After a not-so-thrilling 24 hours in Dallas, I did finally make it to Chile and up to the observatory to do real work. The goal for the first week of the trip was to unpack two giant crates of equipment and build an isolation valve panel for the refrigeration system. Both were mostly a success, minus the fact that I lost one of the valves and neglected to level the valve structure before lifting it vertical meaning I had to do it with a hammer while all the valves were installed. Lesson learned.

Working hard is the answer to the question. Also, SO MUCH bubblewrap
Building and organizing all the things. For the record, I did eventually find that missing valve

Now that the boring work part is out of the way, onto the fun stuff! I went climbing both Saturday AND Sunday in addition to yoga by the beach because my friends are apparently gluttons for punishment.

“Let’s do a yoga workout before climbing all day,” she said. “It’ll be fun,” she said. “She” being my friend Coni from La Serena, and oh man were my arms sad by the end of the day
Saturday at Los Loros, which was basically a swiss cheese wall that required passing through a few sketchy fences for access (but I was assured it’s totally legal)
Sunday silliness at Puclaro, a climbing spot that involved two tunnels and only slightly less sketchiness
The Puclaro crag is basically this awesome giant indent in the rock with bolted routes on both sides and glorious shade all day
Clinging to the rock with the very last bit of skin left on my fingertips after two full days of outdoor climbing
If you look closely, there’s a dog hanging out by the tree that escorted/chased me almost all the way back to the car. I like to think that eventually we became friends

There you have it, a mostly productive week in Chile. I swear I do real work too sometimes. Actually a lot of the times. When I’m on the summit, which is generally Monday – Friday, I’m at the observatory from 8:30am – 6:30pm turning wrenches at 9000 ft elevation. Work hard, play hard, right?! More climbing (and work) in the week ahead, plus an old college friend coming to visit!