Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Running the Pisco route in Moquegua

Moquegua in Peru is famous for its pisco, a type of brandy made from grapes, which can only officially be produced in 5 areas of Peru.  The most famous pisco in Moquegua is called Biondi.  Just outside of Moquegua city centre there is a route called the pisco route that passes through various vineyards, the grapes of which are used to make pisco.  Today I decided to run this beautiful route and I was glad that I did.  It took me just over an hour and the landscape along the way was stunning.  There were also plenty of dogs along the way, and that part I did not like so much.  However, since I did the route around midday the dogs were already hot and tired, and so bothered me very little.  Just in case though, I ran with a rock in my hand.

One of the vineyards on the Pisco route

This is the first proper run (one hour or more is my definition of "proper run") that I have done in months, and it went fine, except that I was suffering a fair amount in the heat.  I think that the fitness I have built up from cycling can easily be carried over into running fitness, given a few months of specific training.  Moquegua has a very hot dry climate due to its proximity to the Atacama desert in Chile.  I am not sure exactly what the temperature was, but it felt bloody hot.  Most of the runners here go out in the early hours of the morning, before it becomes too hot.  With the Marathon des Sables in mind, I decided not to try and go during the early hours when it is comfortably warm, but during the midday heat when it is unbearably hot.  On top of the heat and the hills that I encountered along the way, Moquegua lies at 1,410 metres above sea level, so it is also altitude training.

The only problem is that I have a little bit of a cold at the moment, and since I came back from my run my nose seems to be running more, so I hope I haven't made myself iller.  They usually say though that as long as the cold is above the neck you are okay to run, but if it is below the neck then you should rest.  With this in mind, I should be okay to run.

Tomorrow I am planning on going to the gym, and doing some weights and sprinting on the treadmill.  As with everything new, it will be an interesting experience to see how Peruvian gyms differ from Euopean ones.  Just like it will be an interesting experience to see how Peruvian Christmases differ from British Christmases.  I can report back on that subject in a few days.  Goodnight everyone and with frequent internet access at the moment, you can be sure I will post something again soon.

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