On Saturday morning I was up at 5:30am to go to an ultimate tournament in Valencia. I had visited Valencia once before, in December of my study abroad year.
The cities that had teams attending were Valencia, Madrid, and Barcelona.
Hannah had rented a car, so four of us from the team could drive to Valencia. I think three other cars of Madrid teammates went as well, but those were cars that they owned.
In the car ride on the way there, it came out that we'd be playing on the beach. I learned this meant there was no need for the cleats I had brought; you play barefoot.
It was completely different playing beach ultimate - something I'd never done before. The field was smaller than normal, and we played 5 on 5 (2 girls, 3 boys / team) instead of the normal 7 on 7 (3 girls, 4 boys / team). It was very windy since we were right there on the shore, so luckily we got there early enough to practice throwing around.
|Throwing around between games|
Apart from all of the wind, the most difficult part of playing on the beach was probably running in the sand. I have no experience doing athletic things on the beach, so I hadn't realized how hard it would be. I'm not fast to begin with, but I felt so slow during the games. To cut well you need to be fast and sprinting, but in the sand we had to adjust to the slowed running pace. Even after a short point of only a few minutes, I'd come off the field out of breath as we rotated players. My conclusion: It's really hard to run in sand!
As I've mentioned in previous ultimate posts, after post-game circles we usually play some sort of game with the other team. One of these games is called "Ninjas," and I was finally able to capture pictures of people playing!
|Playing Ninjas after our first game|
We played two ultimate games that afternoon, as we only had the space on the beach until 5 something. But it was just fine with me that we didn't play 4-5 games like at the other tournaments I'd been to, as playing in the sand was exhausting, and my left knee wasn't in the best shape.
|Los Quijotes in Valencia|
It was another Hostelling International hostel! Too bad my free year-long membership when I worked for the hostel in Madison has since expired.
|Hannah, me, Caroline|
Would we play a hat tournament on Sunday? Or see more of Valencia before returning to Madrid? Was I impressed by the city's graffiti or lunch? Stay tuned!