Mar 28, 2009

Tierra Del Fuego

The land of lots of sheep and dirt roads and a barn or two... our last few days in Patagonia were spent on the island of Tierra Del Fuego. We rented a car and explored the chilean side of the island.... well despite there being hardly any people no real towns (a town was a barn or two) we managed to get stopped by the police, slackline by a lake, camp, get a flat tire, eventually find some coffee and catch some ferries... good times... we are off to peru!

here are some pics

live, love, laugh,...DREAM!

Mar 25, 2009

Sea Kayaking Adventures...

I am not being lazy I just don´t have much time in between all the fun we have been having... PATAGONIA is amazing. We just spent four days out on the water and I got to do something I have always wanted to do.... sea kayak with icebergs... OH YEAH.... We paddled up river and down river, with icebergs and on rapids... Geike Lake is virtually unvisited as the only way to get in is via kayak (upstream) or helicopter... it was more than cool...

more about the trip and the other trips in the near future (prob when I arrive back to vancouver... april 6th). For now Andrew has been much more on top of the photos than I so I will direct you to his photo site until I upload them to my blog etc.... there are some pretty ones...

photos here

We are now heading to Tierra Del Fuego.... before our long trip up north to LIMA.

oh yeah the heels are finally great! went for my first run in over a month this morning... I miss it and cant wait to get back into it. I truly love running and its been a tough mental battle but thanks to hiking, crocs, kayaking, yoga and other beautiful things to do I have survived and am ready for the next running challenge.. bring it on!

live, love, laugh,...DREAM!

Mar 18, 2009

Trekking and lots of it...

The past two weeks have been great. I dont think I have ever spent so much time on my feet. I will do a proper recap of the events of Torres De Paines (a la crocs), El Calafate and Glacier Moreno and the quaint El Chalten, Lago Torro, Cerro Torre, Fitz Roy and much much more.

Andrew and I have trekked for two weeks straight with big bags and have seen some amazing mountains, peaks, glaciers, lakes etc. It has been a wonderful experience and we have tons of wonderful pics and now are feeling ready to leave El Chalten for some more adventures hopefully involving kayaks and the sea...

Check out pics on Andrews Flickr site here

and here

es la vida en Patagonia

live, love, laugh,...DREAM!

Mar 15, 2009

Vina Del Mar, Valparaiso, Mendoza, Cachagua

It felt strange to move on yet I was ready for the next adventure. Saying my goodbyes early morning and the night before to the race people I headed back on the plane to explore up north (Santiago and surrounding areas). I didn{t have much of a plan (typical Lina style) but knew that Feb 22 there was a downhill mountain bike race in a town called Valparaiso. Juan Pablo (race director of Tran Andes Challenge) was kind enough to open his doors to me. I eventually made my way to Vina Del Mar (a quaint beach town booming with summer vacationers). I walked along the beach while JP was finishing up the organization of a mountain bike marathon race he was organizing.

I thought some salt water would be a healthy healing activity but to my dismay I was wrong. The next day JP took me to the clinic to get my infected blisters cleabed...OUCH. After the hospital and a visit and luncheon in Renaca with Dzenko and friends JP and I headed to Valparaiso to check out the urban downhill Moutnin Bike race. It was nothing like I have seen before. The course involved jumps, stairs, sharp corners, trails, burms and much more. I thought it was a very creative race and a great way to get a town involved. We walked up the entire course and then made out way down as the finalists came flying past. The crowds were great. Im just glad I was one of the crowd this time on the sidelines cheering on these nutty riders.

The following day JP drove me to the bus station in downtown Santiago where I would catch a bus to Mendoza (the wine country capital of Argentina). Again, I knew little about the area except that there was good wine to be had. I met a great guy from MN on the bus which made the 7hr trip evn more pleasant. We chatted about lify things. The Mendoza crew turned out to be Josh (CO), and Damen and Randall from MN and myself. The town was booking with climbers (most going and returning from Acacongua), rafters, wine connaisseurs amd tourists.

The following morning the 4 of us headed to Mr. Hugo bikes and wines to head out for a day of sunshine, exercise (sort of) and fine wine. After many bottles, some bike epics and good chatter we found ourselves drinking more wine with Mr. Hugo himself and all the other bike and winers. A fine meal back in Mendoza was a great finish to a day of wine adventures.

Ive never actually been on a rafting tour so figured it was a great time to get introduced. Damen, Josh and I headed down with Rio Andinos raft company. We even had a Vancouverite as our guide. The whole experience was good fun, even when i got thrown off the raft, stuck under the raft and re surfaced several seconds longer than expected... Thankfully I was calm and laughed the whole experience away.

Juan Pablo and his two little ones picked me up from the bus station in Santiago and we eventually made our way to Cachagua along with Blanca (the pup), and all of our gear (surf boards, bikes, etc). We were greeted by Veronica (JP sister) and the little A frame house. After dumping off the gear we headed straight to the beach. I went for my first run in ages (barefoot and on the beach). It felt sooo good to run again. I love to RUN. The next 3 days consisted of a 1.5 hour mountain bike on a beautiful single track through woods and with some amazing views of the coast, valley and mountains. I borrowed JPs old GT bike and wore (unhappily) my running shoes (the pain from the heels was still pretty sore but I was determined to push through as playing on the trails is what makes me so happy and I was becoming very agitated with the lack of exercise in my daily regime. The days also consisted of daily beachtime (which included my 40 min barefoot run along the water), bbqs, surfing, vino, dulce de leche, good food and great people. I feel so blessed and lucky to have been so warmly accepted and taken care of. There are good people ijn this world. I hope I can do the same when visitors come and visit Vancouver. Thank you Juan Pablo and family!

live, love, laugh,...DREAM!

Mar 2, 2009

Wenger Patagonia Expedition Race Race Report

Wenger Patagonia Expedition Race
Spain and Canada teamed up to produce Team Buff. Chemari, Kapi, Javi and I met on Feb 9th to begin what would be a true adventure throughout Southern Patagonia. The meeting place was Punta Arenas but the start was Glacier Grey (the border of the famous Torres de Paines). For me it was a little bit of a whirl wind; racing from trans Andes challenge to Temuco to a little nap in the Santiago airport, and finally arriving into Punta Arenas at 6am greeted by pouring rain and cold air-phewph. The beginning is a blur: I remember meeting my teammates (there was some sort of spanenglish going on), I was a little bit tired a little bit confused and a little bit overwhelmed and just sort of threw certain clothes in certain bags, happily put on the yellow pants of team buff and all their matching outfits, didn´t quite pay enough attention to the order of events and didn´t always fully understand what my teammates were saying (most of the time...). The next thing I knew we were in the Plaza de Armas getting photographed, interviewed and pushed onto a bus that would take us who knows where?... the bus ride seemed to go on forever and I was trying so hard to get to know my partners that I was going to spend the next 10 days in the wild with but at the same time trying to catch a snooze here and there to try and catch up from missing zzzs from the nights before. There was a flat tire at about 11pm and then some sort of freezing outdoor crazy chilean lamb bar-b-q (for a veggy girl a little frightenening but an experience nevertheless) I tried to stuff as many potatoes and salad into my mouth as I could befor my hands froze. At about 1am I found myself in a tent with my new teammates.

So that was my intro and it only got better from there.

The morning of the race we got woken up bright and early only after a few hours of sleep (not enough for me) and brought to breakfast (a favorite: bread and jelly) but my gosh the views... they blew me away... I was in Patagonia about to start a 10 day adventure... ES LA VIDA (my motto from the beginning until forever).

I thought I was gonna get blown to sea before the race even began. Still half in a daze and not too sure what was going on. Freezing cold I was forced to strip and put my wetsuit on in the windiest place I have ever been... and let the fun begin! We were off on our 90km paddle down the most gorgeous river I have ever paddled... past glaciers, peaks, howling winds, strong currents, massive waves: grinning, crying, cold, happy, blown away!!!! We were forced to end the paddle early due to heavy winds and dangerous sea conditions.. Forced to stop at the bottom of the Sereno Glacier... GORGEOUS (even more gorgeous when dry and warm and letting the boat do the work instead of me..)

Biking... well it was 100km of fast road riding with three guys who love biking! My favorite part was stopping in Peurto Natales for a hot bowl of soup and warm bread... a first for me when racing but I wasn´t complaining.

Trekking Numero uno (50ishkm if taking the fast route....for others a little longer)
Here I got introduced to Turba ( an infamous part of trekking at the Patagonia Adventure Race). Turba is like very wet moss that sinks to about your ankles. So in the end it is as difficult as walking in snow without snowshoes but wet and cold. It doesn´t sound sooo bad but after two days of it the anomosity begins to grow. The forests in southern Patagonia are different as well. Lots of dead broken down tree trunks that break at the most inopportune times, mud, slick moss and prickly plants... There is lots of Bosque (forest in spanish... a word I lerned very quickly). We managed to cross some pretty high and fast rivers, some not as smoothly as others. They weren´t warm and they were a little firgthening but in a race: you gotta do what you gotta do. My favorite part was the high mountain pass; The views were breathtaking and the rocks were a welcoming step! This trek took a lot out of us. The rain wouldn´t stop, the wind was fierce and the cold air would freeze the outer limbs and leave us shivering most of the time. The tents no longer functioned due to wet wet conditions; making a fire started to become mearly impossible and sleeping just wasn´t a rest at all. Spooning became a necessity and that one set of dry clothes was heaven in a bag. If you can even picture this scene you may be visualizing a funny portrait of four adventure racers huddled together by a fire created under a little section of somewhat dry tree trunk created by a slight lean by the tree and the four of us huddled so close to the fire that our shoes started to melt, I think i was yelping throughout the night due to coldness. The last kilometers were the toughest we were deep into the forestm it was about 1am, dark, raining, cold and we were searching for this road that seemed almost imposible to find. Funny enough when we found it, we were even sure it was the road as it looked like a river of mud instead. We stumbled into the checkpoint to find it completely empty. I think we were so tired, cold and hungry that we didn´t see our bike boxes and didn´t undertsnad why the check point was empty. We did however manage to find a tent and some food... so we huddled ourselves into the tent, managed to get out of our wet clothes (it took awhile as I couldn´t even unzip or undo anything as my fingers and hands didn´t seem to function no matter how hard I tried), and ate and drank whatever we found and then fell asleep in our sleeping bags.

Biking 140km of beauty and winds. We were still trying to recover our bodies on this section. Javi was having some trouble. He worked so hard the last two days that he found himself exhausted.

kayak (a portage I will never ever forget)
Our last kayak section was not one to take lightly. It was a tough paddle across a windy channel. The weather was cold, the rain was non stop and the waves gave us a tough battle and did not let us rest. Once we reached the calmer end our team needed a rest. A zodiac came by and there was chat about stopping here. This was a point in the race whre the language barrier caused some confusion. I wasn´t too clear on what was going on but my guys found some energy and we were off again. The last section of kayak was beautiful and much calmer.
The portage was something I will never forget. Javi is a machine. He pulled these kayaks across, over, under and through some amazing things. 18km of trekking with kayaks (as we called it) was unbelievable. We pulled them through turba, through thick forests across fast flowing rivers up and over mountains and more. We created a tippy kayak type shelter to sleep in and finally after lots of hard work, many emotions and climate changes we found ourselves paddling out the river and on the straight. Seeing the volunteers at the check point was a welcoming relief. Unfortunately, terrible blisters,allergic reations, wrong equipment and pure exhaustion our team decided to finish the race here. The next trek could have proven to be too dangerous and with no way out things could have gotten a lot worse.

That was the end for us. The naval boat ride back to Punta Arenas was long and packed with media and organizer folk. We chatted and shared stories for the media, ate and rested. It was a blurr... What a fantastic ride. I have been blown away by this unbelievable expedition and if I am able to come back I would in a heartbeat. I have fallen in love with all of Patagonia from its harsh ever changing weather to its magical beauty.

It was a beautiful experience that I do not regret. Racing with a new team from a different country with a different style and speaking a different language allowed me to grow, learn and appreciate the experience more deeply. Thank you team Buff for an experience of a life time.

live, love, laugh,...DREAM!