The head guide was a 27-year-old Chilean named Humberto, who was fantastic. The other guides, also all great people, were Derek (24, from Ireland), Tora (19, from Norway — a champion freestyle kayaker and Derek’s lovely girlfriend), Adam (20, from England), and Santi (24, from Chile). A fun group, and surprisingly mature for all being so young!
Ex Chile also has an AMAZING chef named Luz. She learned how to cook from her grandmother, who was the personal chef to the president of Panama before being poached by the Prez of Peru to be his chef. An energetic, warm, funny, loving woman who made us the best soup we’d ever had.
There is also Rosi, a great woman who helps run the camp. She is married to Chris Spelios, a former Olympic kayaker who pioneered white water kayaking down the Futa and founded Ex Chile. And there’s Rosi’s mom, often seen in the kitchen and around the camp, who everyone calls “Abuela” (grandma).
The food overall was spectacular — Luz knew dishes from all different parts of the world and never disappointed. Soup after a cold day on the river, homemade cinnamon hot chocolate in the morning, salads, fresh watermelon, arroz – we are missing Luz big time.
Ex Chile also had a private garden about a 20-minute walk/hike from the camp with fresh fruits and veggies. We hiked up to the garden with Derek and Thomas and picked carrots, herbs, raspberries and more. Jill was in heaven.
[Parents, please skip this part] Several creeks and streams feeding into the Futa are pure glacial water and safe to drink. Cold, fresh, pure delicious agua. But check back with us in a week to see if we have ghiardia.
Your faithful correspondents