Stage 1.14: Torremolinos – Málaga, Spain

In which I reach Málaga in time for Christmas, reflect on city-building strategies, and extend it as a wider metaphor in life. Merry Christmas. :)

Today’s objective is to reach Málaga, where I intend to spend Christmas. After an brief, accidental trip to a cemetery, I am on my way. The route down through town is fun to run, dropping quite quickly to get back to sea-level.

I reach the beach, and continue along the coast. It’s another lovely day. :)
I opt for some beach-running, rather than follow the road around. But also, it’s a nice day for it.
For long stretches, there’s a wooden path laid across the beach. I didn’t know about this, and it makes the run much easier. It really does pay to ignore the map, sometimes. Sometimes. ;)
I have to head inland for a couple of kilometres or so, so a couple of rivers can be crossed. It’s quite a diversion, but it seems there are no bridges along the seafront at that point. I don’t seem to be the only one making the detour; various runners and cyclists, some with small children, also take the route.
Main river crossed, it’s a dry, dry road back to the sea. Easy to run, but not exactly picturesque.
Rejoining the beach, it’s rather a nice stretch. It becomes busier and busier as I approach Málaga, with runner after runner. It seems everyone’s out, today—perhaps rightly considering a sunny Sunday Christmas Eve a good opportunity for a run. :)
Working my way around the port, it’s much less beautiful, but on the opposite side to the sea, I do cross a pleasing stretch of water.
I’m becoming a bit tired, probably because of this run following yesterday’s so quickly. I stop for a breakfast-break. The promenade is really busy, busy enough to have to change direction frequently whilst running. But there’s enough room to get past—unlike trying to run in waterside places in London.
As the centre is left behind, the route becomes much nicer, again. It’s interesting how often, the centre of a town or city really is nowhere near as nice as the areas just a few kilometres out. Whilst I suppose this makes some sense, given development, it seems rather a shame than we can’t develop cities whilst keeping the beauty of the surrounding nature intact. I encountered much the same problem the other day, when trying out SimCity. ;) It occurs to me that it’s either necessary to plan everything a long time in advance, or maybe to have the complete opposite strategy and develop everything very slowly and carefully. But rapid expansion just destroys the surroundings. Perhaps this can also be a bit of a metaphor for life; there’s no single approach which is superior, but certainly some approaches are more sustainable and quality-preserving than others.
And a few kilometres after, I reach the end of my run. It’s been uneventful, but pleasant. It’s been a bit of a stretch these last few days, as I haven’t felt quite as well as a week or so ago, but I’m pleased I’ve reached Málaga. I feel a bit like it’s the end of a group of stages, for me; it’s been a little over three weeks since I began this project, I’ve run over 350 km, I’ve reached a major city, and of course now it’s Christmas. Time for some recovery, time for some relaxation, and time for some whisky and contemplation. Merry Christmas to you all. :) Checkpoint. 23.3 km (stage) / 354.5 km (total)