We are sitting here in Puerto Montt Chile after spending a week in Patagonia braving the Class 5 rapids of the mighty Futaleufu river, hiking, rock climbing and rappelling. This was by far our most adventurous and downright frightening trip. We were part of a group of just seven people and were definitely the oldest and most out of shape. The weather bounced between cold, hard rain and beautiful sunny days with temperatures ranging from low 50´s to high 70´s with the sun rising at 5am and setting at 10pm. They say in Patagonia you can experience all four seasons on any given day. Looking back everything was fun, exciting and rather simple - but during the hype, the safety talks, the warnings, and seeing other people opt out of the Class 5 rapids, the week started off quite scary. I was front position left side and setting the stroke in our boat and after feeling like I barely survived a 300´ swim test in the river on a very dark, windy, cold, rainy day I had never been more terrified on vacation and questioned how much rafting I was going to do. After a sleepless night of rafting and drowning dreams, I decided screw it - Larry The Lizard was at my side saying ¨Go sick or go home¨ and there was no way to get home so I went sick.
Despite the doom and gloom and ¨high swim potential¨ we never had a swimmer from our raft, Lori survived her first rock climbing experience, and the 300´ rappel we did was a blast. I´m very bruised and battered with a sprained left wrist and a blown right hamstring resulting from a poorly executed 45´ cliff jump (a first for me). The scenery has been breathtakingly beautiful and all the people we've met have been awesome. We are looking forward to chilling out with the giant heads of Easter Island. We arrive there tomorrow. So Merry Christmas and Happy Easter to all and Go Patriots!!!