Shuwaikh to Salmiya on Foot

Post by Mark

map

Yesterday afternoon I dropped my Datsun to Omid’s Garage in Shuwaikh to have a few things worked on, mostly installing an AC system as well as replacing all the car’s bushings among other things. After dropping the car off I walked to the main road to find a cab and then not sure what got into my head but I tweeted that maybe I should just walk home since I was already in gym gear. I wasn’t planning to go to the gym, but since my car didn’t have AC and I was expecting the weather to be warm, I figured I would wear my gym gear since I wouldn’t mind sweating in it. I opened up google maps just to get an idea if it was actually doable and it gave an estimated time of around 2 hours and 44 minutes. It was around 6PM then and I was invited to an Audemars Piguet event at 7PM, but other than that didn’t really have any plans for the evening. So I was like fuck it, I’ll ditch the event and walk home. A friend on twitter replied to me saying it would take me three hours, I replied back that I would make it in 2 and a half and so the challenge was on.

path

I left the garage at 6:06PM with just a small bottle of water, my wallet, my keys and my phone. The garage is located in the Shuwaikh Industrial area which is the area across from Al Rai and on the other side of highway 60. I started walking towards Canada Dry street cuz I decided I’d take the 3rd Ring Road down towards the Gulf Road and then take the 35 towards Salmiya. Although Canada Dry Street takes just a few seconds to get from the start to the end by car, it took me 20 minutes to walk. I thought that was just too slow of a pace so when I was done from Canada Dry and crossed into Khaldia where I spotted a walking/running track, I decided I would try to run back home. Although I was in my gym gear I didn’t have running shoes on, I had my crossfit ones (Nike Metcon 1) which barely have any padding and are terrible for running. But I’d figure I’d give it a shot since walking was just going to be too slow for me.

40

I hadn’t really gone running in over two years and I’ve barely been doing any cardio but I just wanted to get home in under 2 and a half hours. I had already run out of water but luckily kept finding public water fountains to keep refilling my bottle (I didn’t get sick!). By the time I got to road 35 in Hawally, I realized there was a big chance I could make it home in under 2 hours so I pressed on. Mentally I was strong but physically I was just starting to break down. Half way down the stretch of the 35 my right foot and right knee were in pain. I wasn’t out of breath even though I was tired but my legs were just not prepared for this. By the time I got to the end of the 35 and crossed into Maidan Hawalli I could barely run and I knew I wouldn’t be able to get home in under 2 hours. It was demoralizing but then I just went back to my original plan of trying to get there in under 2 and a half hours. I tried to run but by the time I got to Salmiya I was limping, my right leg was in so much pain. But once I saw my building I somehow managed to sprint the last 20 meters or so. I ended up making it home in 2 hours and 14 minutes. A total distance of 14KM. Kinda disappointing since I ran a 10K once in 57 minutes, but I did train for that. On the other hand I did get a better time compared to when I walked home from my work in Kuwait City.

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I still don’t know why I decided to do that yesterday, this morning I can barely walk up and down stairs due to how sore my legs are. The weather was great yesterday which might have been what pushed me but in any case I did it and I’ve got a few observations I want to highlight.

deadend

Kuwait isn’t really a pedestrian friendly place but I was pretty surprised at how the route I took was fairly pedestrian friendly. From the start of the 3rd Ring Road till highway 40 there are proper walking/running paths all along the main road. The only issue is the fact these paths aren’t connected to other paths in adjacent areas. Meaning to cross from Khaldiya to Adailiya wasn’t easy. Not only aren’t the walking/running paths connected, but the normal sidewalks aren’t even connected. In some areas I had to walk over greenery or climb over barriers, and then when there were paths like the one pictured above, they led to the middle of the road instead of the other sidewalk. Each area is isolated from the adjacent ones which is pretty annoying. Then once you pass the 40th into Hawalli, the paths start disappearing. By the time I got to Salmiya I was basically running in the streets trying to avoid cars. Such a contrast to how my run started, even the public water fountains disappeared after the 40.

Still, I was expecting it to be a lot more difficult to make it back to Salmiya on foot so I was actually impressed by the experience. I just wish Kuwait was more pedestrian or bike friendly, I’m sure there are a lot of people who wouldn’t mind walking to places if the weather was good.


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45 comments, add your own...


  1. YAL says:

    nice … i have done something similar last yr. i walked for 80 KM. it took me 2 days and 12 hrs :)

    • jean says:

      You should have exited the jahra round about after an hour or so. But then the achievement is something.

      Where did you walk from and to?

  2. FNS says:

    By the time I got to Salmiya I was basically running in the streets trying to avoid “cards”.. Cars

  3. May says:

    W.O.W!!! That determination you have there was awesome!

  4. Buzz says:

    In the wintertime I take a daily brisk walk in the Adailiya walkway for 1:30 hour. Which part of the experience was your favorite, if any?

  5. Buzz says:

    You just gave me an idea. Next winter, I’ll try to do what you did using different paths and then determine which is the most pedestrian friendly and interesting two hour walk in Kuwait. I think I will start with Sheraton through Shaheed park to Salmiya.

  6. Chris says:

    I once walked from Jabriya to Fintas. Something like 25+ km total, over about 4 hours. It was really too bad, not a lot of walkways or paths, but manageable on the side streets.

  7. Rickstove Stunic says:

    Do you have to use the f*** word? Why not use ‘forget it’ instead?

  8. Halla Kuwait says:

    Great Job Mark! Doing stuff like this tells you how superduper human beings can be if they put their minds to something. Personally ive done things like this when I was younger in school but to do it now would take similar inspiration. F#@k It. LETS GO.(please check the weather before doing anyrhing like this)

  9. Rommel says:

    that was challenging and healthy. i also did it once 8km walk from my home to shuwaikh where i work, the next day i can’t even lift my feet up :). but it was fun. i decided to do that to avoid car traffics. i can’t remember how many minutes.

  10. Dun says:

    I was surprised to find out I was walking 20+ KM / day on my last trip to Amsterdam. The weather and amazing scenery surely help.

  11. DeViL says:

    I did Farwaniya to Salmiya a few years back, in broad, summer, day light. Headed towards the sea using by general line of direction and walked along the coast. Till I hit Marina mall.

  12. Ahmed says:

    When I was in college in Egypt, I walked from college to my home in 45 mins because multiple taxi refused to drive me home because of traffic and I was like fuck it, I will walk home. I was abit overweight back then not fat fat but not thin either. I did it twice and once was with my foreign friend. Even though he was thinner than me, he didn’t have stamina for it.

  13. Sanjay says:

    Inspiring

  14. Uno says:

    Mark looking at the map uou walked i was wondering if you had taken 4 th ring road the distance would have been a lot less
    Isn’t it?

  15. T-rex says:

    Daily I used to walk 12km, in NBK walkathone, I notice that what I do was nothing in compare to other contestants, it was around 9 km, and some actually went back walking not taken the bus.

  16. Murrka says:

    Awesome post. I used to love parking at a random spot in the city and just wandering around aimlessly for hours in the middle of the night taking pictures.

  17. BeeJay says:

    I run it few months back.. went to showikh to pick up my car.. mine was around 12km from Midan Hawali.. it was enjoyable evening run. as you mention there are few walk/running path in ur way. i wasnt expect that. so when i saw it i enjoy it more :D

  18. meh says:

    I wonder if Audemars Piguet will invite you again since you said fuck it I’d rather walk from shuwaikh to salmiya.

    • Mark says:

      I say fuck it to 99% of the events. I just don’t care for them so if no one wants to invite me to any that’s fine with me I’m not losing anything.

      • meh says:

        Would you think it might affect your reputation and future invitations in the future, thus less ads and income and in turn looking for a daily desk job again?

        • Mark says:

          I don’t like going to events and so I simply don’t go to them. This isn’t a recent decision, I’ve been like this for over a decade now. I don’t do anything I don’t want to do, it’s simple as that.

    • Generally speaking, companies don’t really give a hoot about bloggers who occasionally use “profane” language.

      Hell, I was just invited to an uppity event and practically everyone in that restaurant knows I’m no goody-two shoes.

      They still found it in their hearts to invite me.

      • meh says:

        Well I have to agree that bloggers at the moment pretty much have no impression on social media, so inviting them is probably out of charity I guess or something “we’re still used to doing”.

        • Charity?

          That was uncalled for.

          I was invited because I’ve been a loyal customer at that restaurant for over five years. I go there on a weekly basis and I have an excellent rapport with all the staff.

          As for Mark, it’s definitely not charity seeing as he has a lot of clout – this blog is visited by tens of thousands of people such as yourself on a daily basis. Him mentioning whatever establishment invites him to their events will attract more clientele for him.

  19. forzaq8 says:

    well glad your back safe , less paper work :P

  20. InQ8 says:

    well done, great job…

  21. Whoop whoop!

    Way to go, Mark!

    There’s nothing like a nice, long walk to clear your head of thoughts of people trying to impose censorship on you.

    Fuck that shit.

  22. SATHEESH VARIJAKSHAN says:

    Hats Off….Mark…

    Satheesh


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