Thursday, April 13, 2006
Chile with a couple Young Guns
Ian and Lane just spent a little time down south in one of my favorite countries to travel in. Chile rocks! 3500 miles long and around 150 miles wide. One border is the Andes mountain range and the other border is the Pacific Ocean. That makes for a lot of sick, sick whitewater. Every river pretty much tumbles out steep from the start, then working its way through miles of class 4 and then slowly mellowing out until it cruises the last bit to the ocean.
Ruta Cinco (Route 5) goes down the central valley north to south and acts as your access on just about every single run. The directions almost always start, "Get on route 5 go to kilometer marker number... and turn left up into the mountains." And so it goes you just work your way south from the capital Santiago down the length of the country picking river after river. I always just thought of it as a ladder of whitewater. Drive south, take a left, go upstream, put in, paddle down, get back on route 5, drive south, take a left, etc, etc, etc...
There are other highlights besides the paddling also. Very good, very cheap wine. Avocadoes for 25 cents. Great ocean surf. Lots of mountain views. Oh I almost forgot you have to have a Completo if you go to Chile. Just go to a little sandwich stand or resteraunt and ask for a completo. Hmmmmm nothing like piles of mayonaise on a hot dog. Makes me a little queezy just thinking about it.
There are a few obvious paddling highlights. The Pucon area is known for some amazing creeking and of course you get down south to paddle the bigger water like the Futaleufu, and Baker rivers.
It looks to me like this video that Ian and Lane put together is almost exclusively from the Pucon area. Great creeking, great food, and very hot Chilean, and Argentinian women. I am pretty sure that the rivers got the boys to Pucon but it was the ladies that kept them hanging around.
Chile Video from Ian and Lane
Hey Ian and Lane I hope you like the music I put to your video. Well done fellas.