I got one of the more solid nights of sleep that I have had in a while, sleeping until almost 1 pm for a good 8 or 9 hours. Before leaving the house, I added up the distance that I had put on the pair of shoes I was wearing. I had planned on taking them all the way to Bari, but they were starting to look (and more importantly, feel) pretty ratty. The grime buildup from running on oily and dirty highways had weakened the mesh of the shoes, and they were beginning to get that Bobby Hartnett hole on the outer side of the forefoot. Turns out I had put over 1,200 kilometers on them, so getting a new pair of shoes was on the list of things to do for the day.
After leaving the apartment, Dave and I walked over to the Castel Sant'Elmo, where there is an incredible view of Napoli, Vesuvius, and the surrounding cities. I love these kind of views, where you are so high up that the city becomes a map of 1:1 scale...where everything makes sense. When things are planned looking down at a table, they make the most sense from above rather than from within.
From the castle, I called Marco from Brooks who gave me the address of a nearby running shop called DM Sport where I could pick up a new pair of kicks. When I got there, Mario already knew I was coming and there was a fresh pair of Adrenalines waiting for me. Once again I had that feeling of stepping into clouds, and had an even lighter feeling when they were offered to me for free. The entire running community here in Italy has been so helpful to me...a big thank you to Marco for getting me set up with that and keeping me going. To be honest, buying a new pair of shoes would have just about destroyed my budget. 99 days is a long time to live without an income, and I've just about "run" out of money (by the way, if you are enjoying my blog and feel like pitching in a couple bucks to help me on my way, click the "help me" button on the upper right of this blog...every little bit adds a few more miles on my way to Athens, and I sure would appreciate it!).
Anyways, after getting a sick pair of flashy new kicks, Dave and I met Fergus and we went over to two of the most famous pizzerias in Napoli...that happen to be only a few hundred meters from one another. The margherita "Da Michele" is definitely worth running to Naples for.
After eating, we went to the Piazza del Plebiscito where I tried my luck at the supposedly impossible task of walking from one side to the other with my eyes closed. Something about the uneven paving is supposed to throw you off. I tried to use the strategy of running with my eyes closed (assuming that if I was moving forward faster, I would be less likely to get disoriented). This strategy didn't get me even close to the other side though. Every time Dave would tell me to open my eyes, I would be a few hundred meters in the wrong direction. After giving up (for now) we got a drink in a nearby cafe before heading back to sleep. In the morning I would be running to Pompeii, and if I wanted to get there I would have to sleep enough to do it with my eyes open.
02 September 2009