Friday, August 12, 2011

Bella Vista–Again.

This could be my favorite road for training I’ve got in Bolivia.  It rolls.  The climbs are all runnable, and they last for a while.  It’s got some flat stretches too where it’s possible to relax into a good groove.

Anyway, on Saturday I got out onto the road to Bella Vista for my weekly long run pretty early in the morning.  The sun was up, but it hadn’t lit the valley yet.


Anyway the last couple of times I’ve been running here mud has been a real consideration.  In fact, the last long run I did on this road had me questioning my sanity thanks to the 3 steps back for every 4 forward mode of transport I had undertaken.  This time, the track conditions were really good. 

By the time I crested the first hill, I knew I wasn’t going to be setting any land speed records – I was simply enjoying the scenery too much.


There isn’t much in the way of actual trail here in Bolivia, but many of the roads are primarily used by foot traffic – lots of double track.  I expect this road would be a freaking blast on a mountain bike too – though coming around a blind downhill curve and running into a cow wouldn’t be a ton of fun…


I’ve been running on this road many times now, but this was my longest by quite a bit.  Many years ago I’d driven back here with Nataly while scouting sites for her PHd work.  She ended up not working back in here, but the drive featured one spectacular (bella even) vista and I finally got there on this run.




The last time I ran here, I knew I was close, but the red dirt you see in a couple of these pictures is absolutely miserable to run on when it’s a bit wet.  Glacial.  I actually think running downhill on it is worse than up – it’s straight dangerous. 

I continued a bit further along on the road and actually came into a bit of a developed area.  Certainly a more “civilized” one.


The big pine tree on the left of the picture is non-native and planted.  Others have started spreading.  Nataly is worried about them because they may change the fire cycle in this region.  She’s on a mission to take out all the pines that have been planted at Cuevas.  I’m not 100% on board with that – the pines are doing something to stabilize the hillside – but she’s probably more right than me.  The native vegetation is adapted more to landsliding than it is to fire…

Anyway.  I turned around just a bit further along down the road and headed back.  There are a few more kilometers to explore on this road yet and I expect I’ll visit them in a few weeks.  This weekend my long run will be here in LaGuardia.  I’ll be back up to Cuevas on Thursday next week.


I should note too - I ran this in my Vibrams - 18 Miles in VFF Trek Sports.  Longest run in them by probably 20 percent (guessing, but...)

Thanks for reading and stay in your lane on blind curves,

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