Tuesday, July 9, 2013

A Chilean Adventure - Days 7, 8, & 9

So.... eventually I'll get all these days written up. Don't you worry. I'll keep this one short.


We went shopping for souvenirs! I can tell you what I got people now because they've already opened their gifts.

Dad: Chilean chocolates (I knew I was going to have to get my dad food. He wouldn't like any other trinkets)
Mom: A necklace made of turquoise and lapis lazuli - a blue stone that is mined in Chile and Afghanistan.
Rebecca: A pair of earrings also made out of lapis lazuli
Matthew: A keychain to add to his collection. In hindsight, I probably should have gotten him chocolate as well. :)
Emily: A peach scarf I found at the market
Claire & Natalie: Little coin purses with my leftover Chilean coins in them. They were so excited to go shopping with their new "wallets"!
Micah: I didn't get Micah anything because I figured anything I got him, he would just put in his mouth right away. I hope he doesn't hate me for it when he is older.

Shopping was pretty fun - going to the fish market with all the vendors, being told by the Santiago Police to take off my necklace (they didn't want it to get stolen, how nice of them!), and seeing all of the home-made and tourist-y items to buy.

In the midst of shopping, we all got kinda hungry and made our way to a market with multiple food options. We ended up going to "Frenchy Crepes". I wanted a banana and Nutella one, but I hadn't eaten yet that day, so I got one with chicken and spinach and mushrooms and tomatoes instead. Fortunately, Zach is the best and bought a banana Nutella crepe without telling me and he shared...although I made quite a mess. As the trip goes on, I keep forgetting to take a picture of my food until it is half gone:

Om nom nom. I'd never had a crepe before! This trip was full of firsts!

I don't remember exactly what happened between that morning and that evening, but I'm sure it was more shopping. I'm pretty sure I bought a new purse. Don't judge me, it was a few months ago.

Hawaiian pizza! We got 4 or 5 pizzas and shared them between the 5 of us and Oli, the British  guy we met.
That night, we traveled to a soccer game between Universidad de Chile and Olimpia (from Paraguay). U de Chile lost, but you wouldn't know it by the reaction of the fans. They are literally crazy. There were armed guards throughout the stadium, and as we were leaving, they herded us out and there were water shooting tanks. Think armored tanks, but they shoot water. At least, that's my memory of it. It may have been a lot simpler than that.

Spikes between the sections to keep people from traveling between them. Obviously, it doesn't work.
The soccer game ended pretty late, so we basically took a bus back to our place and conked out for the night. Friday we had a big day planned!


Friday had big plans - HIKING IN THE ANDES. Not many people can say they did that. We had a little bit of a later start than planned, but it all ended up fine. We started the day grocery shopping for sandwich fixings, as we knew we wouldn't have a place to stop and eat while on the hike. Good thing I brought my backpack! We filled a couple water bottles and were on our way! 

Unluckily, we did not have the greatest directions. After much wandering, we finally hailed a taxi and got a ride to the foothills. Good thing, too - otherwise we would have been too tired to walk once we got there!

There were 3 different trails of varying lengths from which to choose: 45 minute hike 3-4 hours, or 7-8 hours. Well, we definitely didn't have 7-8 hours to spare, although Zach and I would have liked to go to the farthest point as there was a very pretty waterfall there. So we started out on the 3-4 hour hike with Stuart and Elizabeth, only to split off from them so we could hike farther (they did the 3-4 hour hike). We figured we would just turn back when we knew we would have enough time to get back to the entrance before the park closed at 6. Instead of following the trail, when we got to the river, we just hiked along it. It was way more fun than following a dumb ol' path where hundreds of people had walked. Here are some pictures from the hike:

This is what the "river" looked like. It was deeper in some places, but for the most part, it was all rocky  - which made it fun to hike!

This is how dirty my legs got on the hike. Gross. 
That evening we went out to eat at Galindo, a restaurant with "authentic" food. I tried clams and we had mini empandas, and my meal was some sort of barbecued pork. Stuart got this cool corn and meat skillet meal that was delicious  (I made sure to try some of that!)

They were a lot chewier than I imagined...
These were good - gone in seconds.
My lame-o safe meal. It was still delicious, though!!!
After dinner, the other kids wanted to go salsa dancing, but Zach had hurt his foot (maybe hiking? we don't know) that day and we didn't really want to pay a cover charge, so the two of us went back to the hostel and went to bed. I guess the others had a good time because it was 4 am when they returned!


And thus begins our last hours in Chile. We had planned to have an 'asado' the last day - basically you grill up a lot of food and never stop eating the whole day. At least, that's what it felt like. We went shopping at a big grocery store - I think it was called Jumbo? It was super interesting! I always found it cool that at grocery stores, you get your produce, then go and weigh it at a station and get a sticker put on it so the cashier just has to scan it at the register (kind of like the deli here?).

We bought so much food. Back at Noah's friends' place, we started grilling and making guacamole. We had NOT gotten the most ripe avocados - amazingly enough, we picked the ripest ones there were, and they were still difficult to cut up. We even made sure to grab the ones that were marked 'ready to eat today'.

Friends of Noah on the left - Elizabeth, Stuart, and Noah on the right.
Our phenomenal host. We'll never forget this trip, Noah!
Pork sandwiches for DAYS.
And then all too soon, it was time to go.

There. Toldja I would finish it.

And now, back to your regularly sporadically scheduled programming.

Emily, look what you have to look forward to!!!