Working out in Pyin Oo Lwin (guest post by Kyla)
Trip Start Apr 18, 2012
35Trip End Jun 12, 2012
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As we had spent the previous couple of nights at a cozy, quaint - but spare - family guesthouse, and the next portion of our journey will be village home stays along trekking routes, we figured we'd splurge a little and stay at a more 'upscale' resort.
I was particularly pleased, on check-in, to see that "Exercise Room" was listed as an amenity. The food here has been great, though a little oily, and I was starting to feel overdue for some physical activity to balance out the meals. Turns out the "Exercise Room" is basically a closet with a single stationary bike
Thankfully, one of the attractions about 10 minutes outside of the town is a huge waterfall that the Lonely Planet guide says can be reached by a gradually sloping 45 minute trek down a path (with, presumably, a gradual hike back up). I figured that would fit the bill for some moderately strenuous activity - I'm not looking for a 10k or anything: I am on vacation, after all (and I did suffer that previously-described Boston marathon injury).
When we asked at our hotel about arranging a taxi to get there, the hotel manager offered that he's planning on opening a new hotel soon overlooking the falls. He arranged for a driver to take us to the hotel (with the hope that we'd be impressed and write a great 'preview' on TripAdvisor) and said there was a private path we could use to hike down to the waterfall.
From the top of the gorge where the hotel sat, the views were stunning. But we quickly realized that, rather than the meandering 45 minute stroll that we had anticipated, the private path was a direct shot down the steep gorge
We made it down easily enough. And the waterfall was beautiful. From the bottom, only the lower quarter of the falls was actually visible - so we were very thankful for the views we had from the top.
As we set off for the uphill climb, I was wishing that I had done some warm-up on that lone stationary bike. I could definitely feel the effects of a more sedentary lifestyle over the last couple of weeks (if you don't count running around O'Hare trying to reschedule our cancelled connecting flight). And it is just so much harder to get excited for hiking up a mountain when the 'pay off view' was just at the bottom.
The hike up was certainly a good work out, though we counteracted any effects of getting out of the plains' heat - we were sweaty messes by the top. Jenn and Steph will be happy to hear that Valerie made it up to the top 'without registering a single complaint,' encouraged by my constant refrain of, "We're almost there - only 0.2 miles to go!" Post-hike reward: mochaccino floats and orange-pineapple smoothies at an outdoor cafe #roughingit
P.P.S. Valerie and I have determined that I'm the Andy Rooney to her 60 Minutes as far as this blog is concerned - she produces the substantial documentary reporting, analysis, heft and humor for which people tune in; I sweep in periodically for distracting grumpy fluff pieces. Next up: a series of "did you ever notice that...?" or "do you ever wonder why...?" segments.