Friday, September 27, 2013

Colombian Summer 2012-13

Ok here we go its been a long time coming but here is a post on our Colombian adventure from October to November 2012, and from March to April of 2013. This trip I spent 3 months in total travelling and kayaking the rivers of Colombia with Pete Lodge, Dan Dunn, Jules Domine, Lachie Carracher and Morgan Arnaud. Turns out Colombia is one of the most amazing places for the perfect climate, affordability, beauty, pure quality of whitewater and an unreal amount of rivers still to be discovered. Paradise has been found!

Dan in the Midst of a sick bed rock gorge on the Rio Corcona- Medellin. First descent.

Park n Hucks near Medellin

We started in a small town named San Gil, The tourism capital of Santander (Central Colombia). We heard there were lots of classic rivers, lots to discover and that it was a fun and friendly town. Perfect place to start! Colombia rafting expeditions found us from day one, they put us up with a place to stay and helped us have the best trip we could ever have with rides and beta on the rivers in the area.
Waiting for our flight
The boys figuring out logistics- Bogota
San Gil

Pete Lodge, Dan Dunn and Myself getting ready for some downtown boating in the sun.

An awesome class 4/5 commercial section on the Rio Suarez
Rio Mogoticos
Sweet action on the Mogoticos
Dan Dunn sending the sweetness

Infernito, Down town San Gil- Dan Dunn lapping up the local 

We found ourselves in a perfect paradise with plenty of quality rivers to run, warm waters, 2 dollar all you can eat meals, tropical fruits and amazing welcoming people. We couldn't pull ourselves away from this place. Throughout the first 2 months of the stay we travelled to a bunch of different areas and sourced out a bunch of new rivers as well as a couple other classics....

Walking into the Lower Cusiana a first D in the Sogamoso area. Classic!

 20km of fun class 4-5 with no portages, First descent of the Rio Cusiana. Pete in his element.

 Group Photo before our epic 6 day multi-day on the Rio Suarez
From left to right, Cesar Diez, Sam Ricketts, Dan Dunn, Jules Domine, Pete Lodge, Morgan Arnaud, 
Lachie Carracher. 
 Suarez Action day 2
 Lachie Carracher getting amongst it

First rapid of the day on day 3

The Rio Suarez is one of the most classic and beautiful multidays in Colombia. We had some epic times with a Morgan (cadox) taking a swim early on day 2. Losing his spray skirt and paddle he ended up walking through sugarcane fields, sleeping in jail cells and hitch-hiking  for 3 days before making back home to base in san gil. Its always an adventure in Colombia! On and off the river.

The first 2 months went pretty quick and it was time for me to head to Mendoza Argentina to begin work for a good friend Mario Mateo, rafting on the mighty mendoza river. My mind was set. I bought a return ticket back to Colombia. This place was too good.


In March 2013 I returned to Colombia for 1 month, in this time i paddled a lot of epic and beautiful whitewater with my buddy Jules Domine, based out of Medellin.

 Jungle time

 Rio Samana, A beautiful granite bowled gorge just a couple hours out of Medellin. The best quality big water I've ever paddled. None stop, epic rapids all day long! This is a shot of Jules standing at lunch spot day 1, taking in the jungle scapes deep in the Samana gorge.

 Play hole on the Samana

The last rapid on the Rio Samana, absolutely epic place.  
Little town at the take out bridge. Getting a bite to eat before our bus back to Medellin
 Jules at the put in of the Rio Caldera, a tributary to the Samana
 A run in the some friendly military at the bridge before we put on made things pretty interesting 

 Epic whitewater and canyon scenes all day on the 'Gracias a dios' Section on the Rio Caldera.

Surfing on the Samana- Photo Jules Domine
A photo of me in the midst of some Samana boogie. Roudy and awesome!! - Photo Jules Domine

All in all I think Colombia is the new hot spot for kayaking in the very near future. Its safe to travel, the people are awesome, and with the Colombia tourism industry growing and growing every year we are going to be seeing a lot of Colombia in the next few years. I cannot wait to get back to get my hands on some of that goodness! If you like big water, warm water and multi-day kayaking expeditions. or just plain old fun creeking with plenty of park n hucks Colombia is for you.
 Jules making his way through another busy bus station in Medellin
 Me on the Rio Caldera 'Gracias a dios' Section. Epic   - Photo Jules Domine
Ready for anything

Pete Lodge looking out over the Chikamocha Canyon

Chikamocha canyon goodness
Packin up for the Samana

Nos vemos amigos, hasta en el proximo año en Colombia!

Thanks to Colombia rafting for the warm welcoming and epic times on our trip, we love you all!!!