December 29, 2005
The area I'm in is famous for its skiing. The hills are big and the views are incredible. The only problem is that it's summer now so they are closed. Actually, it's not really a problem for me because the fact that they are closed is probably saving me a broken leg or worse. Anyway, today I found out that some people still go to ski hills, even during summer.
I got on a city bus with Elaine from England and Ingrid from Holland, whom I had met at my hostel yesterday, to head to the Catedral ski hill for a little bit of walking. When we saw the hill, we immediately noticed that the lifts were still running. Not only that, but people decked out in what I thought was matching ski gear were waiting in line to take the lift up. They didn't have any skis with them, so I wasn't quite sure what was going on. It didn't matter, though, because we didn't go there to take a lift up the hill; we came for exercise.
We began walking past the ski lodges and thousands of lupins up the hill. It was quite scenic with all of the blooming flowers and mountains in the background. The trail wasn't well-marked, but we just stayed near the lifts and were able to make our way to the top.
As soon as we got close to the lift that was running, we heard singing and shouting. Suddenly, I knew what was going on: the people going up had just graduated from high school and were in town for one last big party together. They constantly sang songs to get the word out that their school was the best. Every time they saw us walking up the hill, they wanted to practice their English with us, even though it was only for a few seconds.
When we got to the top of the lift, we saw hundreds of kids everywhere. They were still singing, even while getting their picture taken. A lot of them were playing in the small amount of snow remaining at the top. We talked to a few of them, walked back down, and headed back to the hostel.
I noticed tonight that I've been in South America for three months now. Time really flies. I've done so many things on my trip, yet I still remember leaving the States like it was yesterday. I guess before I know it, I'll be back once again.
The photo album for this entry is here.