So yesterday we went to a local hot springs to hang out and soak our bodies in the luke warm water. Gavin decided that it would be fun to swim around all the people – who were all stationary in the hot springs – oh well “tourista’s”. The hot springs were about a 40 minute drive away so we spent the afternoon there and came back later than expected. In Chile they sell “carbon” for charcoal – it’s not charcoal but basically pre-burned wood that you get going again. I decided that our gourmet evening would be rice, marinated chicken and some pico-de-gallo that Hayden had made. In my mistake, when I was at the store I purchased the largest chicken breasts I’ve seen in a long time (even bigger than Costco) – I was actually thinking, “Did I get turkey by mistake?”. Anyway – I started the grill – hoping it would be shorter than the place in Las Cruces (1.5 hours) to cook our food. Well let me tell you at 1.5 hours I was staring at some semi-raw chicken – so I covered in foil and 2 hours later we had dinner. Cindy doesn’t think we were quite at 180F for the internal temperature – but well that’s ok. She was in charge of the rice on the stove – we’re not used to making rice on the stove – we have a rice cooker… about 20 minutes after the rice had started I’m smelling this burning smell in the house – yikes – well let’s say our rice had a nice smoky flavor. Ever seen the movie BirdCage with Robin Williams? There’s a great scene in there where their chef/house boy brings out his soup and everyone takes a bite – then immediately everyone goes for the bread on the table – if I put bread on the table… you get the idea.
Hiking – Getting our Merit Badge
The boys and I are involved in Scouts in the USA and wanting to continue our rank advancements/merit badges. Gavin just crossed over into scouts and so we can all work on similar things. Last night Cindy and the boys started the Hiking merit badge – where you have to do 5-10 mile hikes, and 1-20 mile hike. Since we are hiking almost every other day it makes sense to knock it out. Well last night they mapped out their hike, wrote down what they needed to bring and planned out everything while I was cooking. They planned a 16KM/10mi hike for us to do today. Last night when falling asleep I asked Cindy – “Do you know the one part of that trail has 1040 meters of vertical gain? – that’s like 3200 feet or something…” She replied with “I thought it was feet” – yikes!
So we proceeded to this great park Huerquehue – hike is called Los Lagos. The best part is that it was almost always covered with trees/shade – so very comfortable. You ascend easily from where you park – with not much gain at all – then all of a sudden you’re looking up at the hill going whoa! this is steep. So we became mountain goats for about 2.5 hours doing switch backs – in some spots they had built wooden walkways to cover the trail and help with erosion control. We worked with Gavin on his scout badge advancement and knowing the Scout Oath and Law – and just getting his feelings on what it means to be a scout. It’s so interesting when you have lots of time to talk with your kids and no one is rushing off to do anything. Overall it was a very nice hike – although I am glad we are done with it now. At the top there are several very beautiful lakes – some people were swimming – some camping. We met some nice people from Montana and New York who are here visiting. The people from Montana (older than us by far) are staying in a tent down the road and are here fishing different lakes, hiking around, etc. Very cool indeed.
Yesterday it was cool (raining) in the a.m. – today it was 82F and hotter – not a cloud in the sky.
It looks like we are also changing our itinerary a bit – more on that later.