A Perfect Playground

This was my third consecutive year on the Futaleufu with Private Journeys. Why did I go back? I didn’t need a reason! The only thing I hadn’t done on the previous two trips was the cliff jump: I was so afraid before and couldn't bear to even look over the edge. Each year I said to Diane, "Looks like I will have to come back next year to do it..." Now I have done the cliff jump and have lost my excuse to return but I will still go back to the Fu anyway, it is a magical place.

Of my three trips, this was the best: The river was just right in terms of water level and dynamics. Our last day on the river was wildly exciting and adrenaline charged. You paddle through each challenge the river throws at you and they are many and varied: Sometimes there is no water at all and you are paddling air because the boat is raised up on your side; sometimes the water is heavy—really heavy like treacle and you feel the pull on your arms and shoulders; at other times the water is so soft each paddle stroke is as gentle as combing a baby's hair. The rapids come and things get serious—you get tossed around a little, you get soaked right through and you get to feel more alive than you ever have before.

When I think of the Fu I think of the bluest blue water and the effervescent quality of it, those champagne bubbles rising to the surface. It is a perfect and pristine playground. But always, the best part about these trips is the people I meet and the many experiences we share. -- Danielle

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