07 September 2009

Day 106

Potenza Fireworks, originally uploaded by Ryan Runs Europe.

I woke up in the morning all ready to run. I spent a long time getting caught up on my computer work, and before I knew it it was the afternoon. One problem: I wasn't sure where I was running to.
I spent some time punching in some walking directions into Google maps, putting in the towns that Lieze and Fabio had suggested that I see. I ended up coming up with a (I hope) more interesting route than I had before. Instead of running towards Bari and following the coast, I decided to stick to the mountain villages which seemed to have more potential for architectural charm.
It was after three o'clock when I searched the road from Potenza to Castelmezzano on my phone. It was close to 50 km...not the 37 that Google Maps had given me. I spent some time realizing that the complex mountain trails that were on the Google system were not on my phone, and that there was no way I would be able to navigate them if it got dark while I was running. 50 km was also a bit much to start at around 4 in the afternoon.
I spent some time pondering this dilemma, and Lieze came up with a good solution: stay in Potenza for the night and leave for Castelmezzano in the morning. I agreed, and spent the rest of the afternoon working on planning some of my stages in Greece and thinking about how I am going to survive there. I am going to try to get a little piece of paper printed out that says who I am, what I am doing, and what I am looking for in Greek. While shoving a laminated card in people's faces will definitely make me look like a mute beggar, it is the best solution I can come up with. If you happen to be fluent in Greek and wouldn't mind doing some translation editing of a few sentence description, please send me an e-mail at run@ryanlukejohns.com
Anyways, around 8 we drove up to a big hill on the edge of town where there was a fireworks competition, and we spent the night watching some of the biggest fireworks in southern Italy. It was a much needed day for rest and planning...some things I can never seem to get quite enough of.


  1. Good luck with the greek card thing...I look forward to hearing how it goes. Glad u got some much n eeded rest:)

  2. Hey Ryan, the fireworks look great! Glad you took some time off..I noticed you were getting closer to Italy. Carina has a class mate from there, so I shall have her mention that. I hope everyone is good at english in Greece..I think you will find more people speak it than you think, and I recall you father getting by very well with his sign language when we went there!!! Take care of yourself...Love you!

  3. You could always write the phrases in permanent marker on your forehead ... would that be a little less strange?

    Don't worry about taking a day off, bro, it's Labor Day back home. We're all on Holiday!

    Safe trip ... as always :)

  4. Ryan,Glad that you decited not to run through the mountain during night. Good for you to take a day off, anyway it's labor day.
    Well! we're off to Co to check on house one more time and then to the Ranch for few days. I'll try to talk to you from Ranch and may be Papa can write to you too. Until then be safe and keep smiling. much love, Carters

  5. hi ryan,
    I am italian and I know greece quite well and I can assure you that you will not find any problem there communicating. almost any person under the age of 40-45 usually has at least a basic knoledge of english. greeks speak english much more than the italians, that's for sure :)

  6. Ryan I love ur blog and pictures!!! its all soo cool. What a wonderfully inspiring journey!

  7. You'll be fine in Greece. They've had compulsory english at school for many years, and the Athens Olympics helped a lot too. Tourism is their main industry, so you won't have a problem finding Greek people who speak english.

    I love your blog by the way. Come run through Australia! No medieval architecture, but lots of beautiful scenery, and a spot for you on my couch any day :)