DAY97 Soustons 5 (France)

5th day-off here in Soustons.

Funny how time flies…

My left ankle is getting better. I can walk with no problem.

Tomorrow I’ll move to Sain Geours du Marenm where Catherine lives about 12 km from here.

8th of November my wife Piapi and her pals come and see me in Paris.

We haven’t seen each other more than 3 months.

Enjoy chatting almost every day and night but it’s totally different from seeing face to face.

Looking forward to it.

Visited Elisabeth for a greeting and to use Wi-Fi.

Her computer went wrong and her son(Surfer) came and to fix it.

And I brought One-Tooth Geta to let him try on.

He was so excited about it!

More than 30 years experience of surfing, he really has a good sense of balance.

And Elisabeth tried it on too.

Whoever wear this wooden sandal makes a smile.

It is a magic footwear, yes it really is.

*Today’s Distance: 0 km

*Total Distance in Europe: 3261.8 km


DAY96 Soustons 4 (France)

Spending time here in Souston, south west part of France.

This is a small village where my Wi-Fi rooter cannot catch the wave.

Elizabeth lets me use her network.

But my room is a bit far from her house and only inside the house I can get into network.

Without internet, I realize how much I have depended upon internet so far (though I’m sure I have always noticed the fact).

At 9 am I went for a cup of coffee at Elizabeth’s house.

She suggested to me we have a walk in the trail nearby with her neighbors.

That’s what we did. Catherine and 4 other ladies came together.

Quiet, calm trail was in the pinewood where nobody came around.

Just three cars passed by while walking.

I have followed the same kind of trail so often but there are nice trails here and there in this area, maybe all around France.

Must be good for mountain biking.

They say this is a weekly event held every Wednesday.

After 2-hour walk, we had a lunch.

Each one of them brought original cuisine.

Good wine and nice food, cheese, ham, salad and some cakes.

I may have taken more calories than I had spent in walking.

Isn’t it nice to spend a peaceful time with local people?

I happened to meet Elizabeth 6 days ago. And how many nice people have I met here so far?

My left ankle is getting better. No problem in walking a short distance.

Stiff muscle is becoming softer.

I put teatree oil after taking shower every day.

And I use One-Tooth Geta as a rehabilitation tool.

I don't need any medicine, nor doctors.

All I need is to believe natural power to cure myself.

*Today’s Distance: 0 km

*Total Distance in Europe: 3261.8 km

* See More Photos


DAY95 Soustons 3 (France)

Pouring rain in the morning.

I have decided to stay here in Souston until Friday morning.

I guess I need to take a good rest for my left ankle.

Hopefully it is going to get better, and then I will move to Saint Geours de Maremne, where Catherine takes care of me for a while.

She lives not far from here Souston.

And then I run to southward till I get to Saint Sebastian Airport to fly to Paris in early November.

It is in Spain, very close to the border of France.

That’ll be my finishing point out there.

First I was supposed to run to Lisbon, Portugal, next, to Santiago de Compostela, then in Madrid…

After all I am supposed to finish not that farther in the west.

Anyway, it’ll end just after I have crossed the border.

So next trek starts at the airport where I soon start Camino de Santiago. Saint Jean Pier de Port, the starting point is very close.

Not everything goes well as it is wished to be.

Something will go wrong in the way we haven’t expected.

But whether it’s good or bad, we have to accept it as it is.

All we got to do is do our very best each and every day.

Elizabeth took me to a village center for shopping.

Soon the sun and the blue sky came back.

Day 100 is drawing near.

Looking back all those days, it’s been long. About one-third of the year, I’ve been traveling far away from home.

But I know some friends who traveled around the world for 8-11 years.

Basically I travel one country or one continent(island) per year.

Making a plan, raising money, I get ready for the start.

The goal of my Peace Run comes when I have completed 40,000 km on 5 continents.

When I have finished running this time, total distance should be about 16,000 km on 3 continents. Still less than half of the 40,000 km.

The rest of Europe, Asia, then in Africa and South America are waiting for me.

I don’t know how long it will take to achieve this project.

Step by step, one goes far.

All I got to do is GO THE DISTANCE!!

*Today’s Distance: 0 km

*Total Distance in Europe: 3261.8 km


DAY94 Soustons 2 (France)

It’s been raining since last night. My left ankle still hurts but it’s okay if I don’t walk or move it.

100 km to the border of Spain, but the Pyrenee Mountains lie before Madrid.

I’d better stay quiet here so it won’t get worse.

As I mentioned, we’re all flesh and blood. We are destined to perish sooner or later.

Art is long but life is short…Yes, life is short, that’s why we have to enjoy it.

After breakfast, as the rain stopped, we drove to village center where marche(market) was held.

Fresh fruits and vegetables, cheese, wine and daily necessities…

Everything is sold at cheaper prices than those sold at the supermarket.

And also marche is a place to meet people. Yes, it’s a place for social exchange.

Someone who comes to marche meets their friends and says hello.

They start to chat on the road side.

I feel happy watching a peaceful scene like that.

It’s a small village of Soustons, France.

But I hope I see a scene like that wherever I go in the world.

All I want to see is people’s smiles and all I hear is people’s laughter.

There’s nothing that keeps them from smiling and laughing.

There were some friends of Elizabeth’s out there and she introduced me to them.

“Oh, you’re a runner who is running around the world, aren’t you?”

“You’re traveling around the world, don’t you? I wanna hear your stories!”

They talked to me that way.

Then we walked a path beside the lake.

So quiet there was nothing but tranquility.

Two squirrels looking for food before hibernation,

Some birds tweeting from here and there,

Senior couple walking their dogs,

Father and two sons enjoyed fishing…

Although I happened to visit Soustons maybe because some invisible power attracted me, I felt like living in such a peaceful place like this.

These vegetables are what Elizabeth bought at the marche and gave me. Very unusual vegetables to me except eggplant.

At night we visited Catherine’s place in Saint Geours de Maremne, south east of Souston. She lives with two daughters of hers.

She was also at the party on Saturday and helped me as a translator.

Tonight her daughters, Christie and Camille cooked dinner for us.

We talked about so many things, such as difference between France and Japan, as for culture, job, education and family…

Some parts are similar but some are not, completely different.

It may take a long time for all of us human beings to live in peace. But we all have to make possible efforts to create peace.

Funny how one encounter has led to another.

Since I met Elizabeth, I have seen many nice people here, her family and friends.

I’m so glad they understand me and try to help me.

I don’t know when my left ankle will work well but need a little more patience.

Anyway I have to leave here on Friday when new guests comes to this B&B.

Catherine said, “You can come and stay with us if you want.”

She showed a nice cottage just at the back of her house.

Oh, my! I cannot thank her enough.

I have to decide where I will finish my run.

Seems like Madrid is getting far away.

One plan is to run from Souston to Catherine’s place after my left ankle has recovered.

And it’s convenient to fly from Saint Sebastian to Paris.

So it means that next time my travel starts in Saint Sebastian Airport.

Well, what can I do? What should I do?

*Today’s Distance: 0 km

*Total Distance in Europe: 3261.8 km

* See More Photos


DAY93 Soustons (France)

Left ankle still hurts. So I decided to stay one more night.

It must be a sign which tells me to stop running.

We human beings are just flesh and blood which is destined to perish.

We got to enjoy ourselves as long as my body keeps moving.

Last week I took a week-off in Genissac because my buggy broke down.

This time it’s my turn.

Elizabeth took me to a local art festa held in a park in Azur.

There were some artists who showed their works at their own booth.

All works were so good and I had a really good time to know what art was for.

Then we drove to Vieux-Boucau les Bains to see North Atlantic Ocean.

When was the last time I saw the sea?

It was good to smell the sea and to feel sea breeze.

Though it was not warm, there were a lot of surfers enjoying the waves.

Probably I visit a small town or village where a Japanese tourist seldom visits.

But in such a place I may have a chance to know what real French culture is like.

Late afternoon Elizabeth took me to her son’s place.

It was kind of a commune where some families lived together.

The Peters’ are from Denmark. They come to spend some time on vacation.

This seems unusual life style for us Japanese but it’s a very good way to live, so flexible and free from the fixed idea.

It’s a world of ecology where people can share anything they have, not a world of egoism.

Also it’s a model society of the future for all of us human beings.

That’s the world which love and peace can create.

Learning one by one here in France, there are still a lot to learn.

Traveling is also education. And this world is a school.

People I meet are all teachers to me. I have to learn more and more.

Life is fun as long as we keep learning from someone else.

3 months have passed since I left London.

So many things have happened so far. And all I have to do is enjoy anything that happens each and every day.

*Today’s Distance: 0 km

*Total Distance in Europe: 3261.8 km

* See More Photos


DAY92 Lesperon-Soustons 37.0km (France)

It’s my 56th birthday today.

Beautiful sunrise celebrated my birthday in the morning.

I felt something wrong with my left ankle and it hurts a bit now.

After taking 7 days off in Genissac, I started to run again but in my mind I must have hurried to the goal.

It’s not easy to keep the balance in between the mind and the body.

Ran through rough road between the forest. Some roads were soft gravel sometimes sandy it was hard to push my buggy.

Had a flat tire on the front wheel yesterday and today.

About 4:30, I finished my run at B&B in Souston.

Elizabeth, the owner doesn’t speak English but we communicated with Google translation.

She said she had a party tonight and invited me too.

The party began at 8pm where her family and friends were there.

What a surprise! Suddenly they started to sing HAPPY BIRTHDAY song.

Special cake showed up before me on the table!

Because of Catherine who had spent her life in the US and Australia, she translated into French what I wanted to say.

Anyway, “Miracle happens everyday” as Forrest Gump says.

Yes, it really does.

I had a very happy time with the people whom I would have never met if I had not traveled in France.

Everywhere I go, there is someone who needs me. That’s why I keep running and traveling.

*Today’s Distance: 37.0 km

*Total Distance in Europe: 3261.8 km

* See More Photos


DAY91 Biscarrosse-Lesperon 57.3km (France)

Chilly morning. 4-5 degrees. Just like the climate in Osaka in February.

So I kept running until the sun came up above.

But it was a bit warm in the afternoon. 16 degrees.

The scenery where I ran today reminded me of the Nullarbor Plain, Australia.

Pine and cedar forest spread around. No human beings but just trees…

There was no one to talk to. All I got to do is run.

The final day of 55 years old today but I don’t want to count my age any more.

Time, distance, money, age, day…if I give up on counting the number, will I be happy?

It was a long day until I checked in at a hotel in Lesperon.

Small town, after 6pm no one walked around in town.

Kept running 27km without stopping. 

Arrived at a hotel in Lesperon. I knocked on the door no answer.

So I waited in front of the door but time just passed by.

I asked a lady of neighbor bakery to call the owner of the hotel.

The owner was inside the hotel. I wondered why. Anyway I was able to check in.

*Today’s Distance: 57.3 km

*Total Distance in Europe: 3224.8 km

* See More Photos