Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Day 23: Update

This is a picture of victory. Almost a four hour hike to the summit, Cerro (Mount) Lopez is the highest mountain in the area besides Cerro Tronador (the mountain directly in front of me this picutre). Five of us completed the journey together on Sunday.

If you look closely, you can see trails in the snow that start all the way at the top... yes, I slid down this mountain to get to the bottom, plus one more part after this. My first experience with snow resulted in twisting my ankle, doing a complete 360 while lying flat on my back and being really freaked out :)

Cerro Tronador. This mountain is on the Argentina-Chile boarder. I have yet to travel there for the hike, but I hope to in the next few weeks.
Ha, Ok. So my first experience with snow was on the way up when I trekked through what seemed like miles of sugar blankets. The climb up included: snow, rocks, a dirt path, more rocks, a dirt trail, more snow and then more rocks. The climb also included some silly faces in the snow.

I have nothing to excuse my week absence besides fact that the third week here in Bariloche has flown by really really fast. Too fast. I feel like I have heard a saying before that after the third week in anyone's travels, it simply begins to pass too quickly.

Before I start with my adventures above, I will let you all know that I am currently sick. Si, otro vez. (yes, again). I went to the doctor today. It cost me 60 pesos (roughly 18 USD) to see the doctor and to get part of the medicine. I have more or less tonsillites and a sinus infection. My tonsils are so swollen that it looks like I put two golf balls in on each side of my throat. I have to stay at home until Friday morning and then I have to go see the doctor. Again.

Yes, muy triste. Sad. Very sad. I was excited about this week because I can tell that my Spanish is improving. School has been coming along really well and I am really enjoying my time learning. I personally think that my teacher is the best in the whole school and it is enjoyable to go to class when you can understand everything and then respond. Delightful!

I will be missing a whole week of school in exchange for mi cama, but I really need to get better. I can not keep getting sick. I bought comida and enough liquids to make Noah's ark float, before I took a taxi and headed home.

Well, before all this sad sickness came along, I hiked Cerro Lopez on Sunday. We started at noon. The first half of the hike is all up hill on a narrow trail. It included rocks, dirt, rocks and more dirt. Also! it included flies. Lots of flies. Lots of pesky HORSE flies. I think the group decided that they were more like flying rats because they were so big. They also stung you. At one point, I think one of them wanted to live in my ear.

But we did make up a new dance move in memory of our dear fly friends. For those older generations who may not know about dance moves like the shopping cart, the sprinkler or the lawn mower, then you may not find the humor in this. But we call it the pesky fly: where you are walking and waving your arms in a circular motion around your head, occasionally swatting at your legs. Ha, well-- we thought it was funny.

Shy of two hours, we made it to the Refugio that sits inbetween the summit and the bottom. We rested for a while. Ate homemade sandwiches on moist white bread. Forty-five minutes later, we wasted no time in climbing treading to the top.

Now. My camera. I left my camera charger at home in Georgia. My mom mailed it to me three weeks ago on Thursday. I had this feeling that was camera was gonna start dying on Sunday. Sure enough, it began flashing red at me before I even got the top. Meaning I had to take pictures wisely. The only picture that I did not get is one of the rocks that we climbed for most of the way up. At some points, I felt like I needed a rope and some rock climbing shoes.

It was intense. Crazy. Insane. REALLY insane. But it was also a moment of accomplishment and achievement. When we finally made it to the summit I think I could have cried, but the view took my breath away. I have never seen such beauty. The thing about Bariloche is every mountain or place that I go it is something different. There are new mountains, new lakes, new scenery. It really is incredible.

I could write more today, but I have three days to catch myself up on my own life. I have been too busy to even meditate on the events of the past week. It has been a wild one. A fast one. And even though I am sick now, it has been a good one :)

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