This place is made for me. At least the scenery. Maybe not so much the touristy vibe in the town. Today I hiked up Cerro Campanario to see one of the most unbelievable views I have ever seen. No, ever imagined.
There is a chairlift up to the top, but I think the views are even more gorgeous if you have to work to get to them. I jumped on the local bus this morning and got off when I saw a sign that read, ´km 17´ …even though it was in the middle of nowhere. These types of things seem to happen to me a lot, I read one person´s blog about an adventurous thing to do in a touristy town and this is where it leads me. Though, after I walked around aimlessly for about 20 minutes, I figured it out! The hike wasn´t very long, but it was extremely steep the entire way. But like I said… definitely worth it.
Since I have been so inspired to cook the past week, I took up the challenge and decided to attempt to make a home-made vegetable soup and lay off the meaty meals I have been indulging in lately. I went to the market, picked up some carrotts, green beans, potatoes, tomatoes and squash and it looked quite lovely after cutting everything!
The store didn´t have broth, so I improvised. All you cooks, listen up so you can critique me: I grilled everything except the tomatoes in oil and garlic for about 7 minutes. Then, (since I didn´t have broth) I added water to the huge pot and put in some veggie seasoning I had found at the store. I brought it to a boil then added the tomatoes last. I let it simmer for about 30 minutes then added pepper and salt. I heated up some bread with butter, spooned a bowl of soup and dug in. It was suprisingly fantastic! I made so much I had it for sinner tonight too and I will tomorrow. This hostel always smells so delicious of people cooking. As I sat down with my dinner, I looked up and out the window….
Back to my first story about the hike… At the top I met a guy from Australia and we decided to walk down together. He is an extreme adventurist and did not want to go down the way we came, so we decided to take a different path. Wait, scratch that. A different side of the mountain. There was no path. The terrain was very sandy so he got excited about being able to ski down the slope of sand since the ski resorts are now closed. So thats what we did. Half way. Once we hit trees, there was no more ´sleding´ to be done. So we started down, through thick forest. After trudging through the forest we finally found a little opening of no trees so we sat and took a water break.
We looked around and realized we needed to find a path, but there was no path to be seen. We decided to hike back up the mountain a little, to find a path and I should have been filmed to be on Man vs. Wild or something. We turned into human weed-whackers, army-crawling under branches that may or may not have had poison oak/ivy on them. At one point I said, ¨this is ridiculous, I´m taking a picture of you¨
I assure you, this picture does not do justice.
After what felt like hours of looking for a path, we finally found one which led us right to the top of the chairlift, where we were able to ´ski´ our way back to sanity. I am going on a 60 or so km bike ride with him tomorrow morning, so keep your fingers crossed.
It is so surprising the amount of ash on everything here! It is all here from the Volcano in Chile and it still is on everything. Including, now, my hair. So, time to go take a shower and rest my tired legs.
Unil then, Ciao!