Desert Vibes

Desert Vibes
Photo: Ben Clark

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Cristo Blanco Runs


The first night in Cuzco certainly was a doozy (see previous post “Watch Out for the First Night in Cuzco…It’s a Real Doozy”). After waking up half drunk/half hungover I scrambled to pack all of my stuff to make the checkout time, which was only 5 minutes away. I checked out on time (damn I’m good) and made my way to the Hotel Picoaga where I would later meet the rest of my running group and our guide. After checking into my room, I downed about 2.5 liters of water and decided a nice run would be the perfect cure for a hangover that was now likely enough to slay a walrus (I admit I borrowed that walrus comment from JD in the show Scrubs).

This would be my first run in South America; a short 2-mile out-and-back from my hotel to the Cristo Blanco statue I hiked to the previous day. The journey to Cristo Blanco covered 1,500 vertical feet in one mile. So it wasn’t any easy run by any means. The fact that I was incredibly hungover certainly didn’t help either. I made it up to Cristo Blanco, regretting every cigarette I smoked and every drink I had the night before.
My Running Buddy for the Day
Waterfall on the Way Up to Cristo Blanco
On the way down I decided to stop at a street vendor selling some fresh-squeezed orange juice, which helped with the hangover a little somehow. I was just getting ready to take off running again when I heard “Cristo Blanco!” from behind me. It was the guys from the chicheria I went to the previous night. The look of disbelief on their faces was priceless. They all knew how drunk I was the night before and how bad of shape I was in. So to see me running up to Cristo Blanco after a night like that seemed incredible to them. I stuck around and talked with the guys for a little comparing accounts of the night before (as best as a bunch of hungover guys who were blackout drunk the night before could). After 30 minutes of chatting I decided to make my way back to the hotel since I was supposed to meet the rest of my running group soon. As usual, after the run I felt noticeably better (running always tends to help with my hangovers). 
Cuzco Skyline on Way Down from Cristo Blanco
I would make the run to Cristo Blanco several more times during my stay in Cuzco. The best was a pre-dawn run where I spent 30-45 minutes resting at Cristo Blanco to see the sunrise over the city. The chicheria guys were there every time I ran to Cristo Blanco and most times they would be waiting with a nice, cold beer just for me, no charge. 
Sunrise at Cuzco from Cristo Blanco

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