Paralysed from the chest down, Karen Darke tackles an epic kayaking expedition with her partner, mountaineer Andy Kirkpatrick. This 2008 expedition was a tremendous feat of endurance and determination. Paddling 40km per day through icy sea water, Andy and Karen faced tidal races, island narrows and fearsome white water rapids as they attempted to kayak to the San Rafael Glacier in one of the most remote and least visited areas of Patagonia.
With just the strength in her arms to keep her upright, Karen knew this would be one of her most difficult challenges yet. But with Andy injuring his back just before the trip, making it difficult for him to walk or lift anything at all, the trip proved to be more challenging then either of them had anticipated as Karen explains;
'It squeezed us dry of every last drop of energy, and then demanded more ... Each night, I dragged myself through barnacles and crabs towards bivvy spots that might keep us safe from the unpredictable tide, and Andy crawled around, chopping small logs to roll the kayak up the beach ... Any comfort we’d taken in our adventure being safe, given the proximity of the film crew on their boat, the ‘Natuiluca’, disappeared on day one, when they lost us, our white double kayak just a speck amongst the expanses of breaking waves. We felt vulnerable, all too aware that under ‘non-filming’ circumstances we would never come to such a remote man-eating place without other kayakers, believing some safety in numbers.'
This great film really captures the essence of adventure and the beautiful landscape of this remote World Heritage Site is a reminder of how breathtaking our planet truly is.