Life in Chile

Life is good. I've been in Chile for a month now and loving life. I am Head Coaching at New River Academy of Huge Experiences. This is the best of both worlds because I get to make a living and live in the best spots for white water in the world. We started off in the Maipo River. An amazing canyon based up in the middle of the Chilean Andes one hour from Santiago. This river has water the color of mud which isn't normal for Chile. Regardless we have two sick river runs at our doorstep on the Upper and Lower section of this river. Then two hours up into the Andes is a water fall on the Yeso river which is a beautiful blue creek. This 30 foot waterfall is not exactly clean. It has a complicated little notch at the top that completely messes you up if you don't hit it just right. Took me three tries to get it right. One ending in an imploded skirt and the other ending up in a twisting upside down head first fall.

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Then we traveled four hours southwest to Pichilemu. This town is home to some of the best surfing in the world. There are two popular surf breaks that we get to surf. The first is the smaller town surf break. The second is the Punta De Lobos, world famous big wave surfing destination. At this time of year the surf is kind of small which is fine because in a kayak you can still go huge off that second of green that you get.

Next we traveled to the Rio Claro. Now don't go looking for this on a map because there are about 4,000 Rio Claro's in Chile but the one we were on was next to a town called Molina. There is also one more thing about this river that sets it apart from any other river in the world. It has about 50 waterfalls in a three mile section of whitewater. And to top it off, every single one is clean! Not just clean like your dog jumping in the lake, clean like you took clorox bleach to the deck of a navy ship. The other really unique thing is that these drops end in little teacup shaped pools, so if there is a swim you have time to get them back in they're boat. We spent a week bombing over these perfect waterfalls then it was off to the next stop.

Rio Achi Bueno, a river runner’s paradise high up in the mountains. We were located at a friend’s awesome little Hostel and Cabins named Refugio Reten Viejo. We were one of the last stops on an impossible road to Argentina. Every day we would hike up the river as far as we pleased and run down right to our house on the riverside. This river is bright blue and fully continuous in technical rapids perfect for a large skill level. You can make this river as hard as you want, or as easy as you want.

Now we are at Dave Hughes's house in Pucon. The Whitewater Meca of Chile. There are waterfalls everywhere you look. We have only been here for a day but the Air Born Athletics boys are staying at the place so I'm sure I'll get out with them as well as a few plans of my own.

Stay tuned…


Chile Update #2 from Tino on Vimeo.

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