near the Salt Lake for a while, and was faintly surprised to see that it had dried out completely this year:

Last year there was water in it right through the summer. But it hasn't been so wet this year.  Despite the clouds in the sky last Friday, the sky has been clear and blue ever since. 

It was good to be out, and chatting, and enjoying the relative coolness of the early morning, but I was surprised how out of breath I felt when we reached the aqueduct, 2km from the start of the trail:

Quite coincidentally, this happened to be exactly 20 months after the first time that I ever - in all our years in Larnaka - actually walked to the aqueduct, at the start of last year. 

I needed to get to the fruitaria to buy some oranges, and then back home in order to make some almond milk for Tim - who was going out to work early - so I didn't even consider walking more than 4km this time.  I was home by about ten past seven, and didn't become over-heated at all. 

Just as well I didn't go any further, really; by the end of the day my legs were decidedly aching all over, and they still feel a bit uncomfortable today... clearly I was very out of condition! 

1 comment:

Anvilcloud said...

In my little mind at least, Brits have the reputation of loving to walk. I imagine that's quite a broad stereotype, though.