Wednesday, 30 July 2008

2007/2008 Chile trip

Paddling In Chile has been on my wish list for years. Finally I’ve done it! Emigrating to New Zealand was just the excuse I needed to fit in a wee bit of kayaking. I did a night school class in Spanish before going which was fun and proved to be essential. Me gusta mucho!

We started with creek boating around Pucon, where one can find many exciting creek runs with waterfalls aplenty. With a fuming volcano for a backdrop and easy access from Santiago, Pucon is a great centre for adventure.

Venturing to the very southern point of Latin America we made our way back through Patagoniaby bus,plane,ferry and foot. We trekked to some very spectacularglaciers, rock formations and senderos (view points). After covering some huge Kms by bus, taxi and boat we finally made it to the famed Rio Futaleufu. This river is reason alone to visit South America. The Futaleufu’s reputation was surpassed despite unprecedented low water, clear skies and fine weather for most of our stay.
We spent nearly a month in this remote, rural yet alpine valley. We spent some time at Cara del Indio campsite. This is theauthentic budget kayakers campsite where we fished, drunk cheap wine and chatted around the camp fire with a multinational mix of shoestring boaters.

In contrast the other half of our trip was courtesy of Bio Bio Expeditions luxury campsite where we rose with yoga,drunk flash wine, and ate gourmet food.I enjoyed the opportunity to entertain affluent American tourists with Latin Guitar playing and when we weren’t in the hot tub or sauna we were developing a taste for slightly off beat salsa dancing on the moonlit riverside bar.
So there we have it one almost broken nose,some slightly lose teeth, many rivers a lost paddle and a somewhat dented wallet- Latin America ,Muchas Gracias

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