The Long Run (Crystal’s point of view)

Wednesday was the big day that Seth had been waiting for! At 6:00 AM, Tim, Seth, and his dad took off to run the 40ish miles around the island. The rest of us tried to leave around 8:00 to drive after them and catch up to them to give them food, water, more sunscreen, Gu, etc. We ended up leaving later than planned because of the car situation. Nate was to drive a little jeep with Darla, the kids, and Cindy. His was an automatic. I was to drive a little red VW Bug (manual, of course) with Amanda, Heather, and Ben. To start things out, the car wouldn’t start at all, so we had to call in the owner of Hotel Aguilar to help. He lifted up the backseat, tweaked the battery, and got it going. Then, we couldn’t get it into reverse so I ran into a pretty flowery bush! (Later it looked like it was roped together so I hope that I didn’t kill it!) Finally, we made it out of the hotel parking lot and then we realized that we really needed gas so after taking the long route, we made it to the gas station while the jeep waited for us down the road. We got gas just fine, but then we realized that we still couldn’t figure out how to put it in reverse! So, we coasted backward a little, but not far enough to be able to drive out of the station. I was stuck and we tried but couldn’t get it to go into reverse. Pretty soon, we had people yelling at us and getting upset that we were not moving out of the way. Finally, amidst many nervous giggles, mostly Ben afraid for his life, I flagged down a pedestrian and asked if he knew how to put the car into reverse. I got out and he got in, and by this time Cindy had walked back to see if we were doing okay. The man couldn’t figure it out either, so all of a sudden, the man and three other gas attendants were circled around the car trying to get it to work. They finally did and we took off as fast as we could (which isn’t saying much), to continue on our trek. We decided that we were doing well as long as the bicyclists didn’t pass us. (One might have, if I remember correctly…) Anyway, we drove for a while around the island, enjoying the warm air and ride (except for the random speed bumps that almost did us in and the way that the car felt like it would lose pieces at any moment if we went over 60 kph or so. We finally got up to the guys running at about mile 20. We reapplied their sunscreen, gave them oranges to eat, and took down some of the quotes that they had been thinking. We drove on ahead to find a beach and look for sea glass while they continued on. By this time, we were figuring out the car pretty well, just as long as we didn’t have to make any tight turns. (When that did happen, Heather had to help me turn the steering wheel for lack of good old power steering.) We stopped at a beach for a while and then realized that the jeep had a flat tire so Nate went on ahead to try to get it fixed. That was just fine and dandy until we realized that the car keys were in Amanda’s bag, which was in the jeep. So, we were stranded out in the elements, (sun, tropical breeze, etc.) with no way to get anywhere. Well, when that happens, there isn’t a lot left to do but eat. So we did. After a long while, Nate made it back and we went on to Zulha beach to snorkel a little and wait for the guys to catch up. (Tim had stayed with us, so now it was just Seth and his dad). After they checked in with us and kept going, we ended up going back to the hotel as well, all fine and none worse the wear (except for maybe the bush and the car). What a day!