World Run II / Reports
The map shows the position of which the pictures for the day are taken (if any). The start and finish markers are placed at the first and last valid registered position. This is not nessesary the actual start and finish position, if GSM or GPS signals was not available.
Distance today: 30.0 km (Accumulated: 29810.0 km)
Elapsed time: 02:45:13
Start 09:55am., almost clear & light wind, at green road-sign "<- Pifo, Pinto ->" at fork in road, on the road to Tulcan and Colombia. Finish 13:47pm., 29c, half clear & same, at auto-fence marker "37.000" on the road to Tulcan and Colombia.
Running in Equador certainly is a constant display of contrasts; or rauther a constant battle of contrasts of emotions:
Those of awe and amazement by the beauty of the nature, the stunning variation of enviroments and species of plants, flowers and animals along the route. I have never seen anything like it, despite beeing on my 2. lap each step' around the world.
The other feeling is that of disgust with how the driving is done on the main roads of Equador. It is ofcourse a bit too strongly put - but, if you daily are in danger of beeing moved down by cars which doesnt seem to realise that its risky to drive at high speed right up to the shoulder of a runner (who, is trying his best to obey the rules and keep to the side/rough shoulder of the road). No matter how nice and pleasant a people in general are, and the Equadorians are Nice and actually one of the most friendly nations to encounter at 'ground level' :-), then I think its a commen human reflex to dislike situations and people which put one in direct danger of life.
Important is that I dont think any of the very reckless driving is on purpose. It reminds a lot of what I experiensed when running through Argentina; that it seemed like there was no real understanding of that driving can be dangerous - Drivers would at the same time wave and shout encouragements and... nearly literally drive me down at the side of the road - perhaps in eagerness of seeing up close what was going on with this strange runner-grigo'. But so very very unpleasant to daily feel the health/survival hanging on the tread of a number of confused drivers. If not experiensed (and I hope its the case for most !!), then I doubt its possible to understand how profound the daily danger affects one's emotions.
The overall positive though is that this is merely a few contries on a route spanning the world, where the situation is like Equador. More, its a joy to see that there are a consioness about this at 'official level' where a re-build of the main roads are in process and huge signs are parading the need for safety (though they in typical South American style are ignoered with a smile ;-)
Most important: The positive's of running trough a contry this beautifull and varied - FAR outweights the unpleasanties of a driving culture which seems to seriously need a driving test before beeing let out on the roads (I dont have fantasy to imagine that there is a driving test a present ;-).
PS: On a curious note I've become aware that many of the cars doesnt have lisence plates (! If its possible to believe such a thing - I'll try to get some photoe's to back it up in a couple of days). Or, more correctly they do have plates, but around 10-20% have texts like "Hola !" ("Hello" in spanish), "Equador" etc. And I dont think the case is that its 'vip plates' - since many of them have the same text, often hand-written ;-]
The road-police takes it all very calmly. If the driver has an insurence then all is Ok. I guess its a practical approach; the accidents are bound to happen, so the main thing is not wether they will drive dangerously - but wether they can pay for the damage afterwards.