The next morning started somewhat late, after an uncharacteristically restful night’s sleep breathing in the crisp and cold mountain air through the cabin window. We scarfed down a breakfast that only men could appreciate after they cooked it themselves, supplemented by café lattes made on an espresso machine brought up just for the luxury of it.
The bright yellow, red or blue 250 cc motorbikes outside screamed for our attention as they were started and tested. They were like wild broncos, saddled and waiting for someone to climb on and ride into the treed hills to explore or just escape the stresses of civilization. As I chose my mount, the powerful machine gave out a whine and growl, leaping ahead as if leaving the starting gate while I clung to the handlebars with a death grip. The surefooted "steed" sprang up rutted roads, over sharp boulders and around unyielding corners with nimble knobby tires gripping and scratching at whatever surface was available. It was as if they instinctively knew that one false move would send its wide-eyed rider over the handlebars and into a tree or over a cliff. It was pure exhilaration, at least when it was not humiliation due to being unceremoniously "bucked" off the bike due to my misjudging the terrain or just losing my balance.