Christmas in Chile- By Sidney Parham

Trip Start Dec 15, 2009
Trip End Jan 01, 2010

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Flag of Chile  , Lake District,
Friday, December 25, 2009

The News from Sidney
I know itīs been a while, but Iīve again decided to write a blog entry. First, though, Iīll give you a quck recap of the "W" and the events surrounding it.

On day Uno, we fought our way through gale-force winds to arrive (although not unscathed) at Refugio Chileno. We then attempted a rematch with rain thrown in the mix, attempting to get a good view of the Mirador Lago (mirror lake) and the Torres (Towers). Sadly, all we saw was precipitación (preciptation).
On day Dos, we had a much more pleasant stroll along several more Lagos (lakes) before turning in at Refugio Cuernos.
On day Tres, we first climbed through two hours of rocks and hills ("That canīt be more than one hour," I said, "we can see it from here!") before summiting at least part of the French Valley for fantastic views of a glacier. We then turned back after wind and rain manifested themselves, only to find me shivering and drenched as a result of my refusal to put on proper gear. We finally came within sight of Refugio Paine Grande, which was ENORMOUS (although it was not the best place in the world to warm up).
On day Quatro, we hiked from Paine Grande to Refugio Grey. It took us a bit longer than the sign said, which was rather worrying, considering we had to catch the 12:30 catamaran the next day, breakfast at the refugio started at 7:30 and took about a half hour, we had taken about 4 hours so far, and there was a steep uphill which we would need to climb. However, while we were worrying about all this, we actually ran into Erin McManus (for those of you who don`t know, she`s my schoolīs College Liason). We actually knew she would be hiking the "W", but we weren`t sure if we would meet her.
Finally, on day Cinco, we got up early, skipping breakfast, hiked out almost too quickly (we were there two hours early), and took the catamaran back to civilization.
We rested that day (the 23rd), and then took a bus, plane, and taxi to the pseudo-German city of Puerto Varas, where we are now.

Okay. Flashbacks over. Now we move on the the most important part, Navidad (Spanish for Christmas).

I woke up this morning at about 8:00 and waited for the bathroom (because we`re staying in a hostel, most things have to be shared). I then headed downstairs and ate the traditional hostal breakfast of bread and, well, more bread.I surfed the web for a bit, but since thereīs a 2 hour time difference, no one from NC was on Facebook. so I went back upstairs. Imagine my surprise when I found a wrapped package on my bed (we gave each other gifts before we left)! I opened it and found a book, titled "Harry Potter y la Camera Secrata". Harry Potter, in Spanish! Itīs actually not that hard to read, considering I practically know the story by heart and you can pick out specific words that give clues to the story. At the time of writing, Iīm up to Harryīs journey to Flourish and Blottīs.
We eventually headed into town for our Christmas lunch. Here in Chile, lunch is considered the "big meal" as opposed to dinner. Frst, though, we visited a local Catholic church and heard the service. The church was dramatic, with blue arches and domes, and the music (even in Spansh) was very good. Next, we headed to eat at one of the few restaurants open on Christmas Day. Mom and Dad each ordered some sort of "Fish dish", while I got what was basically pesto noodles. The best part, though, was the desserts. Mom ordered chocolate cake, Dad had meringue,and I went with homemade strawberry ice cream. What we thought was the ice cream arrived first, and I dug in (see the accompanying picture). We then dscoverd that it was actually Dadīs meringue. I got to eat at least half of it, though! The ice cream was very good too, however, and I didnīt have to share it.
After such an exciting day, we headed back to the Hostal for rest and writing the rest of our blog entries- our christmas present to you. Feliz Navidad!
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Judy Hammond on

Hi Sidney and parentes (as Warren calls us),

Wow, I loved reading your blog, Sidney. You took me right there and it was such fun reading it. I was chuckling through most of it. You're funny. A great writer. Sounds like an exciting Christmas to me. We have been having a very laid back Christmas with canasta being our main excitement around here. That's true since the snow has melted. We really had a nice Christmas day and enjoyed being together. That's a gift in itself. Claire is back home getting ready for work tomorrow and Warren is out with friends. Thanks for the up-dates. Merry, merry to all of you, Aunt Judy

Patrick Cavan Brown on

Feliz Navidad! Enjoy your wonderful adventure and take lots of photos... Seach out beautiful light. Be safe.

Caroline Parham on

It sounds like you are all having an exciting adventure. Thanks so much for the descriptions. I thought it very funny about the dessert identities.
All is well here. We had a lot of family at my house for Christmas day - an oyster roast for midday meal and more traditional Christmas fare for dinner.
Peter, Papa, Charis, Corbie and Rachel, and my Gary were here for the holiday.
Love from the Oriental Parhams

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