Looking at the date I find it hard to believe that I have been living in Pucon for almost two months already. It is hard not to forget about the time when you have so much fun as I have had in January. Working as a safety kayaker on river Trancura is the easiest and the most fun job I have ever had in my life. The rapids are just big enough to keep you focused and make you enjoy every single trip you do. And besides the great “work environment” I must say that Pucon’s nightlife is just incredible regarding the size of the town. In all a nice mix of summer, party and holiday work atmosphere.
Unfortunately kayaking adventures slowed down for us as well in January. A very dry year means almost all creeks in the area are too low to paddle at the moment. The only “loco” run close that I am currently looking forward to is Middle Fuy, which we plan to do in the next days. While I missed the last days of rio Nevados because of my sickness at the end of November, I could say that December was quite generous to me. Palguin is so close to Pucon that you seem to end up on that river every time you don’t have any other plan. Unfortunately it was getting low really fast too. Anoter classic, rio Puesco was really low as well by the time we did it but it was still a lot of fun. We hit a perfect water level at upper Fuy but probably the most memorable day of my kayaking in Chile so far was a second descent of lower Llancague that I did with a crew of Americans. So much more because I missed a must-catch eddy and ended up running a crazy 100m slide blind. Not many things scare me a lot in kayaking anymore and I must say that this mistake made me a bit more anxious than I’m used to get on the river. Though I was wandering at the bottom if scouting this rollercoaster ride wouldn’t actually make me even more nervous.
While kayaking was much better in December, I must complain about all the effort it took to get all the licences, papers, cards, visas and who knows what else to work here in Pucon. It made that month that much more nervous for us 3 Slovenians. Most of the troubles and demotivations we went through were unofficial though. Being a foreigner looking for a job on rivers of Pucon will end up with some people (even officials) telling you it is impossible for you to get all the permits, to get the work or even to apply for it, for whatever the reason they might think of at the moment, be it language, visa or just not having the official translation of a certain paper needed for application – even though a lot of appliers have fake ones, but “psssss”, don’t tell it to anyone as they won’t be checking that. But “c’est la vie”, nonetheless this is Chile, so everything is possible, you just need to learn to do it South American way: “tranquilo”. Everything will come natural afterward.