I was planning to leave to South AFrica on the 19th of April 2010 for 10 days to prepare for the Berlin marathon on September 26. I was very keen on escaping the bad wheather in England and catch some sun shine at the seaside of Port Elizabeth in South Africa. So I was really shattered about the eruption of the vulcano in Island which filled the air with vulcano ashes and made airtransportation impossible the week before my planned departure to South Africa.
As usual when there is a problem in Europe, the UK were hit the hardest by the natural catastrophy. While the airports in the continent started to operate slowly again on the 19th of April, the airports in the UK remained closed until the 24th of April. The journey took over 11 hours and I had to change the plane in Johannesburg. When I finally arrived in Port Elizabeth the beautiful wheather compensated me for all the complications of the journey. I stayed in a very posh hotel only 10 minutes walking distance from the beach.
I worked out some safe training routes together with the staff in the hotel and so I trained running every day in the morning and in the evening when it was coolest. I enjoyed also walking along the beaches in Port Elizabeth and I visited the zoo and the aquarium.
To get a break from all my training, hotel staff organized a safari for me. I spent one day in one of the big national parks in Aouth Africa watching lions and other wild animals in their natural environment. It was one of the most scary experiences of my life, I must say. I joined a group of Irish tourists and we were taken around the safari park by a ranger who enjoyed to give us the most thrilling moments of our lives. I had the pleasure to look at a lyon from less than one meter distance! After an exciting dinner at the open fire in a small camp site in the middle of the national park, we were driven back through the safari park in the dark. Some wild animals only come out in the dark and so this was the best part of the whole tour.
All the sunshine and the warm wheather turned me skin into a very healthy looking dark brown and when I came back to the UK I had run a mileage of at least 200 km!