Good morning folks
I trust you had a superb weekend and that this finds you in fantastic form and finest fettle.
It is midwinter here in the grey city, a time when it never really rains and never really shines. It just can’t make its mind up and (as Peter Kay would say) it’s that “really fine rain”). but you never actually see raindrops splashing in muddy puddles, it is too fine. The special concrete used here, with zero friction properties, is as slippery as ice covered in butter coated banana skins!
A busy old week, rounded off with a right royal knees-up.
(I am typing this very quietly as the click of the keyboard is making an unbearable headache even worse. This may be a relatively short blog).
Here is the weekly Lima round-up from the land of locura.
A neet oot!
I haven’t been on a big session for quite some time. Training/racing has been my main activity for the last 5mths, but with a race free weekend (coinciding with end of term exams during the daytime) a night out was something I was looking forward to all week!
I’ve got a small group of friends here, most of whom work at Britanico. They are a good bunch.
Barranco is a bit of a bohemian style neighbourhood, next door to upmarket Miraflores, and the other side of the city from the wild west of Salamanca. It is my favourite part of the city and home to my favourite boozer; the Barranco Beer Company.
A 7pm meet-up meant I had to get home from work, spruced up quicksmart and out.
Let the dancing commence! (Thanks to Erika for the pic).
The Barranco Beer Company was a place that shook up the market here. The main brewery (Bakkus) has a complete monopoly and its three brews, Cristal, Pilsen and Cusquena used to be the staple tipples. The BBC is a microbrewery and changed all that. A variety of ales, good tucker, lots of screens and a very relaxed, unpretentious ambience. After a few “chopps” we headed on to a new real ale bar that has huge potential, but is missing the point completely. Ten different beers were given one line (word) of description in the menu listed as “Cervezas“, the quiche got a more detailed description! The staff really had no idea about what a potential goldmine they are sitting on. A swift pint there and on to a rowdy “Cantina” style boozer, rampacked and with just cheap 660ml bottles of Pilsen on offer. Yes please! Next stop was a sports bar, to catch the first ever UFC I have seen. I didn’t know what to expect. I don’t follow boxing or anything, (I did once see Big Daddy and Giant Haystacks live though!) It looked pretty brutal and although the local crowd were all shouting for Nate Diaz, Conor McGregror won the battle and then we moved on to “Sargento Pimiento’s” (Sgt Pepper’s). It all got a bit hazy from here, but after much dancing and carrying on, I got a cheap and ultra high speed taxi home at 3am. Needless to say I have been suffering like a poorly dog today. Back to training tomorrow…
Elephant Beer! Fortunately I think this gear was banned sometime in the late 90′s!
(Thanks to Cameron for the pic).
Bankers and Bank Holidays (whinge warning!)
Here In Latin America things change all the time and often for no apparent, visible or logical reason. If you don’t go with the flow, you go mad in a short space of time. (I nearly did last year!)
I do like my job, but the one thing that I would like to change (get out of) is working Saturdays.
I teach two teenage classes on a Saturday from 8am-3:30pm. It’s hard graft.
I do however get off every 8th Saturday, meaning a free weekend
These have been on the calendar from the start of the year and I constantly daydream about what to fill in the precious time with. My next big running target was at the end of October; the 65km Marcona Wind Trail. It is an 8hr bus ride south and it was all planned out, even down to which bus and which digs to stay in. The countdown had begun…
Until I walked into work on Monday and saw a small notice on the wall that scuppered everything. The Government have called a Bank Holiday in November for an international Bankers conference. In a nutshell one small (but crucial and superbusy) stretch of road is being closed for access to the event. With the sheer chaos that is the daily traffic being diverted elsewhere, the city would simply grind to a halt, it almost does every day anyway.
A Bank Holiday and 4 days off work! I should be jumping through hoops.
The problem is that this has shunted the entire academic programme and means that now I don’t have the weekend off that I had off at the end of October :-/
I could still catch the overnight bus and arrive 30mins before kick-off, but I don’t think that would be ideal preparation to run 65km!
Like a junkie looking for a fix, I’ve been frantically trying to find a race. This weekend almost all of my running compadres have been updating their facebook feeds with inspiring and incredible photos from Cusco and The Andes Race. This looks an incredible event and is now top of my list for 2017 (if I can get the weekend off!)
There are absolutely no options for the new bank holiday weekend, but I might have found something to possibly save my sanity (and to make me drag myself out training every day at 6am…)
A race that caught my eye last year was the MUT (Marcahuasi Ultra Trail).
Five races! 90k/60k/35k/16k/10k.
It is in Marcahuasi, a magical, magnetic (!) and mystical mountainous land about 4hrs from Lima. Well known for its energy and strange rock formations, up in the clouds at 4000m above bath water.
Logistically it was a race that I had given up on. I wanted to run the 90km, but that starts on Friday night and to get cover for all my Friday AND Saturday classes would be completely impossible. IF I leave work at 4pm on the Saturday and Clunk straight to the start line, I could probably get about 4hrs kip before the 1am start on Sunday morning for the 65km, but realistically it’d be pushing it. The 35km race is an A-to-B course, with A (San Pedro de Casta) being a lot further away than B (Callahuanca). However it is feasible to get to B on Saturday night, doss down and up the road to A for a 6am start, (and then get back to A for the Clunk!)
Doable? We’ll see! Need to get some hills into my legs before then…
In 2012 we left Blighty the day before the Olympics to head eastwards to Mongolia in the Silver Streak and returned the day after it finished.
By all accounts it went well!
This time the games are in neigbouring Brasil and again I have managed to miss almost all of it! A combination of my schedule, our telly not working and not being able to watch i-player or the like here has meant that the only event I saw was Mo Farah winning the 5000m (whilst drinking delicious beer in the BBC!)
I’ve been following the results online and was chuffed to bits to see the Yorkshire brothers Alistair and Jonny Brownlee come home with a 1-2 in the Triathlon. I remember the two lads running at local fell races when they were nippers (and they were incredible athletes back then!)
I’ve only ever done one triathlon, back in 2004. It was an all-consuming obsession, you simply have to train all the time and constantly wish for more days in the week, to train more.
My running was ok and i can ride a pushbike, but swimming was something that I poured my heart and soul into for 9mths and I was still a very, very mediocre swimmer at the end of it.
To compete at any level is a massive undertaking.
Brownlee senior was quoted as saying “I just had the edge on Jonny but he has killed me in training and I have been going through hell. It has been so hard. I have woken up in pain every day”.
Hard as nails.
Good work chaps!
This week I have mostly been mishearing or not hearing at all, especially in my left ear.
Students often ask questions (which is good), but if I don’t quite hear them the first time and ask them to repeat what they said, they generally say it much, much quieter, which makes for a tricky situation, as the “third time is the last time” rule is very true in teaching!
I went to the Chemist and asked for some drops and was given some drops, but I’m not convinced they are what I need as they haven’t made a blind bit of difference. If a plant starts sprouting from my ear in a week I’ll realise then that it was actually “Baby Bio”.
I have a constant ringing in my left ear and can’t hear a thing.
Next stop? The Quacks and comedy syringe time…
A quick shout out to say a big CONGRATULATIONS to Robert and Andrea, an awesome Adventurist couple, on the arrival of their beautiful little Nipper.
Rob is one of my (two) blog readers, welcome to a new adventure amigos
To put a smile on your face on a Monday morning, here is a video for your perusal.
An alternative rush hour…
Have an absolutely awesome week
Johnny, Lina and the Nipper