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canyoning, fredrik’s long lost brother and giant empanadas

after four days of cycling, we were given one “rest” day.  and i put that in quotes, because we were probably all more sore after this one day than the past four days of bike riding.  fredrik and lou played it smart and went kayaking.  philip, justin, christina and i played it crazy and went canyoning.  

so, what’s canyoning?  for us, it included going to llanquihue national park, squeezing into two layers of wetsuits, walking 45 minutes uphill (in the double wetsuits), and then proceeding to jump and slide (in every which way possible) off and down a series of rocks and natural waterslides.  our grand finally was repelling next to a waterfall that dropped over 100 feet down, but stopping just about 25 feet short of the very bottom to take one last leap into the water below.  

yea, so these double wetsuits were kind of a tight fit.  at least for me :-(

no sweat for these guys, pumped in pink and ready to go! 

after our walk uphill we came to the first spot where we all jumped into the water to test out our gear.  our guides took us through a couple of practice jumps off of a rock that was only a couple meters high.  i was nervous jumping at THAT height!  

but soon enough, they had us going backwards down waterfalls.

jumping off off rocks. justin is the one in this picture!   

and this funky one where we could basically run along the wall until we jumped/fell in.  

here’s a video of the last slide before the repelling!

this is a strange picture but it was the only image i had of the waterfall that we repelled right next to before our last jump!  

it turned out to be an amazing day.  at times i would look around and be in awe of the scenery and that i was actually in a natural water park!  it was one of those activities where i was scared silly half of the time, but when it was over, i couldn’t wait to do it again!

by the time we all returned from our “rest” day, we were STARVING.  a group of us went to chamaca inn.  

meet chamaca.  the definition of A HOOT!

she made her way around the table and took a liking to tika and fredrik.  mama chamaca wanted a kiss on the cheek!  what mama chamaca wants…mama chamaca gets!!!!

tika and fredrik had more in common that being good cyclists…apparently, they are related?!  just kidding.  not related, but look like they could be, no? 

after a fun day, fredrik got into bed and cuddled up with steve jobs. 

the next day was our last day of cycling with the larger group.  this called for something special. 

fredrik and i busted out our A-19 SIG JERSIES!!! WOOOHOOOOOO!!!!!!

each day, the scenery exceeded our expectations.  this ride fit that pattern. 

that day for lunch we were provided with a great picnic lunch that had ample food for our hungry bellies.

yes, i am double fisting two giant empanadas the size of my face.  so what???!!!

clearly, i wasn’t the only one enjoying my lunch!!!  

the last half of the ride was incredible.

i could have stayed on this stretch forever.

a freshly paved road, rolling hills, zero traffic, perfect weather…and an enormous volcano as a backdrop.  this is going to be hard to beat. 

and here comes tika, crossing the finish line in style.

one last shot of the matching jersies representing experience plus and NYCC! 

we were at the end of this ride and it was time to put the bikes on top of the van. philip and justins dad were helping put the bikes away.  can you see in this picture what fredrik was doing? 

our last evening with the larger group took us back to petrohue where we had actually started our adventure with a ferry ride off of lake todos los santos. (behind me)

it was time to part with all but our guides and philip as everyone else was heading back home.  it had been a memorable trip so far…but there was still more to come!