So the area around Guatape is very mountainous and hilly. There are also a lot of incredibly slick and crumbly gravel roads and trails to walk where you can see absolutely amazing and beautiful scenes of the area, the jungle, the waterfalls, etc. So you are mostly walking uphill on rubble or literally climbing up the side of a mountain or through a mountain on a little . I love this about Guatape. My knees, however, do not.
I remember sitting in a therapy session once talking about weight and health issues. I was very frustrated that I could not lose weight the way I used to be able to a few years before. I cannot believe my therapist was able to keep a straight face through the entire conversation we had because looking back at the memory I laugh at my audacity. He kept saying things along the lines of “but that is years ago, this is today,” or “I am not trying to be mean, but you are older now.” I must have looked at him like I did think he was mean or crazy. I guess the thought never occurred to me. I have always felt older because of my actions and my lack of feeling fulfilled with my life, not my body. It was eye opening I suppose.
But now, I am definitely feeling the difference between me at 20 and me at almost 28. I cannot hike everyday uphill because after about three days my knees are swollen and sore. I am hoping some of this is just not being used to mountains as Florida and Michigan do not offer that type of landscape. I am thinking of picking up some kayaking or something to give my legs a break. Though it is a bit intimidating since my neighbors here are professional rowers and kayakers.
I also need break days, fairly often. This is the difference of me physically and emotionally now. I do not like being on the go traveling around constantly. In fact I dislike it and it makes me tired without the benefit of feeling as if I have accomplished anything. So, I go to bed early, wake up early, enjoy watching the sunset on the hammock and have not been out partying once since I have been here. In fact, most of my nights consist of calling my grandmother or mother, cooking dinner, a beer or hot chocolate, and a book.
My memory is horrible. It really is hard learning Spanish. I try as I might to not have to use the words for have (tener) or to go (ir) because they are irregular verbs with conjugating patterns that I can only remember for saying I have or I go. if all else fails I use the not conjugated word and hope people understand what I am saying. Sometimes it works. Sometimes we laugh and I just point to something.
I like to talk to small children and animals more than adults. It used to be the opposite, I liked talking to adults more than children when I was a child. Now I much prefer the nonsense or non verbal love given from dogs and children. Except here the dogs have little packs based on what community they live near. The small community near by has a different pack that the one near the hostel which is different from those in town. When you walk through the other areas, sometimes it is better to carry rocks or let a dog see you pick up a rock. A younger me would have felt bad intimidating dogs that are probably used to being hit by rocks. The me now just enjoys not getting rabies.
So, my traveling and who I am is different and in some areas I need to catch up to getting older. It is somewhat sad because I am just getting used to acting young and feeling young in ways I never had. The pure selfishness of traveling for no purpose except to travel because it is what I want to do at the moment is exhilarating. So is not having a plan and knowing any day can contain whatever I want it to, the possibilities are endless. However, in some ways I do need to start acting my age and taking care of myself as I need to at this current moment. Re-tearing old injuries from younger days when I could afford the healing time because I healed quickly is not something that will benefit me today where I cannot even communicate with the doctor in the same language and will take a longer time to heal.
Also, maybe I should grow up and wear shoes. I tend to wear sandals and flip flops in the most ridiculous circumstances and have some pretty funky looking feet because of it. I blame Florida for the habit through. Oh, and uncomfortable sock seams. I hate that feeling of sock seems rubbing against your foot. I used to not wear socks with my shoes when I was a kid because of it. Not much has changed since first grade I guess. Only now I have the oddest suntan lines on my feet…
Maybe I should act my age and wear shoes with socks occasionally. For now I think not…