Getting soft

May 5, 2004
Outside Magazine
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Andean Adventure

Getting soft
March 24, 1997

I`m looking in the mirror at the flabby protuberance that was once a rock-hard stomach. When the button on my pants popped I should have taken closer notice. But it's amazing how quickly 10 pounds can appear. Or is it 15 now? I'll have to take a closer look after lunch. Now is no time to break our schedule of eating three enormous meals a day. Plus there's a bottle of wine waiting. It's true — we've gotten soft.

We received the first sign checking into the Hotel Perez Rosales. Bellboys immediately descended, stripping the dusty packs from our backs and whisking them off to our room. There we found a whole world of forgotten pleasures: toilet paper, clean sheets, white towels, hot showers and — God forbid — cable TV. A regular den of sin.

From there it was off to the dining room, where we were indoctrinated into the routine of appetizers and cocktails, steaks and salads, wine and desserts. A small change from our previous diet of polenta, rice, rice and polenta, and tuna. How quickly those callouses turn to flab.

All that's come to an end now. All too briefly our parents' visit has come and gone. Already the skies were clouding as they boarded the plane. The promise of rain sat on the horizon. We had missed lunch. Our world was falling apart.

©2000, Mariah Media Inc.

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