You may recall this photograph of Volcan Villarrica at the end of my last post, one of Chile’s most active volcanoes. Especially since it was only yesterday!
Well today we went snowboarding on it! I’ve never done it before and Dean’s only done it once a long time ago. So we decided to have a lesson and a day on the slopes as a final birthday treat. I thought I’d post this now as this is our final day in Chile and I don’t like to combine my countries!
It was unexpectedly sunburn-hot! Our instructor was French and named Seb and a very patient teacher. The first part of the lesson was skills and tips mainly with only one boot strapped onto the board. So painful on the shins!
Then we practised longer runs, turning and stopping. I didn’t do very well with the latter and so kept falling over – including one especially painful coccyx bruising incident! I never really mastered it but figured out how to fall over less dangerously! [In the right-hand photo I’m on the left but look at the size of the kid on the right! He was amazing!]
After the lesson we had about 3 hours more to ourselves. Dean was looking pretty smooth by this point so kept disappearing further up the slope while I stayed lower down and continued to practise staying upright.
Fortunately I didn’t crash into any of the many locals out on the volcano for the day sledging!
Refusing to pay the additional £18 each for very minimal use of the ski lift, we embarked upon a 45 minute hike up the volcano which, though fairly exhausting, gave us amazing views and the chance to see some of the better skiers and snowboarders in action, some of whom were about five years old!
The destination of the hike was the cafeteria for a drink; we’d run out of water and were eating snow by this point! These were the views from both sides.
We realised then that we only had half an hour until we needed to be back at the bus so Dean set out downhill with the experts but, still lacking the ability to safely stop myself, I didn’t dare snowboard so I started walking. Then I had the idea to use my snowboard as a sledge which was sooooo much fun! I got up some speed causing me to look quite like a snowball I imagine. Then an amused skier stopped ahead of me, waited, and then offered me his ski pole to hold onto as I raced past. The rest of my journey, being towed, was even faster!
Overall, I’m glad I tried snowboarding and my successful moments were great fun but I’m not sure I need to make a hobby of it! I’m expecting every inch of my body to hurt tomorrow! That’s OK though because our only plan is to sit on a bus all day back into Argentina. Until there!