The first few days of Rivers of Chile
Finally, everyone is together and we are beginning our expedition in Chile. On Thursday, Kristin, Wilson, & Katherine arrived from the United States. I waited for them at the airport, and saw their kayaks making a lap on the baggage claim belt before I saw them. We loaded up, drove to Curico, where we picked up our Chilean student, Rosario. Fortunately, we were able to enjoy a quick dip in her pool before beginning our heinous drive south.
That first day, we drove about 3.5 hours, finally camping outside of a tourist attraction known as the “Salto de Laja,” a large waterfall very close to the main highway. The next day, we drove 4 more hours, to Valdivia, where we picked up Claudio, our Chilean instructor, and two of the kayaks we rented. From there, it was two more hours into the mountains, to the small town of Choshuenco. We are staying right on Lago Pangipulli, and the drive here can be compared to the kids arriving at Hogwarts in the Harry Potter movies. It truly is magical.
We are working these first few days to build everyone’s skill level. We have the lake and the Rio Fuy right here, and it is pretty much a paddler’s paradise. Plus, last night we had our first “asado” (barbeque) and got to sleep in this morning. Off to a great start…