Living in the mountains – Part II

  • I tried mountain biking in the Andes – actually in my first weekend here where I took the biking route to Maras, Moray and the salineras in the Sacred Valley – well, I expected mountain biking to be all scary downhill and was disappointed that for more than half my ride I was climbing up on some very difficult terrain – avoiding all offers for getting me up on a car! And then just before lunch, we had a really good and long downhill which was the only place I beat my cycling companion hands down! I was told everything after this is only downhill and I was happy assuming it would be very similar to what I had just done – in bad roads, but still roads. After lunch, we had to do less than 10 kms but then we had to ride on some trekking route filled with stones and rocks! And that is when I had the real taste of mountain biking – after refusing to walk or take the car on any of the uphill part of the ride, I had to walk down some really scary jumps! Still, this was my first weekend with the mountains and there began the now well-known love for the green mountains.

  • I have been having a love-hate relationship with Peruvian food – in the first week, I was impressed with the amount of boiled vegetables being eaten here – nothing is fried. In my second week, I felt all the good boiled vegetables is compensated by the amount of potatoes and rice that is part of everyday diet and also felt bored with the kind of bland food. And suddenly in the third week, I got to taste some of the best Peruvian dishes (also spicy) both at home and in my cooking class. Still, I miss my hotdogs, rotis and butter idlis 😉

  • It is supposed to be a humbling experience for the super-fit to try running on Cusco’s roads – the inclines combined with the altitude (at c.3500m above sea level) prove to be enough of a challenge for my 2 hour walks during my spanish practice class – hope all this walking and healthy Peruvian food is contributing to some kind of getting fit.

  • I have been going to the gym pretty regularly (compared to my historical standards) – I had taken a one month membership to the local gym for one hour a day aerobics / steps / dance / full body course – and at the end of my first week, I was convinced my instructor was on something (A calls that something as being fit) – but really, she makes us feel dead and still very much alive everyday at the end of the one hour!
  • The internet speed is getting to me – it takes hours to upload pics and more importantly, it is affecting my hangout time with A. Now, it is just one hour trying to video chat with him and then ending up speaking on the phone, because of my foul mood at the end of the failed video chat!
  • And there is another disadvantage of travelling solo – I haven’t been able to try out too many restaurants in this town – actually, I think this is because I stay with a local family and all my meals are included in the price. Still I went out and tried a couple of restaurants last week and planning to do the same this week.
  • As I type this, I am sitting in a bar / cafe using their wifi and also being entertained by a football match between AFC vs. Real Madrid. More than the actual match (in which I can ‘hear’ Ronaldo falling down every few minutes), the commentator is entertaining me with his ‘goooooooooooooooooooool’ that so reminds me of hindi commentary for cricket matches 🙂

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