Friday, December 3, 2010

South Trip

So unfortunately I waited a few days to write this because I didn't really have time and a few times I did I really needed to relax and think.  But now I am ready, school is over, today was the last day but no one went, so it was gym and home after sleeping at Alex's house last night.  Lets begin.

We left the bus station at 11:30 at night and got to our first city, Puerto Monte in the morning at around 7.  I didn't really sleep well, I'm bad at sleeping on buses which is going to be interesting for when my brother comes to visit and we take a bunch of night buses.  But, I digress, we go to the city, wandered around the coast for a bit, took some pictures and then went to eat breakfast.  We went to a little cafe on a second floor with a view of the ocean.  It was where I had my frist blueberrie muffin, definantly worth some extra money.  A few other others wanted one and I let them some money, they all enjoyed theirs too.  There was a bit more wandering and seeing the city, we went to a feria, just an outside market, tons of giant fish, other seafood, cheeses, and the regular nic nac shops.  Then it was off to the airport for a plane ride to Puerto Arenas.

The plane ride was quite an eventful one.  Kathrine is really scared of planes and as wrong as it was for me to laugh, I did.  She was swearing and freaking out, holding Alex's hand, who was sitting behind her, and trying to stay calm.  But of course, when we tried landing in the freakishly strong with of the south, we couldn't the first time and had to come back around, that thouroughly scared her.  In the end a safe landing and a fun plane ride for me.

We got out of the airport and were in winds at least 50 maybe 60 miles an hour.  Throughout the whole trip the wind was strong, it wasn't the cold that was a problems, just the wind.  From the airport we went to a mall, got some food and hung out.  Two other exchange students from the South met up with us for the trip, one from Germany and one from the US, both nice and fun to have on the trip with us, I think they had a ton of fun with us.  There are only 4 students in the south and they don't do anything together, they are completly isolated.  Back to the trip, during our free time at the mall we went ice skating at a rink inside the mall, tons of fun and something too keept us occupied.

We drove to our hotel that was in the city, hung out for a while and then got a surprise Thanksgiving dinner.  Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes with I think kale, and vegtables.  I went to town and ate and ate and ate.  It was for sure worth breaking my diet, which stayed broken for the rest of the week, might I add.  I got to cut one of the turkeys, I did a good job, and Donner cut one of the others, and ended up cutting himself.  The last one was cut by a waiter.  I was just so happy to have had a Thanksgiving dinner, it is 2nd, technically 3rd behind the tie of New Years and 4th of July for my favorite holidays.  After dinner we walked around the city and saw it at night, beautiful.  Then back to the hotel for some much needed sleep.

Next day we were up at 8 and left by 9.  We went to a museum that had all sorts of history of Chile from drilling to Darwin's trip near Chile and much more.  Then we went to a famous and giant cemetery and wandered it for a while.  It was creepy, but definantly the most beatiful cemetery I had ever seen.  For the rest of the day we saw the city, sites, the coast and a few other things.  Then back to the hotel for free time.  A few of us wandered around near the hotel and found a great little coffee shop where we went each day after. 

We got up even earlier the next day, 6:30 for a bus that left at 7.  Quick morning getting ready and if was off to see Torres del Painne.  First we went to a giant cave with stalagmites and stalagtites where the first of some prehistoric vegitarian bear was found and they had a replica statue of it too.  Then another reserved area with a few lakes.  We started driving and got our first look at the mountains and Torres del Painne.  It was amazing and far away.  We went a bit closer, even better with a lake.  We thought we were done there and were all kind of pissed, but then we went close and got out, got more pictures and even more beautiful scenery around.  Then two more times, one with two giant different colored lakes and one with hills, a camp, and some animals.  Torres was amazing, and in pictures it looks fake it is so unreal.  I will tell you soon why I don't have any pictures of any of this, only from other students.  So, it was long day at Torres, and then we went one more place.  We had a two hour walk on a beach to see a few glaciers in the water and one between the mountains from pretty far away.  It was 15 million year old ice, pure and beautiful.  As tradition we had a small drink of whiskey with the ice from glaciers with the Rotary women, so it was ok.  Then it was back to the hotel for a dinner and fun.  We ate, went out and played some pool and lottery machines and the came back and hung out till pretty late.

Following day was up early again and off to a boat ride.  It was cold, windy, raining, and lots of splashing waves.  But I sat out on deck for a quite a while on the way there, just by myself looking at the scenery go by.  I went inside a few times, had some tea and talked with people.  We went by some waterfalls, a few glaciers, some penguin looking birds, and a few other things.  Then we got of the boat and and took a hike through the woods to a glacier.  It didn't seem that far away or that big until there was a avalanch.  It was so loud, loud enough to make me relize just hot big the glacier must have actually been.  It was incredible.  The a walk back through the forest with a drink from a little waterfall from the glacier.  I was sitting on the beach, took a picture, put the camera in my pocket, sat down on the dock for a few minutes and got one.  I went to talk a picture, and my camera was gone.  Gone for good.  I asked around, talked the park incase they found it later, but no such luck.  All my picture gone, at least it was just this trip and not more.  It just made the day so much harder after that.  I sat on the front of the boat again, just watching, there were some sealions and just some good views.   Before we got all the way back we stopped again and had an amazing lunch of lamb, chicken, and some other stuff.  Man I love the meat here, and I am sure as heck going to grill a lot when I get home.  I could eat lamb all day long.  We got back, and just went to the hotel.  The day picked up from the camera and we ended up going out to the pool house again and having a great time.  The night was a lot of fun, just hanging out and talking with everyone.

I don't remember exactly what day, but one of the first two days we went and saw penguins, we walked out on a trail for maybe a mile in the gusting wind to a little lookout.  A bunch of penguines with their heads down, huddled together with a few here and their wandering around. Really cute animals.  I had my camera at this point, so it ws before the boat day.  On they way back we saw some more of them, just sitting near nests or protecting babies.

The second to last day we went to see a fort pretty far outside of the city and stayed there for a while.  It was the center of Chile, including the Antarctic territory.  On the drive there along the coast there were a bunch of abandoned old ships, rusting away in the ocean which were really neat and spectacular to look at, just leaning in the sea with sides and parts missing and big holes.  Then it was to another camp, first for another lunch of even better lamb than the first day and some great side dishes of rice and vegtables.  Second to see their animals.  There were two kinds of penguins, ducks, gunacos, llamas, alpacas, an ostrich, and a bird that look like and ostrich only smaller.  The llamas, alpacas, the ostrich looking bird, and guanacos we got to go into the cages with and pet and feed them.  I got a kiss from a guanaco and Alex got spit on, and made the ostrich angry, who knows why.  After that we went back to the hotel, got out bags and drove back to Puerto Arenes, I think I am getting mixed up in with places and locations, so if you don't follow, remeber that I don't really either. I just remember what I did.  We had a bunch of free time so a few of us went to a great chocolate shop, and then even less of us wandered the city and ended up on the beach.  I got to walk along the beach without shoes by myself, looking for beach glass.  It was amazing, I had a choice of giant pieces of beach glass, so many great colors, the usual, but still, giant and it huge quantities, I got to decide which ones I wanted to take and which ones not to instead of trying to find as much as possible.  Plus is was great to stroll the beach by myself just thinking and being.  Then me and a friend walked down the docks just by ourselves, sat around on some benchs with chessboards, talked and saw the port of antarctica.  It was just nice to sit and talk to someone who knows what I am going through and is going through a really similar experience.  Especially when they are a really cool person.  Back to the hotel, dinner, and more time just hanging out with the exchange students. 

One more day, some time in the cities, monuments, breakfast and lunch, a plane ride, some time in another city and the bus station and around it.  Alex and I after eating a sandwich that we got from rotary went to a supermarket and go a chick and sat there eating it with out hands, just a good time with him like always.  Then it was home on the bus.  I sat next to Kathrine on the way home and had an amazing talk with her that I really needed.  She can listen to anything and I can tell her anything.  I don't know what I would do without her.  She brightens my day every day, considering I see every day.  We sat and listened to music too and she fell asleep pretty fast after we finished talking.  I got about and hour or two of sleep on the busride, I just can't sleep well on them, they are to small and uncomfortable.  We got back and waited for a bit at the station because we were earlier and went home. 

It was an amazing trip and the things that happened on it I will never forget.  It would have been perfect minus losing my camera, but I won't let that ruin what I got out of that trip.  I wish we had had more time together, but at least we got that.  And we will keep seeing eachother throughout the year and I am greatful for that.  I have Alex and Kathrine in my city and the holidays are here and I can see all my other friends.  My brother will be here soon enough and then he will leave and 3 days later I will have been here for 5 months.  It seems pretty fast already.

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