All posts filed under: Anita Recommends

Links on where to, how to, what to… relating to travel, food & wine, adventure, cycling, trekking and all the things I love to do!

Painful progress somewhere on the course.

Mammoth Lakes Adventure: The Walk

This picture pretty much sums up the challenge that lay ahead of us. The swim was done and I had survived the biking – it was now time for the final leg. A couple of days ago, on the way to Mammoth Lakes, we took Tioga Road that goes past Tuolomne Meadows and then reaches the top of Tioga Pass. From there, we descend towards Lee Vining. This is the same road that we’re going to be walking. Except in the opposite direction. So I’d already had a glimpse of what I’d signed up for. When I estimated the number of hours when I signed up for the event, I thought 4 hours. On day 3, I wasn’t so sure. I had survived the swim and the bike ride. And walking or running after biking is always the toughest for me. I was glad I wasn’t doing it all in the same day. (At least, not yet!). The Tioga Pass Run/Walk is advertised as 12.4 miles and “one hill”. The walk/run had 3,162 feet of …

Part of the route for the 70 and 100 mile went through Benton Crossing, where you could see these stark, yet beautiful landscapes.

Mammoth Lakes Adventure: The Bike Ride

What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger, they say. And I’m hoping it’s true. After the swim, having been sufficiently nourished and rested, we land up at the bike venue at 8 am in the morning. It’s pretty cool, but the weather forecast promises a warm day and I discard my wind cheater at the start itself. I have arm warmers which I hope will do the job. There are around 400 riders at the start point. An impressive turnout for an event in this part of the country. Mammoth Lakes is a little town in Mono country, surrounded by mountains. The 100 mile riders started off earlier – at 7 am. Bike rides are always unpredictable. You could be feeling fit and fine at the beginning and then like you’ve gone through hell and back a couple of hours later. Or you could start off feeling crappy and then blossom, like a flower, your legs opening up as the miles add up. Thanks to one tough practice ride a weekend prior, I was feeling …


Mammoth Lakes Adventure: The Swim

To swim, bike and run on the same day is always a challenge. And though I enjoy all three sports, I’m still testing out the waters with shorter distances right now. Last year, I wrote about getting into triathlons and also doing my first triathlon – a sprint distance. This year, I did a slightly longer distance – called Olympic distance at the Auburn Triathlon. Longer distances though are still daunting at this stage. But when one of our coaches suggested we check out the Graniteman Challenge event that involves all the sports, but over three days, I began to think it might be more feasible. Impulsive decisions come quite naturally to me, so I decided to add another one to my list and sign up. The big event, which earns you the title of “Graniteman”, involves half Ironman distances (or nearly) – 2.4 mile swim, 100 mile ride and a 12.4 mile run/walk. However, they also had shorter distances in two categories – 1.2 mile swim, 71 mile ride, while the 3rd category (run/walk) …


The Penland Diaries: Washing dishes and making them

From washing dishes to making them has been the tagline of these last few days. And I’m borrowing and modifying the phrase from my very talented sister Ranjita (who used to be a chef and is now a potter) who says she went from: “Making dishes to making dishes”. Exhausting. Hectic. Overwhelming. Intense. Fantastic. A few words to sum up my experience at Penland so far. Time flies when you’re having fun and it really did. I have no idea how 10 days went by–it’s like one of those sprint races with Usain Bolt. It’s over before it started. The 18 member group worked at breakneck speed to fire “Rosie”, Penland’s three-chambered wood kiln. After 24 hours of stoking and firing, making sure all the three chambers were heated up, we stopped a bit past midnight on Wednesday. It was a first time for me working together with a team to fire a wood kiln and it was memorable. Now, I can see the reason why people fire these things. It’s tough and challenging–I still …


The Penland Diaries: Arriving and settling in

The Penland School of Crafts has been on my “wish” list for a few years now. In 2013, when I was visiting friends in Virginia, I did a 2 month ceramics course down at Manassas. Around that time, I happened to chance upon the school and the workshops it offers and instantly put it down as something I’d like to try and do someday. Workshops are on a wide variety of mediums—glass, metal, wood, drawing, painting, clay – check out the current workshops and also future ones here. A peek at some of the workshops During the last year I’ve been able to explore both jewelry making and ceramics to a greater extent with access to more resources than I had earlier. Some of the artistes I’ve been able to learn from are Edith Schneider (jewelry), Elaine Pinkernell, Linda Mau and Jamie Meador—all three being fantastic handbuilders. And then towards the beginning of the year, I was browsing and came across a link asking those interested to apply for the summer sessions that would be …


Adventures in India: A 12 day trip to the South

Join me on an adventure of a lifetime! A vibrant and diverse country, India can be fascinating and yet also be pretty challenging for a traveler. Especially, if you haven’t been to the country before. But don’t worry – you’ll be in good hands! I’ve traveled to many parts of the country, on many occasions on my own, and have a fair idea of the dos and don’ts to ensure that we have a great time, and ensure we keep out of trouble. If you did have India on your mind—this could be the perfect opportunity to join in on an active adventure—indulge in fun activities like running, swimming, hiking and cycling (and if we have time, we can even squeeze in a few other local activities). Besides of course, tasting some of the local delicacies—every state in India has a different cuisine, language/s and customs. On this trip, we’ll cover 3 states. Trip Description: An adventure trip and we’ll make sure you keep fit and active with hearty doses of cycling, running, hiking and …