„Chile! Things here will always work out – but different then you think!“ That is the lesson we learned so far. But that is the way we travel anyway. Leaving NZ ended with trouble at the airport. Well, we were flying with three kayaks and this is always some trouble. In the end it worked out and we could turn a “No, we cannot take them on the plane.” into a “Yes, but we have to charge you for one kayak.” Within a few hours we set you feet on Chilean ground.
Different country, different language, different people and different culture. While sorting out the shuttle to your hostel in Santiago Jakub Sedivy ran into us on the airport. It turned out, that he is staying in the same place. Great! Check in at the hostel and then grab a beer and hang at the pool. After a short round through the city we got back with two bottles of Pisco and a big coke. Again at the pool we were figuring out what to do on New Years Eve. It turned out, that everyone went to party in Vina del Mar and Valparesia wihich is about 1,5h busride from Santiago. Plans are set! Get ready, get to the bus station and get on a bus. Getting on the bus wasn’t that easy. It was sold out. Walking out of the station little disappointed guys from different buses were running around trying to get some more people for the last buses to Vina del Mar. Sold! Two of us had to ride on the floor, but that’s alright when you got Pisco-Coke. We actually made to Vina in time - 11:30pm.
20h later we were all back in Santiago and decided to stay one more night. After another day in Santiago we were off to Pucon. Taking the night bus we arrived early at about 8am in Pucon. Jasper picked us up at the bus stop and while having breakfast we managed to find a place to stay. We got to the Kayak Hostel, put our bags in the dome (that’s the big tent we are staying in) and get ready to get on the river. It’s a big crew. We put on the Palguin River to run the whole thing – upper, middle and lower Palguin. Jasper was leading us down the run, which is one waterfall after the other. It was a huckfest, with about 14 people running the 70ft Middle Palguin. Shortly after the drop Jasper and Flo got double pinned. With two boats stucked they decided to wet exit. While doing this Jasper unlucky dislocated his shoulder. This is bad news. We tried to put it back in place but failed. Hiking out was a little mission but we managed to stop a car right away as we got to the street. Hours later we all got together at Latitude – a local bar in Pucon. Paddle hart and party all night – welcome to Chile!