09 Aug Lose your iPhone in Chile? There’s an app for that.
We suited up and walked the 5 or so minutes over to El Colorado. We bought tickets and headed up the lift. Not a “chair,” mind you but a lift, a surface lift.
In this case it was a “T-bar.” Now these are not the most comfortable things on a snowboard. When you are skiing, you basically just sit down on the thing and it pulls you up. You get to use that nice fleshy part at the top of your legs…i.e. your buttocks. But when you are snowboarding, you have to wedge one arm of the “T” in between you legs and it presses against the tender part of the inner upper thigh. It’s not so bad at first…but give it a few days of riding.
As we didn’t have inner thigh bruises yet we were able to enjoy the 1st lift up. It was a pretty awesome feeling. Here we were in the middle of our summer, in a whole different hemisphere, snowboarding. As we gained elevation we got our first real look back into the valley. We could see Santiago in the distance, light trails of smog creeping up the valleys towards the mountains. It was truly stunning.
It took about 4 lifts to reach the top of the resort. There was a mix of chairs and surface lifts. The resort itself was basically like Snoqualmie Pass in Washington or Boreal in Tahoe. Open and a little flat. There wasn’t much in the way of natural terrain and it was too early in the season for the park to be really built up. Never less, it felt great to be on our boards after traveling for a day.
After riding for a couple hours I was rather hungry…and thirsty. We stopped at a mid-mountain lodge and I noticed they had “wi-fi.” Sweet! I could mobile upload a pic or two and wouldn’t get dinged for international data roaming! I opened my jacket to grab my iPhone but it wasn’t there… I took out my passport and wallet. It wasn’t jammed in between them. I checked my other pockets. No dice. Will thought I must have left it at the lodge…that was a possibility, but I was sure I’d packed it.
We decided to ride down to the ticket counter and ask if I’d left it there. If I’d brought it snowboarding, I might have taken it out when I bought my ticket. We jammed down the mountain. I was still having fun riding. The trails were well groomed and there was just enough people to dodge to keep it interesting.
The man working at the ticket counter didn’t speak English, but I think I was able to communicated that I left my iPhone there. He didn’t have it and didn’t remember seeing it…
We headed to the main lodge, where after wandering around and asking people where the “lost and found” was we ended up in an office on the ground floor. The woman working there said nothing had been turned in. I asked if there was a form or something I could fill out. She handed me a blank sheet of paper and had me write my name on it. I also included phone and email – cause if they found it, they’d have to contact me somehow right? The whole procedure seemed a little ramshakle and not too well thought out. I mean, it wasn’t a HUGE ski area, but it was big enough you’d expect them to have some sort of procedure for it.
Will asked if I wanted to go back to our lodge and check there. I said it didn’t really matter. The phone was either there or it wasn’t. Going back now would only take time away from riding. So that is what we did.
Eventually we headed back to Lomas Del Viento. A group of Uraguans staying there and we chatted with them. When we mentioned our travel plans they remarked that the ski area we were planning on going to wasn’t open yet. This was a cause for alarm. Going on a 600KM drive south to a ski area that wasn’t open would be a lot of driving for little reward. We started to ponder what we might do…but we no longer had internet access, so we weren’t really sure how to verify this piece of data.
It addition to not having internet access, we now had:
1.) No phone
2.) No alarm clock
3.) No spanish dictionary / translator
4.) No camera that we could charge
This was “the best example of a keystone technology” Will remarked. It was true. The jet had only one engine.
We had no power adapter for our other electronics…and since we had no dictionary and our hosts didn’t speak English – we couldn’t ask for one. We just had to hang on until we figured something out.
In the meantime, all we could do was laugh.
Dinner that night was amazing. Soup, Pork Chops with yammy mashed potatoes and chocolate pudding for desert. We had no idea the food was going to be like this.
We went to bed tired from a long and event filled day. Plans might need to change, but for now – we had no way of changing them…but we had a car, all our gear, and a place to stay for the next two nights.
And tomorrow we were going to have our 2nd day of snowboarding in the Andes…so really, how bad could things be?
Now if we could only wake up on time for breakfast…