It has been quite a while since I posted in this here blog and I promise I am trying my darndest to do better! As a welcome back to myself, I am sharing my adventures hiking through the Andes Mountains.
On October 10, 2015, the bestie and I headed to Parque Aguas de Ramon somewhere outside of Santiago. It took us about two hours to get there by city bus – but that is only because we got off the bus at the wrong stop (we were a bit eager). After getting back on the bus, we had to transfer to another bus. Then we were in a sparsely populated area and had to wait a minute for a taxi. When the taxi finally came, he had no idea what or where the park was. It was a straight 3 km (1.9 miles) ride to the park, thankfully.
At this point it was after 2:30 in the afternoon and the park apparently closed at 5:30 pm. We were greeted by a gentleman who started rambling off park details to us in Spanish. We had to quickly stop him and we were so excited to learn he could speak English. He explained the trail to us and charged us the park fee of 2000 Chilean pesos (~$3.50) per person. And so our journey actually began!
We headed up the Pumos Trail – the first 40 minutes or so were entirely uphill. It was not unbearably steep but it definitely had my thighs burning. When the trail flattened out some, we got our first peek at some water! There was a stream flowing in between the mountains and the sound was so soothing.
We walked to follow the water for a minute until we realized I had chosen the wrong path to travel on – oops. We went back up and hiked another 40 minutes or so in search of the source of the water. Instead, we found a beautiful valley with the perfect view of the mountains beyond. As is our tradition, bestie and I had a mountain photo shoot. The spot was nestled right in the middle of a shot of vast greenness and mountains in the background. It truly was a little slice of heaven.
By this point, we had to make our way back down the mountain to get to the visitor’s center before it closed. On the way back, we got an amazing view of Santiago. Like we were all up in the clouds. We could see the entire downtown from this trail. Of course it was covered in smog so we couldn’t get too many good pictures. But we did get the chance to take in the absolute beauty of the place.
This place made it so exquisitely obvious that God exists and that His hand touches every and anything. The way the mountains came together to form lush green valleys and snow-capped peaks was simply breathtaking. Seeing an entire city from that vantage point humbled me, just knowing that I am a micropoint on the map of Santiago right now and in the world as a whole. There is just no logical, man-made explanation for how each piece of nature fits and self-sustains. Everything created by man requires maintenance or practice. Nature, on the other hand, exists without interference or assistance. Because it already has a keeper: God. My trip to the Andes reminded me of that and reinforced that ideal in me. It was definitely one of the best experiences I’ve had in Santiago thus far. The pure grace and beauty of the mountains reminded me of why I travel and why I came here.
We made our way to the end of the mountain only to realize that there were no taxis coming our way. Since we have not yet adopted the practice of hitchhiking, we walked the 3 km back to the bus stop. These 1.9 miles felt like crossing the Amazon. Our legs were dead and just couldn’t handle another inch. Several pep talks and “oh Lawd”s later, we made it to the bus stop, caught our bus, and rewarded ourselves with empanadas. A simply wonderful day!