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Casa de Piedra
The Magnificent Futaleufu!

The FuThe Fu (Rebecca Parker)
Today would be a continuation of the day before. We would begin with the bridge to bridge section and then we would add two more rapids-Mas o Menos and Casa de Piedra, both class V rapids. Our crew was feeling good, and Phil was as energetic as ever. By the time we hit Mas o Menos, we were looking like an Olympic rowing team.

Mas o Menos went quick. Before I could blink, I was gulping mouthfuls of the Fu. We paddled hard and had a clean run, which gave everyone confidence for Casa de Piedra.

By the looks of things, it was going to be more than a challenge. The rapid was long and very technical. Phil explained that we would enter with an angle, hoping to catch an eddy on river right before heading into the meat. Then, we would paddle through everything and Phil would take care of the rest. Lucky for us, Phil knows the intricacies of the Futaleufu like a seasoned medical student knows all of the bones in the body. We made it through with a spotless run.

This afternoon we had options. We could spend another day kayaking or we could relax on one of the rafts, which our guides turned into a booze cruise. I opted to kayak. It was a mellow run and we all had a great time getting to know how running water manipulates plastic boats.

We took out a few miles downriver and luckily had warm clothes waiting for us-a few hours in a kayak can make you cold to your bones.

Happy hour began as soon as we set foot in camp and we nibbled on empanadas and sipped on delicious Chilean wine. After a dinner of salmon, salad and the most perfectly-seasoned potatoes, I let the river lull me to sleep.

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