food, health, running, travel

The Backpacker Chronicles – Week 3

Hey team!

Thanks so much for all the love on my last post. I’ll definitely share some of my top tips for Bacalar, as well as a sunburn update. Anyhow let’s jump on into my third week of backpacking round Central America.

I started off the week I’m San Ignacio, a lovely Belizian border town that I mentioned in my last post. Whilst it was lovely to be there, I was slightly hindered by severe sunburn that left me unable to walk. Nonetheless, I managed to make the most of the place by doing a chocolate making tour at a finca, and making my own chocolate, maya style, by hand grinding cocoa beans on a stone forged from volcanic rock. Needless to say, it was awesome.

By my final days in San Ignacio, I decided to wrap my injured leg in cling film, squeeze it into some running tights, and head out for a hot, sweaty run. I know it sounds silly, but running was the best way I knew to reset my body and mind, even if it was all a bit uncomfortable at times.

I then made the last minute decision to head to Guatemala a day earlier than planned – as I was having breakfast one morning, I heard that there were some Canadian guys who had rented a car and were planning on crossing the border to go to Tikal, the impressive archeological site and national park that was once the capital of the Mayan empire. I quickly shoved all my possessions into my backpack, and hopped in the car with them.

Following a slightly fraught border crossing from Belize into Guatemala, somehow managing to negotiate our way past difficult border control guards, we arrived at Tikal for a long, hot hike to the ruins. Needless to say, it was completely worth it, and I would heartily recommend it to anyone who is travelling through the area. I slightly fucked up by not eating lunch before we departed on the hike, and had to make do with Oreos and Doritos for the afternoon. I kinda wanted to puke by the end of the day, ya know?

After Tikal, we got dropped off at our hostel, which was a veritable oasis in the heart of Flores, Guatemala. I spent a few days there, recovering from the long hike at Tikal, travel planning and just chilling out.

In terms of workouts, i was a bit disappointed by the yoga put on at the hostel, so instead decided to search for alternatives. I managed to get an actual gym session with a British #fitnessbro I met, heading to a local Guatemalan gym with a ton of free weights and absolutely no air con. The struggle was real! I also managed to get out for several glorious runs whilst in Flores – doing laps around the island’s shore and trying to take in the view all the while struggling through the heat.

Food wise, this was kind of a shocking week. Not that I ate particularly badly, just that there was no routine or predictability to any of it – I’m a creature of habit after all. In Belize I was lucky enough to be in a hostel with a kitchen, meaning I could cook myself basic veggie food, like pasta with a lentil and tomato sauce. Nonetheless in Guatemala my hostel didn’t have a kitchen and so I was limited to homemade overnight oats for breakfast, and eating out for dinner, with some snacks in between.

Luckily, however, I did find a gorgeous taco place that prepared me vegan tacos with black refried beans, avocado and a plethora of fresh pico de gallo and veggies. It’s not been the worst week nutrition-wise, but I’m going to make a more conscious effort to get more protein and fibre into my diet in the next week.

Every day is taco Tuesday…

My last day in San Ignacio I started to feel a bit unwell, all bloated and uncomfortable. I had gotten an inevitable stomach upset, which left me unable to enjoy food for a few days, and I stuck to bread and peanut butter – not the healthiest choice but better than the alternative!

Tell me, was your week? Did you get plenty of training in?

Lots of love,

Pippa

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