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Sunday, March 6, 2016

Georgetown Branch Trail

In many ways, it was difficult to maintain a healthy lifestyle in Kazakhstan.  Many fruits and vegetables were very seasonal; others, like kale and chard, were completely unavailable, as far as I could tell.  Exercise was also problematic.  Kazakhstan's (and particularly Astana's) notorious winters made outdoor exercise unpleasant for several months out of the year.  To compound difficulties, we essentially lived on an isolated construction site, and often had to dodge construction equipment while we were out and about.

So, we're taking advantage of being back home to try to get both our eating and our exercising back on some sort of reasonable track.  We're getting a fair amount of walking in our daily lives right now, but we decided to go on a more ambitious walk today.  We took the Georgetown Branch trail from Silver Spring to Bethesda.

A good portion of the walk was actually just getting to the trail, as we live a ways from it.  The whole walk took about an hour and a half.  I think it'll be a very pretty walk soon, once we start seeing leaves on the trees again.  But even today, we had some green in the form of bamboo thickets and a few flowers.

Then, when we got to Bethesda, we ate healthy lunches with plenty of veggies!

We decided to take Metro back to Silver Spring, although in retrospect, we're half wishing we'd walked back.  I knew we would be in for a longish ride, since we would ride south from Bethesda into DC, and then north back to Silver Spring.  In addition to that, we had to wait quite a while for a train because of single-tracking.  Then, we ended up stopped at one station for several minutes due to an "altercation" on one of the other cars that required the intervention of the Metro transit police (!).  Not all Metro rides feature those particular complications, but maybe we'll consider walking back next time we go to Bethesda for the extra exercise.

I don't want to sound cheesy, but I think one benefit of a challenging living situation is that it makes us feel more appreciative of simple things.  I'm enjoying the well-above-freezing temperatures, pleasant places to walk, and availability of a wide array of veggies more than I would have thought possible.  I hope the novelty doesn't wear off too soon.

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