Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Un Cuento Chileano

Undisclosed people doing undisclosed things in an undisclosed location.

Well here we go, finally I am gonna begin to recount the 6 months that I spent in South America, just bear with me as this will probably take some time. But I am gonna start with Chile, after Chile I will recap my month of kayaking with Xavier and Brad in Peru then I will fill you in on the nitty gritty details of doing school and living in Cusco, Peru.


Some typical boat loading scenery: Put-in, Upper Pelguin.Adam from England strapping em down.

Chile was all in all meant to be just a pleasurable kayaking trip on the way to Argentina. I went to Chile after I had hurt my leg in Peru, which was still soar, so I knew I would be able to kayak some but wasn't sure exactly how much. After living in Peru for five months and learning everything I knew up to that point about the Latino culture in Peru, I went to Chile. This is important because I had grown to be comfortable with a foreign setting in Peru and had really fallen in love with it, my blood was rich with Peru and I guess that I didn't realize that I wold have to change my South American eye ball a little bit so I could fully appreciate Chile. My first impression was, to damn expensive. In Peru the currency is 3.2 to 1 on the American Dollar and in Chile it is 2 to 1 on the dollar and the culture is noticeably more involved in technology and material possessions. That was my first shock. My second shock was, holy shit this place is beautiful and awesome. Here's how it went down. I rolled in to town after four wonderful days of bus riding through Peru and Chile, which by the way most of the bus ride passes through the driest, meanest, most uninhabitable desert in the world, the Atacama desert.
So after riding in the bus four long hot days I finally landed in Pucon, Chile. I had heard much about Pucon from other kayakers and was basically told it is a wonderland of beauty and waterfalls, oh and how true that was. When driving into Pucon you are driving next to the lake that Pucon sits at one corner of and you are also driving progressively closer and closer to a very large Volcano and then when you finally get to Pucon you realize that the Volcano sits right above town. It makes for nice scenery when swimming in the lake.

Ok so back to the story, so there I am arriving into a town that all I know about is what I have been told, with only a couple e-mail addresses in my pocket for contacts in the area I was feeling kinda lonely or alone that is. My first mission was to find kayakers and a place to sleep and I was hoping those things would go hand in hand. The first thing that I found was a raft guiding office that was willing to watch my things for a couple hours while I went out on the town and shot out e-mails and called some folk. I wasn't really successful with e-mails or phone calls but I did finally find out where a guy that I had met in Peru lived. I was taken to his house by some other locals in town that I started talking with because I saw them looking at my boat and that was basically it, I quickly met a lot of great nice people and kayaked a lot. The first week I got a hostel which I ended up staying in very little because I met Ben and Scott; two gringos that live and have businesses in Pucon Chile and they were very nice to me in terms of letting me stay in their houses.
This is Carlos, a Peruvian kayaker, taking a piss in my hostel's room.
The Photo above is just to show how small my hostel was. I walked around for quite some time trying to find a hostel that would fit into my budget and I finally did. It was with a very nice family that had some rooms out back of their house. They were very good to me and pretty reasonable with their prices, they even fed me a couple times. After a week of keeping my stuff their and sleeping there some I went to stay with Ben from Britain, who owns the kayaking business in Pucon, Kayak Chile.
Ben was extremely good to me. At this point in my trip my money situation was very low and I knew that in order to leave and go to Buenos Aires I would have to sell a lot of my kayaking gear. This turned out to be very easy and I actually got myself in a little trouble because so many people there are in need of kayaking gear that it was very hard to decide who I would sell my gear to and it ended up being some what of a confusing process. All in all though I was able to sell all my gear and ended up with a pretty good amount of money although now I will have to buy all new gear and it will cost me a lot of money, but so it goes. I ended up really just tagging along with Ben, he had a car and a business and was very nice to me. I also let him know that I really enjoyed working with wood and so I ended up building some trails and bridges for him along side of the upper Pelguin where he happened to own quite a bit of land. This was really awesome because in exchange for my work he took me kayaking, fed me, and kept me in his house, all in all it turned out really well. Getting a lot of work done there in Chile was very hard because of people constantly going kayaking, partying, and basically just having a good time . Another really great thing that happened was that I got to really get in with some Chilean locals, because Ben's house was under construction and I became descent friends with the carpenters there. I enjoyed this immensely because I got to really see what the Culture and people are all about. One thing that I found out and very fast was that Chileans love meat and they love cooking it in huge amounts over fires. I got to partake in a number of different parties and meat cook outs while I was there.

Here is the lamb party that I went to. The guy sitting in between the legs of the slaughtered lamb is porky, that was his name, and he was the slaughterer as well as the foreman of Ben's house which is in the background.
These gatherings were always very fun and seemed to always include a very nice mix of local Chileans and gringo kayakers. I feel like I really got very deeply immersed in many sides of the culture in the two weeks I was there and I am very glad for that, because now I have an appreciation for many parts of South America. Sort of off subject but relevant to the next picture is that Chile has many very beautiful trees and forests and within these forests there is a lot of bamboo, but this bamboo is special because it is solid not hollow. That means it is strong as hell and can be used for many different things.
Here the strong ass bamboo is being used to cook the giant hunks of lamb.
Chile continued with this nature; kayaking, meeting nice people, hanging out, and working a little for the entire time I was there. It has put a very big respect for Chile in my heart and makes me want to go back there and kayak a lot, which I will definitely do. Like I said I really got to hang out with the locals quite a bit and during this process I experienced a lot of things that only a local would get to see and I felt very privileged. So for the first time in my life I got to go to a drag strip style horse race.

Tom from Minnesota fisting up for the horse that he placed his bets on, the horse that lost. I didn't bet.
The horse race kind of turned out to be just a bunch of people chilling out and having fun waiting for the race, and on this day there was only one race which lasted for about 15 seconds, I guess a lot time is spent chilling out and drinking beer at these types of events, it was still a very good time.

That very same night after the horse race we went back to Scott's house the other local gringo I stayed with some and had a big bar-b-q, it was fun, but the best part about the night was a comet that appeared in the sky and streaked across for several hours. I was able to get a very nice picture of it, it was my first comet sighting. I enjoyed it immensely.
Chile was really unbelievable. As far as culture goes Peru was definitely the superior, but that's also because I spent so much time in Peru and got to travel a lot and meet and see many things and people. Overall Chile was really unbelievable and ridiculous, I loved every minute of it. I hope that everyone who gets a chance can go to Chile and kayak or just vacation, it is very impressive. Well I guess that it is a pretty good description of what the Living was like down there, now we are gonna move ourselves on to the kayaking, the beautiful waterfall ridden rivers nestled in sweet little volcanic mountains.

Anybody that gets themselves into the town of Pucon, Chile and also enjoys kayaking will surely start or at least finish their endeavors on the pelguin. The Pelguin is really a run for everyone, it has the ability to make kayakers of all ability levels happy. There is an upper upper which is in the class 3 range, an upper which is the one that I have talked about so much and put pictures of up before, a middle which is full of some really gnarly stuff, and a lower which will bring you back to the land of boulder gardens and small boofs. All in all the Pelguin is remarkable, but that can be said about any of the rivers their, although the pelguin does seem to offer something special. Well here it is the break down of the pelguin. After driving about 20 minutes outside of Pucon you reach the Pelguin and immediately get to descend your way down the steep river banks. The very first rapid before the white water is figuring out how to do the seal launch without landing on your head.
Juan the local and Christian the German finding the right launching pad.
The Peruvian Carlos sticking the landing softly with his song.

That's the thing about the Pelguin, even the put-in is really exciting. Your standing there on that beautiful natural bridge with a beautiful 80+ foot waterfall in the background (not in these pics) and then you seal launch off into crystal clear cold blue water, it really is ideal kayaking. Within about 100 yards you are greeted by the 1st rapid and it is oh so soft.
Carlos popping up after going very deep off the 1st one.
Another great thing about the Pelguin is it really doesn't matter to much what happens at the bottom of these drops, for the most part, because they all end in nice pools. Off course the preferable line of this drop is to boof the side curler on the river left wall, but plugging here deep is sometimes fun as well. The Pelguin drops are all very close together especially on the upper, which is itself a very short run, but it makes for fun quick aggressive paddling if you know the run. The second drop follows quickly after some little class 3 boogie and for the most part it isn't really scoutable and doesn't really need to be anyways. It is very direct and requires a nice boof so you don't get slapped in the hole.
Not the perfect line by Carlos but it will work well enough.
After successfully cheering and whooping everyone through the 2nd drop you quickly work your way onto the 3rd, which waits only 20 or so paddle strokes below. The 3rd drop is really quite unbelievable because it has two sides and both are very fun. The left side with more flow usually results in rolling up at the bottom where as the right side is almost always a soaring boof landing in the frothing boil lines below.
Adam from England coming of the left side in beautiful boof form.
The right side is also much more of a spout and kinda feels like you are being shot from a cannon where as the left side usually immerses you in its flow.
Carlos shooting out of the right side line.
Once reunited in the swirly pool below a small little gorge and a couple little class 3 rapids wait for you above the last significant drop in this section.
Adam running through the boogie drops above the fourth drop.
The boogie rapids between the third and fourth drops are very nice because they offer you a small break before the crappiest freuqentley run drop on the run, numero cuatro. The fourth drop is very quirky and actually once figured out can be kayaked without even making any contact with any rocks, but what happens alot for most people is they role to the right slapping their paddle on the rocks.
Carlos doing what most people do, coming down on his right side.
While I was at the pelguin the flows were pretty nice the whole time, but I was told that at higher water this drop, number 4, is not run because the flow becomes more vertical and likes to piton you on a hidden rock in the landing. After this drop there are a couple options. You can either continue on down to the bridge having to deal with a jump portage or you can hike out just above the portage. On the day that I took all the photos that are posted above we actually did the full run, upper, middle , and lower.
Carlos below the jump-portage.
Paddling on down to the bridge, the standard take-out for the upper, we quickly paddled on bye and into the middle. The middle has always beeen known to be a bit of a beast and while I was there a lot of people were telling me that the middle was no longer any good. Not to long ago the main two drops in the middle suffered a bit of a natural phenomenon and the pool between the two main drops fell down. The result was the 1st drop, a 10 fotter into a 30 footer combined with the 2nd drop, a fourty footer, creating a drop somewhere in the realms of seventy to eighty feet. While people do run drops that big frequently this newly formed drop was being questioned for its depth and stability, and it also had a very stout 10 footer lead-in. Just above these newly changed drops there is another drop that has not changed and is still fairly challenging and fun, but I think that people were writing the middle off because they weren't willing to go in there and run one marginally good rapid, when it used to be three very nice but hard rapids.
A small speak of yellow on the center-right side of the picture, that is me coming into the lead-in for the "good drop" above the newly formed very large drop.
For me kayaking is about getting out there and seing new things, so to do this drop and then have to do a good size portage around the newly formed big falls was well worth it.
Here I am making the crux move of the drop. I ended up going really deep in the hole, losing my paddle, and having to do my first ever combat creek boat hands role.
After running this drop I quickly got out, because the monster drop was merking just below. I went and stood on the lip of this drop, the drop formed bye a natural phenomen, and I said to myself, "wow this is super large and very technical and will probably never ever be run". I said this because of how dificult the lead-in makes it to set up for the long 70-80 foot falls. But I was wrong, several weeks later once I had gotten back to the states I was surfing around online and found photos of people doing the 1st descent just a week or so after I left Chile.
Kayaking is amazing and it is really cool how different people can see different things in the same river. Well lets see if we can finish this thing up. Just below that massive waterfall is the put-in for the lower. The lower starts of with four very nice class four rapids back to back to back to back. After that initial warm up it goes through a couple more boogie ledge drops and then finally the end is a nice little gorge and a super auto boof.
A photo of the boogie in the middle part of the lower.
The bottom of the lower is made up by a couple little gorges. The part that is run the most is called triple drop, below triple drop there is a very technical little gorge that is portaged because of some serious consequences. While I was there I only paddled the 1st two of the three drops that reside in triple drop although many people told me that the third one was also very good, I just didn't like the way it looked.
Carlos sitting pretty on the 1st of three.
The 1st and second part are separated by the slack water you see in the photo but it actually comes at you a lot quicker than you expect.
The 2nd drop being run with precision by our model, carlos.
Only running the 1st two we eddied out very fast and then began our walk around all the mank below triple drop to the final auto boof drop. I actually enjoyed the portage around the mank below triple drop very much because we went out into a field and crossed some fences, it was very beautiful and full of sun, that is it was sunny.
Adam going nicely into the auto-boof.
Putting back in above this last drop is very beautiful and there is a waterfall that is the last drop of the mank, there is also a lot of moss and greenness, as there always is in Chile.
The beauty above the Auto-Boof.
The last drop, auto-boof is very easy and fun, it takes you down a perfect ramp into a side curler that always launches you perfectly.
Carlos becomes one with the side-curler.
Well that is it for the Pelguin, hopefully you can see that it is an incredibly fun and beautiful river with many diversified types of rapids. Everyone go and go soon, the drops are falling down, just kidding.
This photo was taken from the take-out bridge.

Lucky enough for me I was able to do a couple of the local classic runs while I was there. The ideal time for kayaking in Chile is Novemeber, that is when the most creeks are running although there is lots of kayaking there almost all the time. Another claasic run that I got to do was the LLancahue. As a bird flies the Llancahue is very close to Pucon, just on the other side of the Volcano, but driving it takes 2-3 hours to reach. It is a much smaller run than the Pelguin, but like most chilean rivers still has those classic clean boofs and waterfalls.
Ben dropping in on the 1st drop.
After getting there and seal-launching in below the bridge the 1st drop comes up very quickly. Although in this photo it looks pretty good it is not that good at this flow. The drop is more or less formed by a log that fell across the whole river, but it is still fun. Directly after that there is a quite large waterfall that was to low to run when we paddled this creek, but it does still have a hard move in it even if your not running it.
Ben demonstrating just how scary and hard the seal launch for this waterfall can be.
Most kayakers have fantasies about the perfect type of river and most of these ideas that they have usually originate from features that they have kayaked on different rivers. So if I had my ideal river this perfect waterfall on the LLancahue would defineley be part of it.
Ben Jamin right off the lip of the perfect waterfall.
When taking pictures of any river feature it is alwasy best to diversify your view as much as possible so that the audience can really understand the point you are trying to make. I hope its clear, this waterfall is awesome.
Praise the world this thing is fun, adam doing it up.
Well what else would you want on your little dream creek, that is if you were designing it, I'll take mini gorge for 800. That's right a little pushy mini-gorge with a crux move in it, don't you love Chile.
Ben In the lead adam following, all mini-gorged up.
Those two rapids;the mini-gorge and the falls were really my two favorite on the run but there was really quite a few other nice little rapids as well, a few that had a little push.
Ben leading down one of the punchy ones.
The Photo above was the entrance and what followed was a nice boofer off of a smacking side curler that wanted to throw you into some rocks.
Adam coming down el segundo parte, getting swallered up whole.
Those were really some of the main features of this river, there was definetley a few other nice ones but these photos give you a good idea of what was happening out there. As I said before the Llancahue is on the back side of the Volcano and can be reached by two ways. The day that I went there we drove both of the ways, the easy one there and the hard one back. There's another river for you, the LLancahue, it is delectable.
Driving back the hard way.
I just have a little tiny more and then I will be done. Right in the town of Pucon, well five minutes outside, is the river Trancora. The Trancora is very well known by everyone because it is the local raft run. I got to do the Trancora twice and both times were very fun. It is a pretty large river so it allows for a few options in terms of line choices. One Alternate line that I ran on my second time down was one that sets you in perfect line for a beautiful photo of the Volcano.

The beautiful Volcano and if you look close there is a kayaker there as well.
Like most Chilean rivers there is one rapid that is most frequentley portaged by everyone, but run occasionally. I did not run it but we did get to run the stuff just below it which I think is called The Last Laugh.
Nice little boof set-up for the crux of the rapid.
There it is, those are the photos and stories I wanted to share about Chili, hope y'all enjoyed. I also wanna say thanks to all the people in Chili that helped make my time there easy and fun; Ben, Adam, Tom, Scott, Sergio, Jordan, The Germans, Jason, and many others.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Noticias, yo regrese

I am now back in the states, that's right I am here in NC hanging out and passing time with my family. I may have not told everyone this but as a result of the little kayaking accident I had a couple months back in Peru, read the story here if you want, I am probably gonna be getting some surgery. I am still finding out exactly what happened and have a MRI scheduled for later this week and then I will know exactly what the deal is. I have mixed feelings about my knee right now, my whole life it has been a very good nice healthy and happy knee and it is funny that I would choose to hurt it right before I am coming home, which in effect is making me sit around a lot more, which is the opposite of what I had envisioned doing when I got home. Anyways I will figure it out I guess and all should be good. Hey folk hopefully I will see a lot of you soon. Aslo I wanna share another blog with everyone, it is a great kayaking blog but also a bit of an environmental blog that is , that is a environmentally conscious kayaker's blog it's real good,, check it out and enjoy. Bye Bye

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Vida dulce

Man oh man, what a rich experience this has been. Closing down now I will be returning home in about two weeks and I have no idea how I feel about that or anything else for that matter. I am super relaxed and with my brother and mom now in Buenes Aires(Good air) and man is it ever nice here. It is a super trendy European type city with lots of style and sensuality. Yesterday, in an effort to better fit in, I went and bought some super nice lenin pants and a shirt, it was quite fun. The guy in the store was trying to hook me up with the full get up right down to those funny looking European/Golf type shoes and a leather jacket as well, I just stuck with a belt, shirt, and some pants. Anyways I arrived here a couple days ago via a two day bus ride from Pucon, Chile, got to see some nice country. Bye now you probably know my opinion about Peru but damn oh damn Chile, Argentina little more expensive but good and fun in a different way. Nothing here or anywhere in the world should be nay-sayed or compared. It is not possible to say one experience or place is better than another, but it is possible to just let your self be and experience all, and probably accumulating preferences along the way, in this way you can share with people your experince giving them stories and knowledge without bias and allowing them to go do their own exploring. Open aired and open minded this city Buenes Aires is one of the most impressive cities I have ever visited, and I usually don´t like cities that much. Tonight me and my brother are gonna go out on the town with a couple of his friends, that is after we go eat at the best steak house in town, the steaks here are said to be the best in the world. Should be a good time.
Since I have left Peru I have not stopped talking about it although I am still in South America I miss Peru greatly, I chat Peru up with any person that´s willing. Well to my surprise I am also doing the same about Chile now. It was such a calm tranquil place with some of the nicest people I have ever met. When I was in Chile I ended up staying with Ben, a gringo that owns a small kayak shop and guide service in Pucon Chile, , he was a super nice guy and took me kayaking a lot and even gave me work. He just recently brought property not far outside of pucon along side the palguen river, that is the river featured in all the pictures below this entry, the one with the nice waterfalls. Well he bought the land on the river right side from from the 1st waterfall down to the 3rd waterfall and this allows him to put-in on one of the most fun runs in chile from his back yard, pretty damn sick. Well the point of this story is that he hired me, because of my love of working with and carving wood, to build a super natural low damage to the environment trail along side the waterfalls, it was some of the funnest and most beautiful work I have ever done. It involved little bridges and staircases all made from natrual materials found on the site, excluding nails, it was awesome. More pictures of my travels will be coming soon, and when I get back to the states I will do a full trip recap with a bunch of pics. I guess that´s what I got for now look forward to seeing y´all and talking soon.
chou, nate

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Chile is different and expensive, but as you can see there is reason enough to be happy

Ok so here I am, I arrived in Chile. Chile is extremely different and much more expensive, but after kayaking here I have decided I like it for obvious reasons. I hope to get a couple days of boating in and then I will go to Buenes Aires, where my brother is currently at. So far I have done two rivers here, both phenomenol.

Ben the owner of Kayak Chile, getting a perfect boof on the second drop

This is the first drop on the palguin, you get to it after about 200 feet of paddling, kind of a nice put in.

Nice, nice boof by juan on the second drop, this one isn't scoutable, but good to go.
THE GERMANS ARE COMING-Michael from Germany getting her done on the 3rd drop of the run.
This is a nice photo and a good kayaker. This is 14 year old Franco from Argentina, this was his first time down the Pelguin and he ran everything, this one is the biggest.
This is the fourth drop, just above the portage, its a really wierd slot.
This is the portage, you don't have to jump portage it, but it is more fun.
Well that's about it, I am just chilling out here for a couple days running waterfalls. I have run out of money but have sold a bunch of kayaking gear so now I have enough money. I will return home with no kayaking gear, have to get all new stuff. It is ok though because it is better to leave gear here because it is very hard for the kayakers to get gear here in South AMerica. Allright ya'll take it easy and we will talk soon.
chou, nate

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Holy mother+++++++++++++++++++!!!!!!!!!!

I just completed the longest bus ride of my life, four days. I began this travel in Cusco Peru and finished in Pucon Chile which is about twelve hours south of Santiago. It is strange here. All of the impressions of south america that I have accumulated up to this point are from peru, therefore, I sort of had the idea that the rest of south america would be the same but that is not the case. Chile is like being in the states, it is expensive and I have no money. Anyways right now I am very tired and trying to find somewhere free to sleep. I feel like a pile of shit. The buses for the most part are comfortable but for some reason I am never able to sleep on them, I don´t know. Anyways I guess that will do for now, it was a wild bus ride is the bottom line and lots of fun. I will kayak here for a week and then I wil go to Buenas Aires to see my brother and mom. Ya´ll take care now and I will see you soon.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Yo ire a chile

Tomorrow I will start my 3 day bus journey to santiago chile and south of this as well, I will only be there for a week or two but it should be fun. I have no money, but some how I will get there. El dios pagan. The gods will pay, some how I will make it. Overall things are well now, I have been hanging out in cusco the last two weeks. My kayaking friends have gone home now and I have just been resting my knee and hanging out. I met a pretty cool girl from vermont and have been haning out with her alot so that has been fun, it is really cool how you meet people from everywhere when you are traveling around, it is a small world. My brother is moving to Buenas Aires, Argentina for 5 months and he will arrive there in a couple days, I look forward to meeting my brother there as well as my mom, and after that my trip will be more or less done. I will meet my mom in B.A. and me and my mom will hang out there for awhile and then we will come to cusco and I will show my mom everything that I love here. I will be back in the states on feb. 23, I am not sure if I look forward to this or not. I have become so at home here, I love it. I have some very good friends in cusco now and generally I have a really good knowledge of this place, it is home. I think I am good at being comfortable basically everywhere I go and this is certainly no exception. I miss people in the states and the states but already have plans to come back here a lot. Well that´s all for now.
Hablamos mas tarde
chou nate

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Nada, nadie, tampoco

Well things have been pretty good down here. I passed the ne year and christmas here sucessfully with my friends, what a good time. One of my friends went home today and the other has a couple weeks more, unfortunatley he is bed-ridden sick right now. I myself am also taking a bit of a break, due to a little mishap I had in the river a week ago. Well we had to formulate ourself a big plan that would last us at least a week, so what we came up with after much recomendation and research was a tour into the sacred valley exploring 1st descents and the beautiful scenery. We started in Cusco with a cool entry into the sacred valley, we would make a 1st d down into the sacred valley via the Huarocondo village and river. We arrived in Huarocondo via a hired taxi and saw that the river was not exactly tolerable water quality, so we decided to drive downstream and see what we saw so we would know what was in store. We soon came to some descent whitewater and put in. The Hourocondo turned out to be a good way to enter the sacred valley offering class 4+ rapids at most, but very continous and fun. We arrived in the Urubamba and paddled 7 k´s of flat water to arrive in the town of Ollantaytambo, where I had seen another creek that looked fairly descent quality. We got ourselves a hostal and then the next day set out to hike up to some old ruins and scout the creek, all was good. The game plan was on for the next day to do this creek, we saw a couple pretty nice rapids from the road and it gave us a lot of excitement. We put on the creek which we knew contained a lot of low hanging brush, but surprisingly no real strainers. This turned out to be one of the most amazing creeks I have ever done, this is how it went down. Duck stay low through some brush, while making class 3 moves, then the brush opens up and you are faced with a technical class IV horizon line. Luckily this creek was in all pretty safe but we did end up running some pretty big drops blind like a 12 foot fading waterfall, it was fun. After this we were pumped and excited to do more, due to the level of the urubamba we were not able to further paddle it because it is riddled with class V that at this time of year is amazing just to see.

Here is a nice picture demonstrating the creek type.
After completing this creek we headed to Machu Pichu via the train with our boats on board. We passed two days in Machu Pichu, a truly terrible town due to all the torism and then headed to Santa Teresa was again via the train. Arriving at the end of the train lines we took trucks in the screaming rain to santa teresa. It turned out that the truck that took us was also the owner of a hostal, so we ended up using this truck as our shuttle driver and staying in his hostal. We spent the afternoon scouting this creek and decided we would embark early in the morning. The river was the Sacsahara and to our knowledge would be a 1st descent. This creek turned out to be one of the hardest creeks we had ever done. Unfortunatley I took a bad swin within the 1st 3 k´s and lost all my gear. This wasn´t really a creek, this is how brad described it and I agree. The creek had more of a river flow with creek moves, it was hard. The swim was long and I was all alone, during the swim I took a pretty big scare and encountered a bit of foot entrapment, I was able to get out of it, but am experinecing a lot of knee trouble now. I have gone to the doctor and got a splint and what not and they say I stretched it way out and maybe tore a little stuff in my knee, so now I am just taking it easy. My kayaking in South America might be done for this trip but I will definetley return, and I am still gonna travel to chile, where I might paddle as well. Anyways the sacsahara river turned out to be amazing and truly hard, we also found that in the afternoon the creek virtually doubles in size due to snow melt. I never found my boat and probably won´t. I am not sure what I will do with the rest of my time here but certainly have a bit of traveling left, I am taking it super easy for about fifteen days and hopefully after that my knee will feel about full strength again, we will see. At the begining of feb. I will be in Buenos Aires with my mom and brother and definteley looking forward to that. Right now I am just chilling out and getting my knee back so I can walk normal again. Well I guess that will do for now. Hope everyone is having fun and relaxed, that is one thing that I have learned down here is how to truly enjoy myself and relax.
chou, nate