Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Reader Responses

Dear blog readers,

I know that this whole blog thing can sometimes feel like a pretty one-sided relationship, with us posting to the blog and you all reading it. "Where´s the give and take?" you ask, "Where´s the interactivity for which the webternet is so prized?" Well, here it is, friends. Out of the hundreds of questions that have been sent to crushingpower@gmail.com I wanted to take a minute to answer a couple of them.

Uncle Stanley of Toronto, Canada writes: "You have mentioned a number of alcoholic beverages in your blog entries, but you have not mentioned the world renowned Chilean wines. Have you enjoyed any wine on your trip?"

Funny you should ask, Uncle Stanley, we actually have enjoyed quite a bit of fine Chilean wine in the last month. Although I wouldn´t call us connosieurs, we are certainly hoping to aquire that title by the time we leave Chile. The wine culture in Chile is much humbler and more down to earth then its American counterpart. Although Chile exports much of its wine to markets around the world, the very best wine is kept here and is served in a simple container, which preserves its fundamental essence much better then the bottles that are used in America and Europe. The name for this vessel has no direct English equivalent, but in rough approximation it resmebles what we know of as a box. Unlike in America with the plethora of varietals that no one can quite sort out, there are only two types of wine in Chile, Vino Tinto and Vino Blanco. Vino Tinto is something like a cabernet sauvignon, merlot, shiraz, or even a pinot noir, depending on the "box," whereas Vino Blanco is more similar to a chardonnay, pinot grigio, or sauterne, once again depending on the vintage and the batch. We have spent many nights enjoying the subtle, complex flavours and aromas of this "boxed wine" and have had no excess of early mornings as a result. Thanks for the question, Uncle Stantley!

A common thread that has run through many readers comments in varied forms is the question, "How has our time spent in South America changed us?"

Although I can not do justice to the varied personal transformations of each member of the group, I can safely say that our time down here has served as a thigh-expanding experience. In just a month down here we´ve gained so much, and not just in our thighs. Our calves and gluts have grown too. Every day there´s a novel experience pushing us outside the bounds of our traditional "comfort-zone," whether that experience is a gravel road with a 15% grade, or a 10km ascent on pavement, I feel that each is an equally important, valid thigh-expanding experience. At the same time as we are gaining so much, we are also being constnantly lightened. Matt has been lightened so much, it seems that he may return to the US as a totally different person. And as we move into Bolivia sometime during the next several weeks, I can only imagine that the diverse cultural and sanitary practices of that part of the world will continue to lighten us. Keep the questions coming!

Team CP


Anonymous Riva said...

You write very well.

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