Lets just say last night was an adventure.. a rebellious adventure I must say. Now that everyone is done with classes and finishing up finals the true bonding is happening. We are all trying to fit in the last few things we wanted to do before we left and wishing we had more time. Most people are traveling from December 1st until they go home.. therefore, that leaves most of us with not much time together. Luckily my dad moved my ticket back so when I get back the 12th from Patagonia, I will have a few extra days to do some last minute things.
Yesterday was my friend Mike’s birthday so we decided to go camping. He really wanted to do a little trekking and climbing so six of us gathered at our friend Franco’s house to embark on this trek and camping adventure.. little did we know, actually making it to the place was going to take much longer than expected. We walked about 25 minutes to the entrance of a huge park, more like a sports club, horse stable, social club that is in Las Condes, one of the nicest neighborhoods in Santiago. We immediately got stopped by security and they told us to go hiking we would have had to be there at 5:30.. two hours earlier. We werent gonna let that stop us.. so we walked down the street, realized that a bus drops off at the entrance and has to go up into the park a bit to turn around. We stood at the other corner, paid the next bus driver 10 dollars to let us hide and enter and he said yes. So we all layed down on the ground, stayed silent and make it through! Then, we were onto our second entrance gate where luckily Franco used his spanish speaking sweet talk skills and the guy let us in. We then only had one entrance left and no one was there, there was a house and a few cars but no dog to bark and give us away and the gate was open to the mountain. We had made it and even though a post right as you walked in said no fires and no camping, getting this far… we werent going back. Never really have ever done anything rebellious and this was my chance. After about a 1 1/2 hour hike, we popped the tent, made a fire and started roasting hot dogs and sausages. The only thing we forgot was water.. of course we had beer, pisco and coca cola but the water was missing but luckily we survived without it. We simply sat around the campfire, took pictures and bonded.. all under the stars and with a lit up view of Santiago. I must say the fresh air was amazing and the view was breathtaking. We just looked at the city and the smog and were happy to be away for at least a night. Bedtime care around and I wasnt sleeping. There was no way, for some reason I just couldnt fall asleep so I chatted with Natalie and Mike and waited until sunrise. At one point in the evening, in my head only, I was thinking about all the things that could happen if we got caught. Fine for trespassing, fine for camping/making a fire and then the worst was being convinced that we could potentially get deported. I didnt actually think that could happen but I couldnt get the thought out of my head. “Six gringos found trespassing, camping and creating a fire that could have cause a forest fire.. DEPORTED” However, on our way down we got to avoid the entrance to the mountain because we went through the horse stables and then the next two entrances simply said hello and waved. We were SAFE. Let me tell you, that celebration was great and I could finally say that I had a wonderful time.. most definitely one of my best memories from Chile.
Tomorrow, we have our goodbye dinner from our program.. simply because they have realized that having it in December is a lost cause because so many people travel. After the goodbye dinner, I will be meeting Michelle(friend from Denison) to head off to Pucon. A southern city that is said to be very touristy but I was told by my friend from Denison, Sarah, who studied her two years ago… that I cant leave without going. So I am very excited about that! We head out at 11 on a nine hour bus ride.. towards the south. Will update with pictures when I get home Monday!
Sending my love to everyone, HAPPY THANKSGIVING! Not doing anything special here for the holiday but thinking about everyone at home that is together. Always remember to be thankful. Love, Chlo