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Article: Follow the Stream : Part I

Follow the Stream : Part I

Follow the Stream : Part I

Sardinia. An island off the coast of Italy where the inhabitants live longer than anywhere on the planet. A place that has withstood the test of conquering empires for thousands of years. Where the wine flows like water and the water shines like crystals in the hot mediterranean sun. The capital city of Cagliari, a once fortified medieval port, sits at the southern end of the island. This will serve as the staging grounds and starting point for the mission at hand.

Rio Lakeshore and Travis Weller: Purveyors of fine art, music, and eternal seekers of the inherent beauty of life. And, for the record, world class runners. Here in Cagliari we find two friends searching for meaning through friendship, countless miles, and good food. Emphasis on the last point. The plan was simple:

"Cross the island by foot, discover the inner workings of the culture, discover the secret to eternal life, and run a marathon a day"

The first morning started slowly. A few cappuccinos at the small cafe down the street erased the pounding headache from a long night exchanging stories around a bottle of house wine and an anchovy pizza. The sun was already warm, despite the early hour. It was rising fast, casting shadows on the walls of the rich city walls, adorned with graffiti - a beautiful testament to the constant presence of art in Sardinian culture. Stripping down to running shorts and handheld water bottles, they took off through the city. Buzzing with anticipation and espresso. 

Quickly escaping the bustle of people, Travis and Rio found themselves running down the side of the superstrada, semi trucks and buses flashing past them with overwhelming force. The sun intensified, creating a less than hospitable start to the journey. Finding a rhythm proved to be tough, yet a flow slowly exposed itself, guided by the thousands of miles banked in years past. 

The freeways quickly turned to country roads. No longer watching for traffic, the runners shifted their attention to disgruntled farmers, visibly and understandably confused. Through miles of dusty olive groves, they came across a small town, boasting a bit of shade, a cold coca cola, and tortellinis made with lamb from the chef’s local farm. An oasis. They ate fast, and Travis’s stomach was not pleased. Rio smoked a cigarette on the curb and drank another coke. School had just gotten out for the day, and a stream of kids poured out of a nearby doorway, walking hand in hand down the street. They sang loud and proud, reciting a song unknown to the runners. The streets eventually went quiet, and the chef closed his restaurant for the afternoon. A siesta for the locals, but a sign to keep moving for the runners. 

Their shadows grew long, and Travis’s stomach issues had yet to subside. Samatzai, a small farming town tucked into the hills, grew close, marking the end of the first day of a long journey. It was quaint and still, with luxuries still unknown. As the sun sets, they finally find solace in a small bed and breakfast along the side of the road. The owner pointed them towards a restaurant owned by his cousin, where they reveled in the day. The cousin enthusiastically recommended the “seafood meal”, and they graciously accept. It was the only thing on the menu. 

To Be Continued...