New Country, New Language, No Luggage

South America has always been a destination that I have wanted to travel too. I think my desire to seek out and explore such unique places as the Andes mountains came from my dad. As a kid my family and I would gather in the living room and watch as my dad showed us slides of his trips to Peru. The memories are faint but something about those images captured my imagination.

Flying over Chile
Flying over the snow capped peaks of Chile

Over a decade later I have been presented the opportunity to travel to Portillo Chile with the BC Ski Team. Right away I knew I had to go; skiing in winter conditions again and fulfilling a life long dream, what more could I have asked for?

Lots of gear for a three week camp!

Finally the day had come to begin the journey to Chile and embark on a new adventure. To start things off I met up with Sarah Elliot and Silken Rauhala, BC Women’s Ski Team athletes, in Kelowna. We then flew to Toronto and met up with both the Mens and Womens teams. It was evident that everyone was pretty excited to be heading to Chile; for some of us it would be our first encounter with South America and others such as Tyler Werry, would be returning for his sixth time.

The Famous Switchbacks of Portillo, 34 in all

For the most part it was smooth travelling. Before I left my dad emphasized to keep my eyes on my luggage and passport at all times, I did my best to watch my stuff while in Airports as thats where I expected theft to occur. However, I quickly learned that contrary to my belief, any public place was fair game. Within 15 minutes of unloading our luggage from the truck my duffle bag had mysteriously disappeared. To no avail I searched for hours around the hotel and asked all the staff if they had seen it. My bag was and is still gone, it had all my ski gear, clothes, and a couple pairs of bindings in it. Not the best way to start off a three week ski camp: however the team rallied together and between all of them I was able to get the essentials for skiing!

Arriving in Portillo for the first time

Over the next two or three weeks (depending on the snow) I hope to learn more about the Chilean culture and maybe even pick up a bit of Spanish! Look for the next update to cover the first couple weeks of skiing.

Thats all for now,

Dominic

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