Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Happy Valentines Day

We are jetting off to London England for a long Valentines weekend this year and running off on another trip made me realize I had never added photos of our last adventure. So finally, here are some photos from our most excellent trip to Chile in December. We rafted one of the world's top rated white water rivers - The Futaleufu and then ran off to Easter Island to party with the giant heads.

This past Sunday I got Lori an early Valentines Day gift - a new HD LCD television. Yes, I'm fortunate enough to have a wife who prefers hi-def to flowers and chocolate. What neither of us enjoys are trips to the emergency room which is what we got when our existing 35" TV crushed three of Lori's fingers when we were moving it to the floor. She panicked and yanked her fingers out which just ripped two of them open causing quite a bit of blood. We thought one might be broken, as did the triage nurse, but x-rays proved us wrong though she did need three stitches. So if anyone out there is looking for a used, blood-stained TV - I might be able to help you out.

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Saturday, December 22, 2007

Back from Easter Island

AF and Moai on Easter IslandThe transition from the thrills and adventure of Patagonia to the relaxation and tropical paradise of Easter Island took some getting used to, but we had a blast during our time on Ilsa de Pascua or Rapa Nui. There were a lot fewer American tourists on Easter Island than in Patagonia but everyone we met, from Rapanui natives to tourists from Japan, Europe, New Zealand, Chile and more, were all extremely friendly and it was great fun to witness Larry the Lizard fever sweep the island. We learned tons about the Moai (the giant stone statues) and saw hundreds in various states of construction, destruction and restoration. The society that carved them was around for a couple thousand years, but nobody is still sure how they moved them from the quarry where they were crafted (they weighed 75 - 86 tons each) or how they mounted them once they arrived at the Ahu (ceremonial platform). The period of the Moai ended with tribal warfare and the toppling of each clan's Moai.

3 storms happened while we were awayComing home to the below freezing temperatures and 2+ feet of snow was quite a shock. Once I get through the Patriots - Dolphins football game Sunday (when the Pats go 15 - 0) and Christmas I'll get going on posting the best photos of the nearly 800 we took.

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Saturday, December 15, 2007

We Survived the Futaleufu

Greetings All,
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!!!

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Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The Next Adventure: Chile

Later this week we will jet off to Patagonia, Chile for a white water rafting trip on the Futaleufu River (affectionately known as The Fu) - complete with Class 5 rapids which is as insane as rapids get and something we've only seen from afar until now. The trip is with Earth River who have a very cool interactive web site that lets you see video clips and photos from many different spots of the trip. I just posted the itinerary so you can read about some of the totally sick things in store for us. After surviving Patagonia we fly another 6 hours into the Pacific to visit Easter Island - this is the most remote inhabited place on earth and home to the giant head monuments (Moai). This is a trip I've dreamed of since I was a kid and saw a comic book where the Moai pulled themselves out of the ground and started running amok on people. Can't wait to see that! Also think photos of Larry The Lizard (who is of course accompanying us) on Easter Island will be just about the sickest Larry shot imaginable.

Happy Holidays!

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