Ski in Chillan

Having fun in Chillan

Having fun in Chillan

After exhausting the many possibilities for excitement in Pucon we hopped on a bus to Temuco, where we would then catch a train to Chillan Ski Center, in the hopes of getting some skiing in, a favourite pastime of ours. Finding an affordable hostel near to the slopes was proving quite a challenge however, and as it turned out the train was not functioning, so back to the bus depot we headed, where we caught a bus to Chillan, getting us there around 8 in the evening. We spent the day before our bus ride to Chillan by stocking up on supplies in Temuco, and taking a brief jaunt around the small town. After getting loaded up with supplies, we did some research online and found a couple of hostel options, both a short distance from the slope and very affordable. It seemed we set for our ski trip. Now aboard the bus, we passed through many a small community on our way to Chillan, all surrounded by woods and covered in snow, truly a picturesque area of the country.

As we neared closer to Chillan, the road was littered with many different hostels and hotels, none of which were the two we had researched online. As the bus let us off at the end of the line, we had to spend some time asking the locals and other tourists if they knew where our hostel was located, and no one seemed to know, which wasn’t at all encouraging. Roaming around somewhat aimlessly, we ended up spotting a Hostelling International, which we’d previously avoided because of their rates, but in this case they really turned out to be a godsend. The rates were slightly higher than we had planned the day before, but the massive log hostel was quite luxuriant, with large open fires, free kitchen use to prepare our loads of supplies in, and even internet access, not to mention private rooms. Finally settled in, it was now late evening, so we busily prepared for the following day by taking a quick tour around the area and lining up our ski rentals for the next day. I also bought myself some nice double-insulated gloves, after which we called it a night.

Termas de Chillan

Termas de Chillan

After a large serving of porridge for breakfast, as well as preparing the rice pudding (a personal favourite of mine) we’d be keeping in our flasks, and we were off to the slopes. We ended up getting a lift to the base of the slopes from a couple of nice ladies, then rode the ski lift up the rest of the way. Edgar and I were decked out in our usual ski attire, nice bright colours which would be easily visible to anyone else on the slopes. Surprisingly the slopes were nearly deserted, and on a Saturday no less. We were so thrilled by this. The long run, clocking in at about 13 km was fun, and there were a few other shorter runs as well. Despite the relatively simple runs, I managed to wipe out in rather spectacular fashion on a number of occasions, as is my forte I must admit. It’s all in good fun, and I’ve learned not to take myself too seriously.

That evening in the hostel we ran into a couple of earlier acquaintances, the cool snowboarder from our hotel in Pucon, and those somewhat annoying Austrians with their Schwarzenegger accents from the volcano climb. We watched Superbad with them and had a good time though. The next day we were back on the slopes, with slightly different conditions, as a mist had rolled in from the north, making visibility significantly lessened. I managed some more brilliant wipeouts, and Edgar even had a rather flamboyant one as well, quite unusual for him. I think maybe he did it on purpose to make me feel better, but I can’t be sure.

After this second day of skiing, we decided to call it a wrap and make for Santiago, catching a bus there the next day. We had a couple more day trips planned to bring our Chilean adventure to a close. On our way back to the hostel that night though, we decided to take a slight detour through a cross country wooded area, which was a nice finish to our ski trip in Chile, though there really weren’t any paths and we probably would’ve been better off with snowshoes! The ski trip was a nice time of our vacation, but there is still time left to go.