December 4, 2005

Visitation of the Swiss Ambassador

clean up on volcano Villarica:

Anden Sport in Pucon offered us the crampons and the Swiss Ambassador Andre Regli a nice dinner. So we were well prepared for the climb...but unfortunately the weather was really bad. To get an idea, here a picture inside a shelter on about 2000 m. Ernst Regli, the father of the ambassador, climbed with his 79 years in this hard conditions and got in honor to his effort the first TOPtoTOP-Victorinox-Knife.

On the way back to Valdivia we got good information about the Southern Pacific from our friend and sailor Roland from Villarica.

TOPtoTOP event at Alwoplast:

The purpose was to say thank you to the authorities and especially to Alwoplast for this perfect "base camp" Valdivia. Federico Duenner was a big help to organize the event. Together with Elena, Martin and Jimmy we transformed the canteen of Alwoplast into a TOPtoTOP-camp.

There was a short visitation in the CECS where we explained the different projects between Chile (CECS) and Switzerland (TOPtoTOP, PSI) to the ambassador. The TOPtoTOP presentation was at Alwoplast and afterwards we have had a cocktail.

Captain of the fragata Javier Vasquez offered TOPtoTOP their collaboration as soon as we are navigating again and invited us to his mooring in the center of Valdivia.

After a group picture we got another lift by the armada to do a school visit on island Mancera together with our two stars. The children on this remote island enjoyed our visit and we were invited to coffee and kuchen.

Back on ambassadors back to Pachamama where we offered the ambassador Andre Regli and his parents a Swiss Aelplermaccaronae - not without air control!

The following days we spent working, drilling holes, repairing sails and feeding till late at night.

We also have had students from Temuco on Pachamama and went to clean up beaches in Playa Grande and Las Molinos.

Very interesting was also the events together with the Chileanen organisation EXPLORA. Chilren from different schools were participaiting and learnt in games and workshops all about water conservation.

Next week Annemarie, Jimmy and Martin will join us to schools more in the South. - Thanks to Annemarie for helping me uploading the pictures :-)

Note: check climate change report from the TOPtoTOP diving team Dawn & Mike Dorsett on SY White Princess, Suva, Fiji about Australia and the Pacific!

Last news: Salina's right eye got hurt by a bamboo on a 4-days treck. She is now in good medical treatment and her eye will be fine end of this week :-). Many thanks to REGA and ophthalmologist Irmela Mantel!

Very last news: - TOPtoTOP was able to organize money for a building for a school for children with a mentally disadvantage. Many thanks to the Swiss embassy in Santiago de Chile! -> chek the email of the happy board member of this school.

Posted by dario at 9:52 PM

December 19, 2005

Emilia Louise - new TOPtoTOP member is born


Emilia Louise was born on the 3.12.2005, 23.47h, 3140g, 49cm; - the same day we started the TOPtoTOP Expedition in 2002 in Geneva, Switzerland.

Congratulations from all TOPtoTOP memebers to our members and new parents Friederike Pohlenz and Stephan Brunner (Optingenstr.11,3013 Bern, Switzerland)!! :-)

Posted by dario at 3:45 PM

December 20, 2005

wilderness and schools

From the wilderness into the desert: Parque National Puyehue:

Northeasterly of Valdivia is the parc Puyehue with the 2236m high vulcano. A 4 days hike brings us over its top to the lago Ranco.

We leave the bus in El Caulle near the border to Argentina. A short walk brings us to the information center of CONAF ( Corpration National Forestal ) in Anticura. Here the rangers Luis Briones and Jose A. Gayozo welcome us very friendly and the deal of mentioning the parc in our report exemts us from paying the entrance fee! We get important informations about the conditions of the path: snowcovered, badly marked trailes to the idyllic valley of the Rio Nilahue! The weatherforecast is good so we risk the ascent: steeply trail through a denth primary wood -bosque valdiviano- with numerous species of trees like tepa, coihue, mano, ulmo,tineo, arrajan and olivillo in denth smaller shrubs. From an altitude of 600m only tepa and manotrees are growing. The deep eroded path is very strenuous! From 1000m on the vegetation changes again and a lengawood with lots of plaits begins. We reache the refugio Puyehue after a 5 hours walk on a nice meadow with a little river for the water to cook with. We put our tents or sleep in the hut with a big groupe of girls-and boyscouts!

After a cold night with little snow we start climbing the vulcano: struggling through big amounts of ashes, where almost no vegetation can live anymore, through deep snow up to the border of the vulcano. The view is spectacular on the TOP!! The sliding down on the snowfields is big fun! On a slowly rising path we round the western side. Steam is coming out on different fields, the so called fumaroles. Hot springs and geysires are found lower down the fields. But it is too late to get there and to take a hot bath! We put up our tents on the northern side of the vulcano where unvisible hot air meltetd the snow and give way to dry ash patches.

A new clear day! The orientation is very difficult, no good maps and a badly marked sign in completely wet shoes!! We are looking for the way to the valley of Rio Nilahue. Everybody is released when we find the small path through the very dense natural cover. We cross the river Contafuerte 7 times sensless to put the shoes off! The path is again and again overgrowth with dense bamboowood and fallen manotrees - we are on a agility parcour! But all of a sudden we reach an old widen path. After 9 hours walking the wood goes over in a lovely meadow, where we spend the night.

A new beautiful day with 27 km to the end. We cross the Rio Nilahue and what a surprise: because of the elections in Chile a bus which collects all the people from the abandonned farms takes us, too and brings us to the village Rininahue on the lake of Ranco, our goal!

Schoolvisit on the pensinsula Corral:

With a wonderful breakfast we were welcomed by the mayor of Corral Mr. Hernandez. He explained us his visions of building an access from the boarder of Argentina to Corral.With several nice presents for Salina we left to go for a speech in the school Escuela Rural La Aguada infront of over 100 students. We were very much impressed about the different exhibitions in recycling, woodworking, composting, making honey, conserving fruits etc. They realy have a very actif board of teachers!
The second speech was in the Escuela Basica Corral. Here the teachers were very interested, too of our presentation. We enjoyed very much the nice lunch, sponsored by the mayor, with a beautiful view over the bay of Corral. On a nice trip along the coast to the south the teachers Sonya and Yorgelina presented us the very beautiful “Reserva Costera Valdiviana”.

Last but not least: We wish you a Merry Christmas and A HAPPY NEW YEAR with many thanks to everybody who helped us to achieve our goals!

1st expedition report of Annemarie :-)

Posted by dario at 5:12 PM