First day off the bus, first experience in Pucon, first river, first rapid, first broken boat. If there was anything that could possibly sour my first experience in Chile and bring my spirits down, it would have to be breaking someone else's boat the first day we met and first time we paddled. I still can't believe that it happened or the feeling of knowing that there was a huge crack in the bottom of the boat. The second I felt water gushing onto my leg and saw that my sprayskirt and drytop were swelling from the pressure all the water was putting into my boat I knew.
Now, the first rapid was no smooth slide into a deep pool. No, it was a steep, rocky mess that sloped down for 10 feet then fell about 10 more into a shallow pool. Both Rodrigo and I took a big hit but only the boat I was paddling broke and only I flew headfirst into the pool after hitting an especially sharp rock. Maybe a testament to paddling skill? The boat, of course, was a LiquidLogic. Not to say that LL produces a low quality product, but if you look at my paddling history, it is riddled with broken Hucks and Gus'.
There ended my first day paddling with Rodrigo in Pucon. I can not even begin to explain how horrible and embarassed I felt about the situation. I had known Rodrigo for about 2 hours and already had broken one of his most prized boats. There is only so much apologizing one can do though, so I told him I would do all I could to make things right and pay him whatever he wanted for the boat or try to repair it and paddle it for the summer.
However, repairing this huge crack was no easy task and neither of us are confident in the plastic. We have figured something else out and are now happy with that in the past and much great paddling in the coming months. Hopefully the other boat can hold up!
This was the real first drop of the Desahue, not the one the boat broke on. The boat broke on the first bigger drop,of which I have no pictures.
Okay, that wasn't really the end of paddling on the first day. This falls was at the take-out of the run we were doing so after hiking all of sixty yards to the road then down to the car, we ran this a couple times.
The next day I went to class then headed to Kayak Pucon to meet Rodrigo and Ema to go paddle. We drove a little over 10 minutes, only a little closer than the previous days run, to this wonderful falls.
No paddling yesterday as Rodrigo couldn't find me walking around town after class. It was miserable weather though, raining, cold, and windy mixed with brief spells of sun and warmth. Today we paddled and it was amazing. I´ll let the pictures do the talking.
Todaywe went to the Desahue again and had a successful run. I didn't take any pictures, as the river kept me quite busy, but it is only about 15 minutes away so over time I will put some up.
We will be off to Maichin tomorrow. Rodrigo has hopes of bringing customers down this run as an advanced rafting river, so we'll see how th at goes. I think we will soon R-2 it as well. He has a new Aire Puma and the two of us should be able to run some good stuff in it.
I am doing my best to try to put these pictures up.