Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Cerro San Cristobal

I finished off a tub of butter today.  Not all at once. It was a little weird though, because it's the first time I've ever had a tub of butter to myself, and I can look at it and objectively say that I ate the entire thing.  Granted, it was over the course of 5+ weeks, but still.  I processed all of it, mostly with toast.

Yesterday I climbed Cerro San Cristobal, the largest of the hills in the area, which has been taunting me ever since I moved into the Parque Bustamante area.  On the way there, I stopped for a little pre-climb fuel here:

I wimped out and opted for a normal hamburger.  One day, though...

Once I arrived at San Cristobal, I looked around for a map, ready to climb to the top.  Unfortunately there really weren't many options.  I could either walk up the winding, paved road for cars and bicycles which covered about 8 miles en route to the top, I could forge my way through the forest and arrive at the top undoubtedly scarred and exhausted, or for about $2 I could ride the trolley car to the top and arrive in about 6 minutes.

I took option B.  Just kidding, I ended up trolleying it.  The ride itself was pretty fun, in this little sectioned-off trolley car where it gave you a semi-decent view of the countryside as you went up to the top.  Most of the view was obstructed by trees, but it was ok since the best view was at the top anyways.
Then we arrived to the top, and the view was pretty spectacular.  If you remember the hill from which I took the first couple pictures (also the title picture), it's in the middle of this picture in the distance.
So yes, this one's a bit higher up.  You can also see from this height the level of pollution around the city.  It's a little disconcerting, but I guess that's just what happens when your city is surrounded on all sides by mountains, and it's also still 1980.

 Great view, but the smog was pretty apparent from this level.  It was also something of a religious sanctuary at the top here, with a few different statues, and pews lining one side of the hill for services.

I've been trying to figure out what makes the people down here different.  Aside from the obvious language and overall homogeneity of the population, there is clearly a different approach to things like time, relationships, and the like.  I don't know how to describe it, it's just different.  I think the best way to describe it is with a metaphor.  You all are familiar with American drinking fountains, right?  Water shoots up in an arc like the St. Louis Arch.  Well, this is what theirs are like:
Not really better or worse, just different.

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