health, Mindfulness, running, travel

The Backpacker Chronices – Week 5

What I’ve been up to 

As you may have read last week, I was legit sick with a parasitic infection, which was rough to say the least. After moping around for about a week, feeling sorry for myself and waiting for the sickness to pass on its own, I finally called it, and went to the doctors for a nuclear dose of antiparasitics and antibiotics. Monday was spent largely wiped from the medication, but thankfully I soon started to feel much better.

I then spent the whole week in Antigua, taking it easy while my body recuperated, doing yoga and exploring the City by foot. My biggest mission for the week was to do a hike of Acatenango, one of the highest volcanoes in Central America. Nonetheless, I had to wait till I was back at full strength before even trying!

By Tuesday I was well enough to undertake the gentler, shorter hike of Pacaya, an active volcano about an hour outside of Guatemala. This was my trial run for the bigger hike, and thankfully my body seemed to cope relatively well with it. I’ll write a full review later, but needless to say it was awesome. We toasted marshmallows on a lava field and took in some stunning views of the volcano st sunset.

After a few more days relaxation, I finally bit the bullet, and signed up to hike Acatenango. In retrospect as I’m writing this, I really should have given my body more time to recuperate from a serious stomach bug, but you live and learn!

I’ll write a full review of the hike to Acatenango, but it had everything you could want in a challenge: altitude, camping on a ledge in a thunderstorm, minus zero temperatures, a ton of anxiety, minor illness and of course, stunning scenery and a huge sense of achievement.

Health & Fitness

Essentially, the hikes were my exercise for the week, with a small run thrown in for good measure. I also did some gentle yoga to stretch out my body and calm my mind ahead of the Acatenango hike, which I knew would be one of the most challenging things I’d ever do in my life.

Food and Nutrition

Food wise, it’s been a mix! I was thankfully able to start eating real food again as the stomach bug subsided,and treated myself to several gorgeous meals at local vegan-friendly restaurants, including:

⁃ probiotic toast at Wachuma to help my stomach recover

– a green smoothie bowl at Casa de Stela

⁃ a nopal (cactus) and hummus wrap from Union Cafe

⁃ a beautiful vegan burger, post hike, fromLa Bruja – honestly one of the best things I’ve ever eaten in my life

And then, there’s been the less glamorous ‘health and fitness’ side of things, including the carb loading panic before the Acatenango hike, as well as the basic (but still impressive) food our guides cooked for us at base camp, over an open fire in the freezing cold. You take what you can get when you’re halfway up a volcano!

So that’s it for me for another weekly update, how has your week been?

What’s the most challenging thing you’ve done in your life?

Lots of love,

Pippa

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