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A fantastic trip on the Bic Jungle from Iquique to Arica, Northern Chili:
David Dvorquez is a Chilien sportsman (surf, windsurf, kitesurf et SUP), who is a member of our Chilean distributor's Team riders. They recently lent him a Bic Jungle for his endeavour which he entitled: "Iron SUP 7X7".
During the month of November 2008, he took off on our Bic Jungle to paddle from Iquique to Arica, North of Chili. Paddling 7 hours per day, he reached his detination in 6 days, having covered 250km on the Jungle.
This was a unique surftrip, which David Dvorquez did on his own, totally without assistance, during which he was able to admire the beauty of the Chilean North coast and bring to attention the importance of preserving this beautiful part of the world.
We set out below the interview he gave Chilean journalist Victor Rebodello. A video of his trip can be downloaded on this link.
Before starting this interview with David Borquez, it's important to point out certain facts. The use of a wooden board and a paddle was already common practice among the native Hawaians to go from one shore to the next. The board used nowadays is longer than a surf longboard, and legendary surfers such as Dave Kalama, Kelly Slater or Laird Hamilton have started using it recently. All these surfers are very physically fit !
Talking about fitness, David Borquez's training took 8 months during which he paddled up to 12 hours a day to prepare for this trip.
Has anyone ever done such a trip before ?
I searched on the internet if anyone had done a solitary trip like that, but I didn't find any such account. There's usually an accompanying boat.
When did you start ?
On 20 November 2008, I chose to leave when the sea was choppy as it iis more difficult to last 7 days in calm waters. I knew it would get calmer in 2 or 3 days' time. My idea was to do a "Iron Surf" 7 hours a day, covering 30 km approximately. et j'ai préféré partir avec une mer agitée car il est plus difficile de durer 7 jours par mer calme. With my GPS I was able to know where to go ashore. I'd start off at 7 o'clock in the mornings, paddle until 4 o'clock in the afternoon, then go ashore to stretch my muscles.
How did you manage for food ?
As I was restricted weight-wise, I had to take just the minimum of food and water, but I had enough to eat thanks to the sea food in the area. I also met fishermen who'd invite me to eat with them. So food wasn't a problem.
What was the most spectacular during your trip ?
I saw a shark attacking a sea lion. I presume that the only shark that jumps is the white shark, but it was truly a shark. It was too quick, but typical of the kind of thing you see on TV, when the sea lion jumps out of the water. Luckily he managed to escape from the shark. There were other fantastic scenes, like whales, dolphins, penguins, groups of sea lions. And especially seeing how animals react to the morning sun, as if they thanked it every morning.
You weren't afraid of the shark ?
Since childhood I've had a particular relationship with the sea, so I'm not afraid, but that kind of hunting situation did make me a little bit nervous, although I do think that the dangerous sharks are not those in the sea but in the streets.
How did the people react to you, at your different stops?
I stopped in Pisagua, which was crowded, then on a beach ; Caleta Buena, where I was on my own. And in another place where there a lot of fishermen. In general, people were really nice to me, and even wondered if I had been shipwrecked.
How long did your trip take?
At first I had estimated it would take 7 days, but because I couldn't go ashore in a rocky area (Iquique/Arica is for the most part made up of cliffs), I had to do two stretches in the one day, so my trip took 6 days in the end, having covered 244 Km according to my GPS.
Did people help you, like a sponsor ?
Luckily yes. I am 43 years old and that kind of sport is not very usual, so I don't attract that much interest from businesses, but some people believed in my project, Nautisport for example, who lent me the board and the paddle - that alone costs 1 million and a half pesos (1850 Euro approximately) - and Ventura Sport who are a company doing energy drinks, also the town of Arica, and the sea.
One of our journalists is always talking about how wonderful that part of the coast is, but for the majority of people of Arica, those gifts from nature are completely unknown ; what do you think ?
We have extraordinary places that are not reachable by road, because unfortunately man has left its mark. I don't know what kind of body can protect these sites, but they have to be preserved, as they are magnificent. Here in Arica there is the beach Chinchorros and the Puntilla area where 100 to 150 tortoises used to stay up to a few years ago. To think that there are places that people pay to see that.
That area should be a natural preserve. Opposite that area, there is a dolphin who has opted to stay there for the past three years, and at this time of year more come, it's a luxury we have in Arica.
What are your final thoughts after this trip ?
First, that all one wants to do can be done. Next, that we have a magnificent coast that must be protected. I thank God, nature, the sea and all those who enabled me to do this incredible trip.
Have you plans to do something similar again in the near future ?
I don't know exactly; I will endeavour something with a friend of mine, as it was a success with my sponsors; they have asked me to do a similar project again.