Over the last few years
Chile has seen so much exposure that I was over it, yet hadn't been
there. Being over somewhere not experienced is a presumptuous attitude.
I wasn't really sold on a paddling vacation in Chile style trip. When
the trip changed to a paddling journey across Argentina into Chile and
back again, suddenly there was a sense of adventure and romanticism
that captures the imagination. We fly into the capitol, Buenos Aires
and pick up our rental van
compact car. Due to a little miscommunication we somehow end up with a
Volkswagen Saran, not a Sharan.
The Volkswagen Sharan,
a perfect vehicle for five people & kayaking gear on a five
The Volkswagen Saran. Not so much.
Kayaking our way across
Argentina into Chile...sounds like a great idea. We leave Buenos Aires
and drive all night. Somewhere in the middle we're forced to stop by a
wild thunderstorm that halted all traffic on the roads...we thought it
was going to blow our car over.
Only 1,200km later and we are at our first river, which happens to be
330km from Santiago, Chile. Logic? Somewhere with the mystical Sharan.
Rio Mendoza, it's class II so I don't get out for too many pictures.
Fabian Bonanno enjoying some crystal clear
water and notable
The local rafting company was kind enough to let us camp in their
Water is low in this
region of Argentina, so we decided to head straight to Chile. Except we
don't quite have the paperwork for our car to cross the border, thanks
to the rental company operating on South American time. So we head 230k
south to San Rafael to kill some time paddling the Diamante, a dam
release run. We show up late with no lunch, shuttle, or gas. At least
the scenery is fantastic.
Embalse Agua del Toro
Unfortunately for us the dam is only releasing one turbine, making this
big water run a little bit more mellow than hoped. On the lucky side of
things local paddles manage to find a shuttle driver for our car and we
share a great day on the river together.
Local legend Silvio Gallo drops into a beautiful canyon.
Good thing for the boat, the take out lake is quite long.
Silvio Gallo is building a new house in San Rafael and is kind enough
to let us stay while we figure our what's going on with our vehicular
Luck prevails and our car has enough gas, we're only too happy to see
it at take-out. We've been here three days and are itching for class
five. Will we get into Chile