Lee Royle

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21 – Figueroa & Back Home

The Figueroa is a 70km river down yet another beautiful valley, and meant to be a nice easyish paddle.

After some pleasant grade III, there was a nice IV section with some fun moves and one very stick hole that gave Sandra quite a beating.

We thought that there was a final gorge with some harder rapids before it entered a lake at the end, but after a few hours we ended up at the lake with no more whitewater to be found.

We found a nice beach to camp on, made a fire and enjoyed our time being in the middle of nowhere.

The following day we paddled to the road, and sat hitching for a lift.

Luckily we packed a set of cards, as it took 7 hours before we even got a lift, and waited another 2 hours for the car to come back. Turns out it’s not a very busy bit of road.


The following day we arrived back at Futaleufu and settled down to finish off our time in Chile with 3 weeks of chilling out in the sun, having asados, all on a great river with loads of other kayakers.

Having to head back to the UK to sort out our next adventure, Rory and I said our goodbyes to Futa, sold our boats and kit, and started the long trek home.

Driving back up to Pucon, we stopped there to sell our car and then get a bus up to Santiago airport.

As we were mooching around at the hostel waiting for the evening bus, the owner informed us that the town was being evacuated as the volcano was starting to get a bit too active for comfort, which did explain the dark clouds and smell of burnt toast.

We got on our bus north, and a few hours later the volcano blew its top!

As we were on the cheap tickets, we ad a good route home via Panama, The Dominican Republic and Germany before getting back to the UK.

Some extreme chilling out, some Hurley sessions and sitting around followed whilst we planned details for our next foray to Nepal and India.


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