Yes, I could hardly believe my eyes when I saw it, but I have found a quaint, little gym in Tarija, Bolivia (where I am currently volunteering for a few weeks) and daily evening spinning classes to start feeling that bike sweat again! Went to my first one last night, and although I couldn’t hear a word of the trainer’s instructions bellowed out in Spanish over the loud bass and beats of the music, it was great to get back on a bike and feel that familiar burn. I absolutely loved it, and can’t wait to go to more very soon. At only 10 Bolivianos a class (approx. 1,50$CAD) it’s easy on the wallet too. Mmm, mmm yes… I love Tarija!!
Well, even if I’ve only been here a whole 3 days, I’ve been a busy bee. I have also found a bike rental place for gringos here where, for about 50 Bolivianos a day (7$ CAD), I will be able to get fully set-up with a 21 speed mountain-bike, a helmet, tools and spare tubes and even a map to head out and discover the surrounding area on my favourite two-wheels. And let’s just say that this surrounding area is nothing short of beautiful; they don’t call this region the Andalusia of Bolivia for nothing! There are fields upon fields of vineyards and rolling, arid, mountains prickled with little cacti and brush. All this surrounded by the warm blue sky, friendly sun and simpatico people
Ah, yes, and did I mention that I’m living at significantly lower altitude now? Tarija is only at 1,800m as compared to the 3,500m (give or take 500m) that I’ve been huffing and puffing at for the last two months! Wow, can I ever feel the difference! I’ve got so much energy that I’m even having a little trouble sleeping…when usually I was out like a light by 10pm! Amazing the effect that altitude and oxygen availability has on the human body