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Mañana Miercoles  8   de Diciembre se celebra el dia  de la Inmaculada  Concepcion  de la Virgen, en donde  muchos fieles  peregrinan hacia Lo Vasquez a  pagar sus mandas  o  a encomendarse a la Virgen. En lo que al patin respecta,  es  un  dia  espectacular para  patinar  por la Ruta 68  ya que la cierran por completo eliminando  a  todos  los  vehiculos,  permitiendo asi  que la gente tenga  un viaje  seguro y  libre de accidentes .  Este  año, y  por segunda vez consecutiva, Pipo y sus  amigos viñamarinos  van  a  documentar su  viaje  al Santuario en la tabla larga.

Este  año la comitiva  se ha equipado con mas de   4  camaras, contando con algunas HDs  y POV , para registrar desde distintos angulos   y de la mejor calidad posible toda  la travesia desde  la salida del tunel Zapata hasta  Lo  Vasquez. Este  proyecto  tiene como  objetivo  crear un documental en donde se muestra  la peregrinacion desde el punto de vista de los longboarders de Chile.

Despues de realizar  la primera travesia  en el año 2009,  Pipo envio un reporte escrito a los amigos de Loaded pero no fue publicada, aqui por primera vez salen   a luz  las palabras que narran el viaje  (por motivos de  tiempo no la traduje  … pero pronto estara disponible en español ) .

Just Being There: The Lo Vasquez Experience – Buenos Tiempos en Chile.

Longboarding has the unique quality that it’s an end by itself. We often do things –means- to pursue something valuable, we take the long road to get to an end. So I guess we can consider ourselves blessed if a piece of wood,on top of two metal parts, with four rubber wheels, can make us so happy. Of course longboarding is much more than the cartoon I just described, but, on the other hand, is much simpler than many things in life. This story is not about gnarly hills, epic light speed descents, technic maneuvers or fancy gear. It’s about the pure joy of longboarding, about the feeling we can only understand. About JUST BEING THERE.

December 7th, in Chile, is truly a gift. Route 68 is a highway that goes between Santiago (Chile’s capital) and Valparaiso & Viña del Mar (main harbor and main touristic city). On every single day of the year it would be suicidal even to think about riding its perfect asphalt, kilometers of open downhills and defying mild slopes extensions. Heavy traffic most of the day. Hundreds of trucks, buses and cars go through the 120 km length of Route 68. But December 7th stops time. Because of a religious pilgrimage for the “Lo Vasquez Virgin”, this huge playground gets closed for traffic and, for that one different day, people make Route 68 their own home.

Felipe warming up before going down (that’s why he’s not wearing his helmet). Notice the speed limit sign. It’s a highway!
It all started outside Lo Prado tunnel on 4.00 pm, December 7th. Lo Prado tunnel is one of the two tunnels on Route 68 and is near to Santiago. Besides the fact we knew it was closing at 5.00 pm, it was a normal traffic day. But gradually traffic went down and our expectations went up. The waiting was eternal. For some minutes there were no cars and we wondered if the moment had come, but then traffic started again. For several times that happened. But our patience was rewarded when we saw the first guy on a bike. It was it. Our ride couldn’t start better. It was the perfect ride. 6 km of highway downhill with perfect asphalt on a sunny day with good vibes around you, no cars at all. It’s not the same to ride a narrow road or a highway. You have the feeling you can let go, you have the certainty everything’s gonna be alright, you enter a deep state of relaxation with no worries at all. You can do what you want on top of that holy board.That’s why, from the first day we started longboarding –just 7 months before that day- my buddy Felipe Perez (the other creator of Chirimoya Alegre) and I planned to fully seize this day to have a transcendental longboarding experience.

Ready to go.

Pipo setup: Loaded Dervish flex 2. Randal 180’s. Orangatang Durians 83a.

Felipe setup: Sector 9 Bomb Hills. Randal 180’s. Sector 9 race formula 76a.

Felipe puuuuuuuuushing. Just  notice  his happy face!

Then we rided inside the tunnel! That’s something you don’t do very often, plus it had a slope. We were the only guys with boards and people couldn’t believe it. They were all with fast road bycicles, but everyone was happy and cheerful. We spent the night on the hillside just with our sleeping bags and hay matresses.When we got to the bottom we honestly couldn’t believe it. It was hard to not shout our joy out. We rested a little while and started pushing. We had a 30 km push ahead. Although my Flex 2 Dervish made the pushing a little hard (my support leg was killing me), it was amazing to ride there. The road had an imperceptible slope that made it much easier and enjoyable. And there was no rush. We kept a steady pace but took a lot of time to eat some empanadas on the side of the road, buy some beers in Curacavi and drink them watching the sunset. Night was a little harder, we had to do some serious uphill. We walked almost 3 hours with our bags and boards. But we had time to stop again on a food kiosko to eat chicken-mayo-pebre (Chilean chile) sandwich and drink hot coffee.

Outside the Zapata Tunnel. That night was a little cold

On the morning we woke up at 6am. At 7 we were going down a 12 km non stop foggy downhill, carefully cause our skills were limited, but we had a safe and fun way down. Then we had a 40 km push ahead, but we weren’t in the mood for that. So we hitchhiked back home.

Now it’s amazing to look back and have done that. This year of course we’ll be there again, but this time we’ll have bateries in our cameras to documentate such an amazing experience. We made a lot of novice mistakes (such as not charging our batteries before… oops!), but you have to do things first to be able to perfect them.

We first thought we sure were going to face angry pilgrims with torches for these longboarders, but we met exactly the opposite. Just good vibes from lots of different people. It turned out just fine. Our motivations had nothing to do with religion, but if a virgin can give such an amazing experience, maybe we should keep our eyes and minds open.

Dream, plan and ride. Just be safe. We don’t want accidented riders to be in the local newspaper. And remember, always wear your helmet…

Pipo Estay, Chirimoya Alegre.

Este  proyecto me interesó demasiado pero por motivos  de fuerza mayor no podre asistir… de  antemano  agradezco  la  invitacion  de Pipo. Le deseo el mayor  de  los  exitos y un  muy buen  viaje!




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