sábado, 16 de julho de 2011

Recovery day and Whistler Mountain

We started slowly just saying goodbye to the big group of Brazilians leaving and our main counselor Mark. After breakfast we went down to the village to look around and enjoy the busy crowd coming for this huge bike competition in Whistler. It's been raining now and then, so we can't really stay outdoors that much. Actually, this has been a day to enjoy civilization and urban life, after so much core nature in the past few days. Later after lunch we took the chairlift up the mountain to take the peak-to-peak gondola at Whistler Mountain. Although the weather didn't help us that much, the view up there is just awesome; we pass by green grassy slopes until we hit the top snowy summit. Incredible! It's like going from spring to heavy winter in 15 minutes. Back down we took the bus or walked back to the residence so we could pack up, for tomorrow we leave to Vancouver for another adventure.
As for tomight, if everything goes according to plan, we'll be going to the movies to watch the latest Harry Potter film after dinner, which should be great fun for our last time together as Adventure Group - The Explorers.
By the way, I must say I love your comments; it's great to feel followed, especially when you're the only adult in the group. I'm like the oldest person on camp! Can you believe it? And I'm pretty young, aren't I? Well, I guess it's my best trick for not aging, hanging out with the youth!

See you in Vancouver now,


Stunning view and hard core adventure

Ever pictured yourself in a little tent by a glacier? How about climbing high to get there with a really heavy load on your back? You know, just your sleeping bag, sleeping pad, your clothes, camera, toiletries, provisions of food for 14 or a tent. A considerable weight, I must say. Our hike took a bit over 3 hours into the rainforest, rocky hill and a bit of the two, that is, muddy ground with big branches, rocks in between and eventually, snow! When we got up there it was about 2:00 pm and you can imgaine how starved we were. Right then we learned our food would be rationed and we could not go about eating what we wanted, when we wanted or more importantly, how much we wanted. To begin with, our lunch would be 1.5 bagels per person with peanut butter and nuttela; to drink, always water. Right after that, we put up our tents, got settled in and made sure we got our heavy coats out. After all, summer in the glacier is like no winter has ever been in São Paulo. Cooooold!!! Oh, sorry, forgot to mention the best of our incredible adventure up the mountain; it was raining all the way and we had our raincoats on plus a plastic bag all around our bags to prevent our things from getting wet.
Now the stunning part. This is a group of 3 lakes and the very last one is where we set our campsite. You would not believe the color of this water, something between a light green/torquoise and blue with the snow surrounding it. A breathless view, believe me. All the pain and sacrifice totally paid off this undescribable chance to share a bit of Nature's heaven. I couldn't stop looking and being every time speechless. I would wake up early, before anyone, and walk to our bathroom - about a mile away acroos rocks, river and snow - and stand in front of the lake looking at the mist slowly reavealing the water and its surprising shades.
Our campers were just great; they used humor to deal with our difficult times of rain, cold, not so delicious food, crazy hikes and uninviting bathrooms. There's a funny story about this last one: I was the first to go to the bathroom as we arrived and though having asked for directions, I had some difficulty to find it; after some search I came across a toilet in the middle of the snow in a secret place. I figured that would be our bathroom and, went ahead and used it. I did wonder it would be a bit tricky to know if someone was coming or if someone was there, but... As I went back to our campsite, I told my buddy campers about our crazy experience of going to the bathroom outdoors in the snow. Well, turns out there was a little bathroom house just some meters ahead and I'd totally missed it. From then on, I became the joke of the camp and my toilet in the snow was baptised "Lia's bathroom", which you can imagine everyone had to go and check.
Another funny joke was our so called breakfast: oatmeal with raisins and cranberries. On the first day kids were like "what is this?", because it really doesn't look that good and as they tasted it, there was no flavor. Still, that was the plan for breakfast and there was nothing else, so everyone had to force themselves to have at least a bit. People even dreamed of the oatmeal with sugar, cinamon and other possible flavors. That's why they asked me to take pictures of them eating it and making the disgusted faces. Now, whenever we talk about food the good "oatmeal" comes up and they'll go "What was that?", "Who eats that ...?", and we all laugh.
Goood spirited warriors that found healthy ways to overcome the very hard challenges we went through. When the bus finally arrived at the residence, we all clapped and rushed to our rooms to get in the real bathrooms!
Check the pictures for the view, our campsite, my one and only bathroom and our delicious "oatmeal".
And today is Disco Night!!!

Talk to you later,