Day 6: We finally hit the slopes!
Trip Start Jul 26, 2010
6Trip End Aug 16, 2010
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At 6 am the hotel staff learned that the baggage had just arrived and Delta would deliver it by 2pm (great service Delta, we were only a few minutes from the airport). Not trusting that Delta could in fact make such a delivery without first sending the baggage back to Minnesota or elsewhere just for fun or to maintain their reputation)' we paid the hotel driver to pick it up and by 10:30 am we were driving to the ski resorts There are three ski resorts in the Andes about 1.5 hours from Santiago and all within minutes of each other and all three are connected by lifts. They are El Colorado, La Parva and Valle Nevado
We arrived at our hotel (Hotel Farrelones) and skied rest of the day We also picked up an Argentinian hitchhiker at the base of the mountain, which was fine until he told us that the US tortures babies and that he had mountain sickness and did not feel well (he was sitting behind me). Great skiing, fresh snow, no crowds, base elevation at 3000 meters. That evening we had a great meal in the hotel, and we thanked the holy men of the Andes that Delta had only screwed up the first five days of our vacation. It will be tough to follow up that cheery description. We ended up staying at Hotel Farrelones, the glorified hostel. It was conveniently located as a ski-in/ ski-out for El Colorado (despite this we did not get back on the mountain until 11AM the next day. I think the only salvation dad had was that we got to buy 1/2 day tickets that were were a little bit cheaper (he missed "senior" status by three years). El Colorado was a real nice mountain, a little boring in comparison to the other mountains though. First of all, all of the ski areas in Chile are above the tree line (i.e. there are no trees) and the landscape at El Colorado was that of run next run spread evenly across the mountain, with fences to separate the runs and protect them from the wind. I imagine that the fake indoor ski hill in Dubai would look relatively similar. I was also surprised that Chile barely has any chairlifts, which are common in the US. Almost everything is done by Parmalifts which provide a long bar that you put between your legs and it drags you up the hill
That night we walked the small town of Farellones (or Far Longs as dad still called it). In search of Apres Ski we went to what we learned was more of a convenient store and dad tried to order a "cat"... (see video). Dinner was spent back at the hotel. As breakfast/ dinner was included, it would be one of our many enjoyable meals there (despite the limited menu options as most items they always seemed to be out of).
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