Monday, December 13, 2010

First 4 Days in Chile.

Arriving to Pucon!
photo by Mike Kobzik

We arrived in Pucon at 8:30am on the 9th and got a bus to the Pucon Kayak Hostel to get our kayaks. Once there we met Dave Hughes the owner of the hostel and Go Huge Kayak School, a high school with 6 teachers that travel around the world teaching high school curriculum and needless to say kayaking!

    Pucon kayak Hostel has boats everywhere! photo by Max Fisher

We also meet the teachers and coaches, Tino and Lorenzo who where traveling in the same van to the Fuy River Festival with us.

We got our kayaks and hung out with Tino, Lorenzo and the students for the day waiting for Emily and Martin, the people organizing the van and trailer, to arrive.

    Emily, Tino, Max and Mike Photo by Jean

They arrived at 4pm and we started to the Fuy River in the small town of Choshuenco.

The ride to the Fuy was an adventure. First it took all day for Em and Martin to get the van and trailer sorted out, second the van over heated, third there was a lot of cervaza's and pisco consumed on the drive and fourth it was pouring down rain!

We arrived to Claudio's house at around 8pm and continued to drink beer and pisco.

The rain didn't let up the slightest that night and was still dumping when we finally headed to the river around noon to run the lower Fuy.

    Claudio heading to the Fuy put-in photo by Jean

The Fuy River has 3 sections the upper being a classic class 4-4+ run and solid class 5 at high water, the middle which is a seldom run committing canyon and the lower a continuous class 3+ big water run. We did a few laps on the lower before heading back to Claudio's for another night of pisco and beer.

    Max and Mike leaving the put-in eddy on the Fuy photo by Jean

Things didn't get started until early afternoon and a few people wanted to go look at a 100ft waterfall called El Puma that is unrun to this point. The water was to high but the guys thought they would come back when the water dropped in a few days. We also checked out the upper Fuy, which was super high.... so we went to the Lower and ran another lap before starting our drive back to Pucon.

    El Puma Falls on the Fuy River Photo by Max Fisher

Max Fisher with the Upper Fuy at high flows photo by Mike Kobzik

The van had issues the whole drive.... it over heated again, a hose blew, so we duct taped it back together and then after about 30 minutes of driving it totally died. So we left it and jumped into the 2 little trucks with all our gear....15 peoples worth and headed back to Pucon.

The crew starting from left: Josh, Xavier, Julien, Claudio, Mike, Martin, Jean, Eric, Jake, Em, Tino, Max, Lorenzo and the 2 Dartmouth Boys.

    Tino Specht photo by Max Fisher

All went well and we got to the look bar, Mama's, for the really Chilean party experience.... the bars in Chile don't close until 4-5am.

We had another late start and tried to get on the Rio Carhuello but with our limited knowledge of the right river levels we headed for a high water run of the Upper Palguin and classic must do in Pucon.

The Upper Palguin is class 4 and a good warm up and intro the the rivers in the arrive. It has 3 waterfalls, the first being a double drop and more challenging then the others. The run only takes 10-20minutes depending on how fast you're going so you can run laps all day if you like.

    Bye Bye Van!! photo by Mike Kobzik

After a fun first weekend in Chile we decided to lay low last night and get some rest.

Chile is awesome and if you're having second thoughts about coming don't the boating is second to none and the country is tremendously beautiful.

    photo by Mike Kobzik

    Getting ready to go to the Fuy photo by Max Fisher

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