It has been some 7 years since I made a flying trip to Chile and for Ute some 13 years!
So with more time on our hands we decided to head out at the end of October to get some Spring kayaking Chilean style!
We first made a quick stop to catch up with Nelson and Tami in the Cajon del Maipo near Santiago.
Nelson owns Isoterma, a rafting and adventure company based out of his amazing land on the banks of the Maipo River. His "disco" as it is called is one of a kind and a great way to cook and share a meal with friends!
After a few hitches with the Gringo Loco van we finally got the hang of it and started our kayaking road trip down to Pucon. We checked out the Rio Teno, Rio Claro of the Teno and the 7 teacups. With the late snow that fell we were happy to be staying in wooden cabins!
Once we got to Pucon we caught up with the Gringo Loco himself - David Joos.
David has been living in Chile for years, speaks the Chilean slang and it was great to catch up with him and his family.
Though I must admit he has changed quite a bit since I last kayaked with him!!!
After a failed attempt to get into Argentina to kayak the Rio Alumine due to the kayaks not being de-contaminated we got stuck in "No Mans Land" for a few hours as the customs decided to call a strike.
Still the views of the Lanin Volcano were more than making up for hanging around waiting for the Chilean border to open!
It was then back to Pucon and an evening run down the Upper Palguin.
We left David and his family in peace for a while and headed south to the Rio Fuy. The rains had come and the river was BIG. We were running laps of the Lower, having fun and ending the day with smiles on our faces.
Next was the San Pedro and again it was at a great level, some great play spots even for our creek boats and waves to rival something in the Himalayas!
The rains were still falling and with Ben running out of time we headed back to Pucon to run some rivers nearby!
With David getting a very rare free day from teaching kayaking and rafting at the local university we headed to one of his favourite rivers - the Rio Maichin.
Just over an hour away it is a sweet river that is steep in parts and has a very "jungle" feel to it.
David was in his element, showing just one of the reasons why he decided to call Pucon his home!
The views of the Villarica Volcano were also not too bad!
Another evening grilling some fantastic local meat and sausages, drinking red wine and beers after kayaking Pucon's classic rivers was a special end to Ben's trip!
Next we were heading back up to Santiago for another meat feast with Nelson, Tami and the Isoterma Team.
Life is good, real good here down south in Chile.....
Kayak School Arlberg