Pilates Retreat: Day 5 (Too much wine)

I went for a very reluctant jog this morning. A bottle of Rosé (even if shared with others…well, one other) does not exactly enhance one’s cardiovascular system. Or one’s motivation for that matter. Today an infant could have crawled faster than I jogged.

Running (i.e. dragging) past the pack of chickens, I fervently hoped that the rooster wouldn’t be skittish and come after me. They may be small, but have you ever seen the size of their talons? I made it to the promenade and suddenly felt / saw a brown thing right at my heels. I am embarrassed to admit my heart missed a beat (and I even might have let escape a squeal…or glass-shattering-worthy scream) before I realized it was just a very enthusiastic dog.

Tomorrow there will be no running. We are going on a boat trip that will deliver us to the (in)famous mud baths. All we have been told is that (a) it will ruin our swimsuits so take an old one (like I packed an old one for holiday?) and (b) plan on stinking. Which begs the question: what exactly is in this mud? I hope it doesn’t involve the recycling of rooster doo-doo.

After “running”, I joined my group for our morning Pilates routine. My body is starting to ache from the unaccustomed exercises. It seems as I am not the only one as the morning Pilates routine was punctuated with grunts and groans, not all my own. Luckily no plank poses were done, otherwise I might be in the hospital now with a smashed nose (and, as I learned when I broke my nose in Thailand, no, you cannot have some pretty adjustments made to your nose when they go in to correct the broken cartilage, thus eliminating the one potential side benefit of having breast-stroked smack into an underwater cement bench).

After another lazy day under the sun (I actually cut back on my nap time, only 1 hour today), my instructor and I did an abbreviated evening version before heading out to a “waterfall” restaurant with our fellow Pilates-goers.  The trip to the restaurant took place in a mini-van with a shock system that did nothing to prevent passengers from feeling every bump and pothole of the asphalt-turned gravel-turned dirt road. The 30-minute ride alone felt like a workout. But, oh, the view! Worth every jarring foot.

The road took us up-up-up into the (small) mountains bordering the village. We reached the restaurant and immediately felt the difference in the air, the cool breath of the falls. There were pools (and swings positioned over the pools…if I were a kid, I would have gone nuts begging my parents to let me go on them) and a small play area for kids. Apparently people hang out at the place all day. I can understand why.

The table was in a canopied wooden structure that straddled the river. Large, inviting cushions were placed on the floor around the table which held an old-fashioned oil lamp for light. Before we knew it we were elbow-deep in dishes: tender lamb with peppers; a variety of side salads with eggplant, homemade yoghurt, some kind of spicy pepper pesto, mint, and potatoes; crisp salads with garden tomatoes and onion; and an enormous basket of fresh bread. I think there were at most 3 pieces of lamb leftover for the driver’s dog.

The way back to the hotel seemed shorter, the bumps cushioned by the wine consumed at dinner. Now bedtime. Pilates starts early tomorrow morning and then we are off on our mud bath boat trip.

I hope there is no wrestling involved.

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