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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Sugar Overload

Yesterday was lovely. After I'd had a few cups of coffee and checked my emails I set off on a hike up one of the hills that overlooks Baños. It was more or less a Pixie Trail (I LOVE Pixie Trails!) but it was pretty steep. As I was stopping every 10 minutes to take a rest school kids were running up past me, one in his bare feet, but they all said 'Hola'. To be fair, they have youth on their side and I had the heat nd altitude against me. 3 workmen also stopped on their way down for a brief chat and to shake my hand. It's at those times I'm glad I've got even a little bit of Spanish so I can be polite and friendly back to the locals.

I was completely exhausted by the time I made it to the cafe at the top but the spectacular view and cold fruit juice was my reward. The juice was made from local fruit. It didn't specify what kind but it was lovely and refreshing.

I met a guy from San Francisco at the cafe so I had some company for the trek back down again. I was glad to be on my own on the way up though 'cos I like to take things at my own pace, which is generally slower than most people's. It was nice to have company on the way down though.

BaÑos is a great place for people with a sweet tooth. I bought a little box of confectionary that had cubes of a thick fruit jam-like substance and cubes of fudge. Well, I say fudge, it was like fudge but without the condensed milk.The lady also gave me a little free sample of the sugarcane, which is so sickeningly sweet not even I could finish it.

After my hike I indulged in the famous thermal baths that are rich in minerals and heated by the nearby Volcan Tungurahua (which has been spouting mushroom clouds of smoke at an alarming rate this past couple of days). I started off in the medium bath which was lovely and relaxing. Then I had a go in the super hot bath but could only stick it for 10 minutes. Even though the heat was uncomfortable it still felt like it was doing me a lot of good.

Afterwards I had a really healthy dinner of roasted onions, tomatoes and peppers with tortillas and salsa. That's the healthiest meal I've had after so long in Mexico eating cheese and drinking Oaxacan hot chocolate. After my dinner I had a cup of hot passion fruit juice mixed with alcoholic sugar cane. It was pleasant but not the kind of drink most people would enjoy, probably because of the sugar content.

I then went back my hostel feeling well-fed, well-exercised and well-relaxed, content to do a bit of reading before bed but ended up going out for drinks with some people and undoing all the good that I'd done to my body. I woke up this morning feeling horrific. I don't blame the beer or the rum, I blame the alcoholic sugarcane!

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