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Article: Follow the Stream : Part II

Follow  the Stream : Part II

Follow the Stream : Part II

“Be light, be present. We don’t know what’s ahead, we just know what’s now.” - Rio Lakeshore

The morning came quickly. In a dehydrated haze, the runners emerged from their small room, adorning their running shoes once again. Cappuccinos and fresh pastries revived their spirits, helping them out the door and into the brisk morning. After a hug and a slight groan, their feet fell into the same rhythm. A familiar and consistent turnover through the Sardinian countryside. 

Leaving Samatzai, they quickly found themselves ascending into the mountains. The olive groves soon subsided and gave way to a rocky landscape, void of life other than the occasional herd of sheep. The midmorning sun beat down as they ascended into the sky, much hotter than before. The pass was long, and water was scarce. Quickly running out, Travis and Rio dug deep to finish the climb and descend into the next town. They violated the first vending machine they passed, filling their waters and washing away the dehydration induced paste in their mouths with cans of coke. 

The miles started to click by, and in the words of Rio Lakeshore, “The body does adapt. Yesterday I felt 100 and today I feel 100% better than that”. Rolling through the countryside, farmers waved as the runners passed by, intrigued and utterly confused. Around noon, they stopped in a small town to wait out the midday heat and refuel at the only restaurant in sight. In desperate need of caffeine, the photographer and vital companion, Drew Smith ordered a cappuccino, requesting it come before the meal. He was met with a blunt, “No, after”. Guess not. They filled their bellies with Sardinian gnocchi, or Malloreddus as the locals call it. Smaller and toothier than its potato counterpart, Malloreddus was universally and instantaneously dubbed “the best meal of our lives”. But then again, so was every other meal. 

Full and content, they carried on, moving deeper into the inner island. Rocks and sheep soon turned to vineyards, vines heavy with rich purple fruit. They floated through the neatly arranged rows of plants, adorned with purple gems, illuminated by the late afternoon sun.

Racing the dissipating light, they hurried towards their destination for the night - a small farm in the hills. They soon reached their final resting place for the day, and were met by an overly-enthusiastic local farmer, excited to show them the property and cook them a meal. The language barrier proved tough - Travis and Rio spoke less than a lick of Italian, and their host didn’t have a single word of English in his pocket. Through a combination of pointing and intermittent stifled laughs they found themselves sitting in front of a feast of locally sourced meats and cheeses, pizzas, pastas and wine from his neighbor down the hill who apparently owns a tractor. Right on. The courses seemed endless, and the boys ate their fill. They stumbled to the bunkhouse, legs tight and aching, and a welcomed and wildly necessary sleep soon followed. 

With somewhere around 50 miles on their feet, Travis and Rio are now somewhere around half way across the island. It’s all downhill from here - in a very figurative sense.

To be continued...