Thursday, 5 May 2016

Europe - Day 2

Jimmy’s thoughts for day 2 

This morning was an earlier start, with a 5am alarm. This meant that we could get Mark to the starting point for day 2 as early as possible. 

We modified the plan for today so that Mark didn’t have to carry his waist pack as he complained that this was slowing him down yesterday. Instead, we agreed to meet every 5km or so to do a quick water exchange before sending him back out on his way. 

At lunch we discussed how much happier Mark was with the route today. Although it has still been very undulating and particularly hard on Mark’s feet I get the impression that today’s route has been a lot kinder to him. This was also reflected in Mark’s mood as he was particularly chirpy at lunch (not just because we parked up at a train station). 

We were fortunate enough to pass a McDonalds in Caldas Da Rainha which allowed us to charge Mark’s electrical items and utilise some wifi. During this brief visit we were able to identify a more efficient route for Mark to continue on for the rest of the day. This didn’t reduce the distance and the road surface was kinder allowing Mark to pick up a good pace. 

Due to the wonders of the BBC iPlayer we were able to tune in and listen to Mark’s interview with Mark Forrest. We were relieved to hear him in such good spirits as it had been some time since we last met with him. We also heard Mark say that he was feeling “a million dollars” so took full advantage and hatched a cunning plan to make him run an additional 2 miles for the day. 

We needed to get these additional miles as there have been slight discrepancies between Google maps and the actual route that Mark has taken. Although we knew that this would be tough for Mark, it was really important that we keep any mileage ‘false deficits’ to an absolute minimum to get him to Istanbul as scheduled. 

As it was getting late, and quite dark, I ran back from the RV meeting point with some high vis vests to safely escort Mark for the last stretch. We had managed to sneakily park outside of a campsite (that had closed for the evening) and set up home for the night. Mark was exhausted by this point so managed a quick shower and some cereal before bed. 

On reflection, this was a good day. We met Mark as and when he needed us, we serviced the RV and ended the day on 39.1 miles. Result.