This was the big event of the trip, the kids jumping off a cliff and gliding over the Pacific Ocean for a half hour. In Spanish: parapente. This seems to be popular in adventuresome Chile, but the closest paragliding I could find was in Maitencillo, a 90 minute drive north. Santiago has plenty of options, but not over the ocean. The place I found, Parapente Aire Libre, has a total of 4 Trip Advisor reviews and nothing on Yelp. I’d usually look for more than that for an activity that puts your life in their hands, especially when all my communication over WhatsApp was in my broken Spanish. They even called me yesterday in the middle of my bad headache, expressing some concerns and asking about their ages of the kids. I still don’t know what exactly they wanted, as all of this information was already shared. I knew there was a friendly human named Carolina on the other side at least.
We meandered through coastal town, stopping for sandwiches (very popular in Chile!), in the little town of Puchuncavíl. The launch site was on the top of a cliff, and we found other people flying too, seemingly without dying. Maile offered to go first and loved her 20 minutes floating along the coast. Same for Melina. They were physically attached to Victor, who whipped them around in loops a few times, flying within a few feet of us in the strong wind. I’ll definitely be the first Yelp reviewer, as this was super fun for them, even if the language barrier with Victor made the flight a quiet one. I was surprised that there were no release forms to sign, especially since they’re both kids. It was nice that they had Go Pros that are free to use, for anyone who brings SD cards.
While we were up north, we found Isla de Cachagua, a protected nature preserve that has penguins on it. It’s 100 meters from the the beach, but we walked to the edge and could see over 2,000 endangered Humbold and Magellan Penguins in the wild. I could only think of Sam on Atypical, and how he would have loved seeing them. I’m still not sure how they got this far north, and can’t find any info online.
We walked around another small town, Zapallo, before heading back south to Viña del Mar, where we found a nice beach for the sunset and Mexican food for dinner. It was good, but nothing special. We haven’t made food a priority yet, but plan to tomorrow.
I can’t create any nice photo galleries on an iPad, so all the photos from today are below.