The third month of a marathon training is usually the most intensive. Enndurance runs climb to 25-32 kilometers, sometimes even between 35-37 for the fanatics. This is also the time when a runner must be very careful with injuries or sickness because missing on training could mean missing the race entirely (in extreme injury or sickness of course).
This should have been written two weeks ago but I got so caught up in the heat of the presidential election in the Philippines, debating with some voters about their choices. It had been exhausting, discussing the affairs of my former country. My views and rebuttal even threatened “friendship”
Who knew that I would have quite the dining experience in Surrey? The English are not exactly known for their culinary skills but it certainly helps to have friends who know the right addresses. From burgers to cakes and the best cocktails in town, here’s some hotspots to check if you ever wind up in Surrey.
This Carribean food and drinks joint is unassumingly located beside the American bar giant Hardrock Cafe. What makes it stand out though are its blue facade and bright lights, exuding the the island of the Carribean.
We came an hour before happy hour ends, when you can still avail two cocktails for the price of one. I think we all went for the rum-based mixes. Mine was with dark rum and passion fruit. It was so good that I drank it faster than my brain could determine the amount of alcohol I was guzzling so I felt drunk and dizzy when it finally did. About 30 minutes after the cocktails was served.
Thankfully there was good food. For starters, we ordered Jamaican chicken and calamari, both amazingly spicy. For mains, I went for a pot of goat curry while Robin ordered Trinidad chicken curry, both served with Caribbean rice and peas. I made a silly mistake of putting extra hot sauce (just half a teaspoon), which made my dish fiery hot. Robin on the other hand, left his order as served, a lovely hodgepodge of chicken, spices, mango, sweet potato, carrots and coconut bits stewed in coconut milk. The chicken dish was so good that we were using our data roaming to search for the recipe of the Trinidad chicken online. If you have a recipe of this dish, please send it to me.
Turtle Bay Guildford,
Dolphin House, 1 North Street
Have you ever had your cocktails on a tea cup? Probably not. But in this speakeasy bar located in an obscure alleyway in Guildford high street, behind an actual bar, you can have your cocktails served in a tea setting, dainty cups and all. But you need a code and the only way to get in is by appointment. Reserve way in advance because it can get busy especially on a Friday evening. And don’t forget to follow the house rules or they’ll kick you out.
3 Milkhouse Gate
Perhaps many will be raising their eyebrows with this one but I have a good excuse. We just arrived on a delayed flight, it was past lunch time and we were famished. So I chose a restaurant that looks familiar. Please don’t judge me.
To be fair, the burger was delicious. My prawn pasta (more like shrimps actually) was cooked properly but not really exceptional. And they have Vermentino de Sardegna and you can’t really go wrong with that. So we had a nice meal albeit expensive. If we had time and if we weren’t so hungry, I would have hunted for a better place.
13 Friary St
Cafe Mila, Yoga cafe
Our friends live in Godalming so that means dining in. So we only went to one place here for tea. Cafe Mila was full of yoga moms when we stopped by at 3PM for tea, coffee and cake. I could imagine this to be a cosy address for a meet-up with girlfriends or when you want to drown yourself in calories then try to lose it with yoga.
Collingridge House Angel Court, High Street
The Dabbling Duckling
I think it would improper to visit England and not have an English breakfast. For our first and only, we went to The Dabbling Duck where cyclists and weekend-ders also hang out during breakfast. The cafe’s wall was full of quotable quotes mostly about women empowerment and spite for men. One order of their Duck breakfast and you’re set until afternoon tea.
The Dabbling Duck
We did a lot of nature walking and naturally we would stop for tea every once in a while. Our last stop was the Applegarth Farm in Grayshott where the “twee” (English slang, either cute, posh or too perfect) crowd go for their afternoon tea in the weekends, at least according to a local.
But here you can also have a moist and insanely yummy chocolate cake, with big pieces of chocolates in it and carrot cake with bits of real carrot. However the coffee was “English” and the scone was apparently very chewy. They also sell all kinds of organic and home-made stuff which thankfully didn’t appeal to me that day.
Everything was arranged when we came back to the lodge after a full day of tracking lions and leopards. We were tired but happily tired, the kind of tiredness you get after swimming in an open sea. After a quick hot shower at the tent, the manager led us to our reserved corner in the bush.
Two wooden chairs and a table covered in white cloth were set up under a bush tree. Several lamps hang on the branches. Shortly after we were seated, Atanas, a jolly camp personnel, came with the wine list. We chose a bottle of Stellenbosch Pinotage, which Atanas brought to our table just when the sun started setting.
Despite the romantic ambiance, we were restless – taking photos of the wines, the set up, the sunset and fidgeting with our telephones because there’s finally a good wifi connection. Although we were quite far from our fellow travellers, we could still hear the hearty laugh of the Amsterdamers drinking wine together with the Brabanders in front of the camp fire. It annoyed us, at first. We wanted silence, we wanted the whole bush to ourselves, we wanted the whole world to disappear so we could be with only the two of us. Only after a few sips of wine and when the fiery ball of African sunset started sinking rapidly that we realized we were practically ignoring this beautiful moment because of the noise we were creating for ourselves – with our gadgets, with our judgements and our demands.
The tranquility of the African bush could be intimidating. We’ve been city dwellers for most of our lives. We are always surrounded by noise, not only physically but also by the noise that we create in our heads. We didn’t know what to do with the sudden silence. But nature has a calming effect on men and animals alike.
“Shall we put the gadgets away?” I said.
“I guess it would be a waste of this sunset if we don’t.”
We moved the chairs so that we would be sitting beside each other looking at the horizon, wrapped in each other’s embrace while admiring the sinking sun. Slowly, the world disappeared, the laughter of the other guests, the noise of the restaurant, the songs of the staff. There was only the sound of the silence in the African bush. And each other’s breathing. Suddenly it was just me and Robin, enjoying this moment of peace, not even uttering a single word.
I have never a sunset as beautiful as that in the Serengeti. Seven years ago, I swore that there couldn’t be a sunset more beautiful than that in El Nido, Palawan. But ours in the Serengeti left me speechless.
For a whole three hours, we sat there, barely believing that we were in this paradise, surrounded by lions and hyaenas.
Later during dinner, Rogarth our driver, asked me how I met Robin. I told him the story of vodka and the sunset in El Nido. He smiled and said “Now I understand why you wanted to see the sunset.” He later told a story about how love is the most important thing in a relationship.
We went to bed, again with the sound of the lions and hyaenas.
How do you train for a marathon?
This question has always confused me. If I dig into all the knowledge online and follow them all, I might as well stopped living and just train. Or stop training altogether
I'm Dheza, raised in a barrio in the Philippines, immigrated to the Dutch polder and travelling through running. This blog documents my life, to which I would like to look back to with tears and smiles when I am old and unable. Drop me a line firstname.lastname@example.org.