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Today I woke up from my Airbnb , packing all my clothes and things to get ready for this hiking and camping trip. I had no idea what I was getting myself into but I was excited nonetheless to spend quality time with Europeans and Sam. The day started out well, I woke up, tired from drinking the night before as usual in Bariloche; I wanted to be on time to meet with the Euros so I made sure to be at their place by 11am. When I arrived, everyone was still eating breakfast and I was asked by Mar if I wanted to eat, I said hell yeah of course! So Ade handed me a plate and told me to take a seat. It was scrambled eggs with ham, cheese, coffee and herbs. It was going to be a great day. It was, only because I felt like an explorer, i was with a group of people i could trust with my life and we had a direction to go. I was with my fellow adventurers about to go on this journey to the unknown; filled with perils, unpaved roads, and mysteries around every corner.

Before we left, we had an amazing lunch. Sam made his famous guacamole and we ate it with bread, cheese and olive oil. This was around 1pm and we were burning time for the hike because we had to pick up the rest of our supplies like the tents, mats, cash, and the rest of our food. By the time we got to the bus that was for Frey, our backpacks were so full, that I thought I wasn’t going to make this 4 hour hike without collapsing. But that was when I found strength in myself because my friends said they carried heavier things through longer hikes.

The bus ride was comforting, I was able to watch the setting change from city to mountains and forests in almost an instant. As we drove passed the coast, i could see the landscape get steeper as the bus drove up the hills to our final stop Colonia Suiza. Which was a little town at the base of the mountains. Fun fact, Colonia Suiza means Swiss Colony and was named because of the migrants from Switzerland and the architecture of the buildings around. When we got off the bus, we walked around the town to see that it was basically a snowboard and ski resort area. There was places to rent boards and skis, places to chill and take pictures, and you could see the dry slopes and lifts that would take you to the top if there was snow. I want to visit again in during winter but I would have to miss out summer in Seattle…

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Okay, on to the hike! This was my first time hiking with all my camping stuff on my back plus the wine and food. Let me tell you, that was so heavy, every hour or so I felt like I was going to collapse. The trail up the mountain was perilous in a sense that if you made a wrong step, you could end up falling off the side. Unfortunately our friend Sam almost fell but luckily I held on to his backpack and manage to keep him up. The walk was a real bonding moment because we were able talk about life, love, stress, and setbacks in addition to a game that Sam made up called contact 123 which is the perfect hiking/pass the time game. 

How to play contact 123:

3+ players

One person thinks of a word, the rest plays as a team to find out what word is the person thinking of

The person with the word says the first letter of the word

The rest asks questions that could be the answer.

For example if the first letter is b, and someone asks is it something you ride on the water, and if your teammate knows what you’re saying then they say contact 123 and if you both say boat or the same word that together at the same time then the player with the word has to give you another letter of the word that they are thinking. However, if the player with the word says the word first , before your teammate guesses the word; for example “it is not boat” then it doesn’t count the person who guesses the whole word is then the player who gets be next and thinks of the word for everyone else. This game is a perfect group game to pass time.

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Alright, back to the story. it was about 7/8ish When we arrived to the refugio/camping site. You could see the sun start to set and the sky turning into a gradient orange blue. The moon was already shining as well. I went straight into the refugio, which was a medium sized cabin with two floors and two sections on the bottom. I entered the quest area which was a small kitchen next to two tables. At this time of the day it was full of people cooking, eating and talking. I could hear multiple languages being spoken at the same time. From French, Spanish, to English and German. It was amazing to hear and see a diverse crowd together on the top of a mountain in South Argentina. I was excited but exhausted for the next couple days. At this point, I want to put my stuff down but Sam and Gunter wanted to find a spot for us to set up camp. We followed the ladies to their camp site which was a prime spot of the mountains. As men, we wanted to find a better spot close to them but we couldn’t so we resorted to a more steep area on top of the hill. When we got to our spot, we immediately put down our stuff and unpacked to set up the tent. After the ladies finished setting up their tent, they went to make dinner for all of us. We set up our tent pretty quick because we were very skilled outdoorsman, ready for anything that the wilderness can throw at us. Okay so, the tent was finished, we’re and hungry as hell so we put the rest of our stuff down and went to the refugio to help the ladies cook.

Dinner was basically lentil soup with tomatoes, onions, seasoning, and sausages. At this point this was the most delicious meal I’ve had because I was so fucking tired and hungry that I slammed a whole plate within minutes of being served. Luckily we had enough for seconds for everyone. But what made the night even better was the wine and alfajores which i brought! We ended up splitting all the alfajores in 6ths so everyone could try a whole piece. Great idea, but I was selfish when it comes to dessert. Anyways, we slammed the wine and dessert, chilled and talked around our table playing uno, and drinking mate. Life was good. I was content with my friends, my tummy was full and I was buzzing from the wine. At this point of the night, I more than ready for bed. So we said our goodnights to the ladies and me and the bros made our way up to our campsite. Sam was leading the way because it was pitch black and I only had my phone as a flashlight while the guys had their headlamps. I was making my way up when I heard Sam say “yo someone stole our tent!” shit, I didn’t know people steal tents. It was hard to believe, but our tent was gone but not our backpacks and supplies… We forget to tie the tent down. It made sense, it was windy and on top of the rocky hill.

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We examined the campsite and the guys went looking around for our tent while i stayed because I was tired as shit and did not want to keep moving. At this point of the night, I put the tarp on our campsite and set up my sleeping bag because I was exhausted and wanted to lay down. But before all that, I was captivated by the stars. I couldn’t really see anything around me but the stars made the sky come alive. I remember seeing the milky way, the big dipper, and other stars that dotted the night sky. It was beautiful. I don’t remember the last time seeing the sky so bright with stars. I couldn’t stop staring and looking around. It was beautiful, at this moment I forgot about everything and melted into the night sky. I immediately felt insignificant but whole at the same time. I felt that I was in a perfect place, especially at this point of my life. I don’t know if it was the wine or whatever but I felt at ease until I heard Sam say that he was not in a good mood anymore and that brought me back down to earth… To be continued