Adding to all the usual madness of getting ready for the holidays, I’m also trying to prepare, both mentally and physically, to journey south on December 26th, my ultimate destination being El Rio Futaleufu in Chilean Patagonia. I put the wheels in motion for this trip last year by applying for a “Type I: Personal Renewal/Enrichment” sabbatical—or, as I like to think of it, the “incredible life-changing trip you’d otherwise never be able to afford because you chose to become a teacher” sabbatical. Can I just say how much I love where I teach?
This is a trip that perhaps made more sense last year when I proposed it, as 2007 was a very good kayaking year for me. 2008, not so much. After coming back from our trip this summer, I’ve only been on the water a couple of times, largely because there hasn’t been much running in this season of exceptional drought but also because my usual paddling partner seems to have gone into witness protection or something and I just got lazy about going (sometimes home can be too comfortable). Oh well, I’ve got two weeks in Chile, and there’s a lot of water to run down there, from easy to scary. Hopefully I’ll be able to knock off the rust flakes in short order and avoid getting into too much trouble.
For a little eye candy, here’s a short video about the Fu and its immediate neighborhood put together by Expediciones Chile, the kayaking school I’ll be paddling with:
Anyway, after a full year of thinking about this trip, it’s a strange feeling to suddenly have less than two weeks until departure. This will be a radical expansion of my horizons, both in terms of geography and whitewater, and I’m looking forward to getting a good push out of my comfort zone.
I’ll be carrying my laptop and camera and plan to blog the trip, so stay tuned! Now, back to my Pimsleur Spanish disks—No entiendo nada.