Monday, March 23, 2009

White Water!

We are up in Bariloche now, and what a beautiful town it is. Its apparently one of the largest towns in "patagonia", and is full of touristy things to do. Its right on the Chile boarder and a huge lake, so im only sure that in summer this place is crazy. There is already alot of tourists here. We grabbed a cab from the bus depot to a hosel that Alex and Christine (our friends from Montreal that we met in El Chalten) recomended to us. It was in a tall appartment building on the 10th floor. The lobby of the building was beautiful, but as soon as we got in the elevator we were both thinking this might be our last stop. sketchy. We got to the top finaly and poked our heads arround the corner and at the end of a dark hallway the was the sign 1004 on the door. The hostel being called "Hostel 1004" we figured that was it. We rang the bell and the door opened to the most wild place I have ever seen. The whole front was glass overlooking the lake and some of the town, with tables and couches everywhere. A huge kitchen and what seemed like a great place to stay, of course they where full. So, back down the elevator from hell and across the street to where I am now, "The Backpackers Hostel" still quite a nice place. We dropped our things and headed out into the city to do some browsing. And just that we did. Grabbed some lunch, watched an outdoor free concert and relaxed.

Later last night we went on a journey to book a whitewater rafting adventure for today, after we went to a few places we found a guy that took our money, gave us a slip of paper and said his company was full, but he would find us one and they would pick us up at 9am. After we left we both figured we would never see that money again, no one would come to get us and the mans office would be empty in the morning. We were up at 8 had our breakfast, and for the first time since we have been here the company was early, a man came in the door at 5 to 9 and hauled us out to the van. We grabed a few more people and headed out the hour and a half drive to the launch. After some paved ruta 40 we bumped down a dirt road for about an hour that led us to a field with a nice little log cabin to one side. We could see from the van the breakfast spead waiting for us. We ate some bread and jam, drank some coffee then went to get suited. Within 10 minutes all 6 of us looked ridiculous. Mom, Dad and Jordan im sure you all know! Pictures are coming. We then drove another 10 minutes to the launch point, had our safety lesson and jumped in the boat.

We were with a few Argentinians who seemed like they had never seen a river before, let alone been sent down one in a rubber dingy. But after Sage and I got a good rhythm going for the boat they did alright. Except for one guy, just a wild man with a paddle. The river was a little small this time of year but it was so beautiful it made up for it. Ther water was so clear you could see every rock and log on the bottom. It flows down through a narrow canyon for 10 kms that took us about 2 hours to get through. There were 10 rapids with nice long slower sections in between for swimming. Quite cold swimming but swimming. The water was down arround 4 or 5 meters from its spring run-off level. Our guide was showing us some of the rocks that they cant even see in the summer, that now seemed huge. In one section of the canyon you can see where the water has cut huge funnels in the rocks from the whirlpools. Quite amazing, one of them was probly 15 feet deep with just a little hole in the bottom for water to come out. We had an absolute blast in the river, but when we came to the Chillean boarder we had to get out. We hiked up a huge hill out of the canyon. Luckly there where a few horses to carry out the boat! I couldnt believe these horses going up that steep of a hill. We crossed over the border on the trail up the hill and hit chile for the first time (for about 30 seconds). At the top the van was waiting with our dry clothes. We changed up and headed back to base camp. When we arrived, again we could see the meal before we went inside. This time it was quite a spread. Potato salad, regular salad, wine and a huge huge plate of BBQ steak, chorizo and chicken. We ate till we couldnt move, sat for a bit then headed to town.

Its was quite a day, and we had a hell of a good time. We are both hoping that we can do it again sometime on this trip. Everyone in the van slept most of the way home, except for me and the driver. (of course) I cant seem to sleep with passes like that happening on the highway! When we got back to the hostel we both just relaxed for a bit rubbing our shoulders from all that paddeling. Had showers and now here I am writing this. Tommorow we are heading north again, to Junin de los Andes, with the nearby national park lanin. That is home to a volcano! Should be awesome. Thats the update.
Later Orin.

1 comment:

  1. I remember those sketchy latino horses, climbing up a goddamn 90 degree angle!!