My “dislocated rib” (for lack of a better word) continues to be a pain. Based on my description, Mike thinks I’ve aggravated a nerve somehow. Evidently now I’m getting on my own nerves after years spent getting on everyone else’s! Fortunately I have enough Aleve with me to do an anti-inflammatory round and with each day the pain abates a little more. Oddly – once I get moving and exercising it doesn’t bother me as much as it does when I’m trying to sleep or am sitting.
I mentioned in my last post that it’s a bit strange to be completely alone for lunch and dinner. I had the waiter take my photo in the dining room a couple of nights ago.
Since then, because the weather is so nice, I’ve been eating my meals on the patio.
I had been wondering if the Zombie Apocalypse had happened here and no one told me since I haven’t turned on the TV since I got here, but I have begun to see more people eating at the same time I do. Not that it makes a ton of difference, since they’re not at my table with me, but seems less deserted around here suddenly.
On Monday. The morning warmup was supposed to be yoga, but Antonio asked me if I’d rather run instead. I said, “Yes, but isn’t it going to be dark at 7:30 AM?” He said he had a route that had streetlights and it would be fine-and it was for the most part. We ran in a big circle through part of Antequera. At the beginning it was more uphill than not. Contrary to hating hills when I’m biking, I actually don’t mind running uphill -go figure. Antonio told me that toward the end we’d have a nice long downhill back to the car. I told him that it would be nice, but I don’t really run any faster when I’m going downhill. When we got to the downhill, after a few minutes, he turned around and said, “You really don’t go any faster downhill, do you?” Nope!
It was officially a hiking day. Antonio was in charge of the route. We went to the outskirts of Antequera and basically followed a service road up to some cell towers. UP is the operative word! We walked about 6-ish miles, at least half of it up.
We made such good time that Antonio decided to stretch out the walk a bit on the way back so we’d be out there longer. The road kept curving back and forth and he’d say, “Around this bend, we’ll be almost there.” We’d go around the bend and we weren’t almost there -so I began joking with him about what’s not around the bend. It wasn’t really the most scenic hike, but it was definitely a workout.
In the afternoon I was treated to a spin class at the gym with Leah -a really nice fitness instructor, originally from England. It seems she’s the person in charge of the more traditional gym type classes -like body pump, yoga and pilates- when they’re scheduled. She and I had so much fun chatting while spinning that I was completely surprised when she said we were done -it went by faster than usual. Sometimes all I do is watch the clock in spin class. After that there was some gym work with Antonio and then my day was done.
On Tuesday, the morning workout was a walk around Antequera. It was really too dark to take photos, but I tried anyway.
The morning activity was a bike ride. The plan was to go 20 miles. The route was through a nearby industrial type of area and then through the countryside -which was mainly farm fields. We rode on both paved and unpaved surfaces. I think I surprised Antonio just a bit with my incredible* biking abilities (*cough) and when he realized we were riding pretty fast, he wanted to add more miles to the route so we wouldn’t get done too fast. I said, “Nope!” If you tell me 20 miles -that’s all I’m doing! I told him that I’d gladly do more miles on another day but he has to tell me before we leave. I sort of pace myself based on how far I think I’m going to be going and I was already starting to feel a bit low energy. I don’t like the game plan to be changed mid-ride. So, when we returned to the hotel he told me – “Next time we’re doing 26 miles.” Fine with me. The route, once again, wasn’t really that scenic so I wasn’t stopping to take any pictures. At one point I decided to at least take a picture of the gravel road we were on and the olive grove we were passing and when I finally got my camera out, guess what? Yep, dead battery. I truly don’t know how it happens. I had had the battery on a charger the day before. Antonio gave me his cell phone to use instead. As I post this -those pictures are still on his cell phone despite a couple of requests that he send them to me.
Because we got done so fast, I got the bright idea that I had time to walk into town for more pictures and to locate a grocery store for a few supplies before lunch. The walk into town is mostly uphill and is a bit of a trek. I was able to get some pictures and find a grocery store; but by the time I did all of that it was getting really late so I took a taxi back to the hotel so I could stay on schedule. Needless to say -the trip back was much faster and more enjoyable!
At lunch there was something wrong with my order and I think I got the wrong thing -whether it was my mistake or theirs. My ability to speak Spanish was too limited to completely sort out what happened. The waiters are really great here and as soon as they realized something was wrong they whisked away the offending dish and bent over backwards to offer me a replacement. The waiters kept asking did I want this? Or this? The problem is I don’t know a lot of cooking terms. For example I know pollo is chicken, but if they show me something that says: blah blah con (with) pollo blah blah -how do I know if I want it? I’ve learned my lesson from that time in Seville a few years ago when I thought I was simply ordering spaghetti -which I did get- except I didn’t know it came with a fried egg on top!
The food here is good -it’s just that I’m such a picky eater that it’s hard for me to find things on the limited special fit camp menu that I like. My “likes” from the list basically consist of only a few choices -so I’m eating the same thing a lot. That’s just because I’m pickier than a 2 year old.
Even if I order the same dish, it often doesn’t arrive exactly as it was the last time I ate it. That’s because, according to Antonio, the chef cooks according to whatever his mood is.
The afternoon session was 53 minutes on the treadmill doing intervals. I ran for 4 minutes/walked for 2. By the end of the time, I’d gone slightly more than 3 miles. After that Antonio made me do some body weight resistance training for about an hour.
Lorenzo, Manuel and Jose are the usual barmen/waiters when I go to eat. They are really great at their jobs. They remember me from previous visits and are really nice to me. To go to dinner and lunch I have to pass through the hotel bar.
They know I like Cerveza, so they like to tease me. After I’m done eating they’ll say, “Algo mas?” (do you need anything else?) “Cafe?” “Infusion?” (tea) …pause… “Cerveza?” It gets a laugh every time. The diet I was doing before I came here allowed 3 drinks/week so I thought I might keep to that plan just so I can have a teeny bit of fun here (other than all the “fun” exercising). On Tuesday, the owner of the hotel was in the bar when I finished dinner and he treated me to a Cerveza. Nice man! However, I knew I’d have to work it off the next day.
It was hiking day. David was in charge of me today. I was told we were going to El Torcal, which I was happy about because it’s a very interesting park. I should have known better. David turned off onto a side road before, as my memory serves, he should have. I asked him what was up and he said…”Oh, we’re going to the back side. It’s better.” Better for who? The actual park at El Torcal has a visitor center, marked paths, a gift shop -restrooms. It had sounded like a pleasant morning hike was afoot (pun intended) until I found out we were going to the dark side. We pulled up in a field and he pointed up and said…”We’re going up there.”
“YAY” I replied, half-heartedly. The good news was that we’d do most of the difficult climbing first and the rest would be all downhill…so to speak. So we started out along a path. David explained to me that it is part of a very old, historical route between Antequera and Malaga.
When we got to the top there was a sort of plateau and an interpretive sign. Then I noticed something else. A traditional Camino de Santiago sign – which I commented on. David said there is a pilgrimage route between Malaga and Santiago and it is called: Camino Mozarabe de Santiago.
Just after that David found a $1 euro coin on the ground. I told him it was probably for me from my parents (currency exchange and all that). But he kept it anyway – hah. And that’s where we left the beaten path. David doesn’t need trails/paths -he just goes “that-a-way”. It was interesting.
Path? We don’t need no stinking paths!
At the beginning when David had pointed out where we were going -there was a unique rock formation at the side of the trail, which we passed on the way up. On the way down, he told me that the rock is called Piedra de Comediante – the rock of the comedienne. He told me that there was a famous actress who decided to travel the trail between Malaga and Antequera with a horse and when she got to that rock something happened and she and the horse went over the edge. Seeing how steep (going down toward Antequera) and narrow that path is, I was surprised anyone tried to ride anything but a mountain goat up there. Thinking he was talking about recent history I asked, “How many years ago did that happen?” “Oh,” he said, “Sometime in the 1700s.”
My afternoon in the gym went pretty fast. Spin class and then a workout using exercise balls. It took a lot of work to avoid looking like an idiot…not sure I succeeded. Then, back to the room to do some more laundry and then some well earned relaxation.
My next post is going to be mostly my photos from the town itself. I’m planning one more mission to get a few more photos and then I’ll make a post showing them.