While we were sad to see the Cusquena Reds only last for a short time, we were pleasantly surprised to find-among all of the employees dressed up as elves, Santa Claus, and the grand piano-the seasonal wheat beers back at Wong's! Last year we were already gone at this point in December-we went to Ecuador and were then on our honeymoon in Argentina and Chile-so we didn't get to witness Lima at it's full Christmas madness.
It was right around this time last year that I ran my last big race; the honeymoon 50 mile relevo. And for some reason, in the last two weeks ,I have dreamt that I was running the Leadville 100-which I want to do someday. But.....in both of these dreams, I was kept from finishing by 1) long lines at Peruvian immigrations, which for some reason appeared around mile 40; 2) having to be interviewed by our sanitation technical advisor and haul my luggage up a set of stairs leading to a diving board. Seriously??? I'm not a believer in dreams meaning a lot, but I think I've been traveling too much and running too little. I think that even when I'm awake.
On a high-altitude bus ride last week to Peru's Colca Canyon, Matt and I tried to count the number of planes we have been on this year. He came in at 60 and I topped that at 85, give or take a few. Crazy, crazy, crazy. No wonder I'm so ready for five days in Patagonia with just my boots and backpack.
We will most likely be moving to Arequipa sometime next year, which will be a nice change from Lima. Even though I'm not here that often, I just can't get used to all the pollution and traffic. Arequipa is about a million people, located in 'volcano' alley, and a couple of hours away from Colca Canyon, which is a trail runner's paradise (see below:). And....there's not a shortage of people needing drinking water and toilets, so I'll be able to run one of our small programs taking shape down there.
Last, but certainly not least, it has come to my attention that not only do Bolivians and Chileans argue about pisco, la diablada, the War of the Pacific, but even unassuming HOT DONKEY MILK is not immune to diplomatic spats. The Bolivians find it to have curative pulmonary properties, while Chileans believe it can both get rid of anemia and provide the same thing viagra does. Still haven't tried it, but at some point down here we surely will and let everybody know who is right.