Kayaking In Chile

I saw the unfortunate news on TV a few weeks ago that the co-founder of North Face died of hypothermia in a kayaking accident in Chile. The story really hit home because I was at that very moment downloading photos I just took while kayaking in Chile. JeffreyKayak1 I could understand the hypothermia part. As you can see in the above image, my hands were wet and felt like ice cubes. And if I got into trouble here, it would have been a long time before help would arrive. There was absolutely no cell phone coverage. Plus, it was a three hour ride up a bumpy, dust-covered dirt trail into the snow topped Andes Mountains. I have some crazy GoPro footage of this drive that I’ll hopefully have time to assemble soon. Andes1 Andes4 The water was freezing, and the strong winds continually pushed my kayak away from shore. We got the photos we needed, but I was soaked, tired, and felt like an popsicle. Unfortunately, the way the schedule worked on this trip, we needed to head straight from this adventure to the airport to catch a flight. Andes2 I changed clothes in the vehicle as we bounced back down from the mountains, packing my wet items in plastic bags I brought along. Luckily the plane was mostly empty so I didn’t have to stink up the poor person that would have been sitting next to me. Andes5

Moscow

While I was in Moscow Travel+Leisure Magazine announced that the 2015 Unfriendliest City in the World is… Moscow, of course. A quick shopping trip or two will confirm that the reputation is somewhat deserved. But not everyone was a sourpuss, and the city was actually more exciting than I expected. Moscow-1 There is a new, modern downtown area that is mostly empty and worth avoiding. The classic spots like Gorky Park and Red Square are still where the action is. St Petersburg, Russia The area around St Basil’s is now one of my favorite places for people-watching. I started off photographing the architecture of the Cathedral, but soon found myself documenting the swirling circus of selfie-sticks. If you ever want to see a slide show of tourist behavior in the wild, just get in touch. St Petersburg, Russia A spot that is a little off the beaten path is Fallen Monument Park. It’s a loose collection of statues, signage, and symbols from the old Soviet area. Moscow- fallen monument park Yes, I did take a tour of Lenin’s Tomb. The line to get in is quite long in the morning, but it was worth the effort just for the spectacle of the whole thing. It was creepier than I anticipated, and handled with a deathly seriousness. I definitely didn’t take any photos because there were guards posted every 10 feet, looking to pounce upon over-eager photographers. Sunset over the Moskva River in Moscow