We have just received the tragic news of the death of René Larraguibel, one of our very few travel friends, whom we have on our journey in South America. René died in a dune rally (“Rally Clausura del Desierto”) with his buggy, which he always pulled behind his expedition vehicle.
We met the Chilean René at his Hotel Terral in Vicuña, Chile as an incredibly reflective, sensitive and attentive person, even though we were only able to experience him for three days. How he spoke Spanish for us very slowly, how kindly and warmly he helped us with our planning for our onward journey in South America and how kind and altruistic he welcomed us to his hotel, simply overwhelmed us. Since we met him 10 months ago, we’ve – deeply impressed by his personality – talked a lot about him in his absence and also tried to match our travel plans to his own. Unfortunately without success. René was one of three friends we won in South America, as we are rather individualist overlanders. We call him a friend, even though we were only allowed to experience him for a few days. Sometimes the emotions are crucial, not the quantitative amount of time spent. He was a very fine person.
This very sad message has made it clear to us how quickly the excitement of overlanding and the associated adventures can be over. But that’s why we enjoy every minute and are deeply grateful. Thank you, René, for the short but lasting enrichment of our lives.
Our sympathy is with Karen, his lovely wife, who got injured in the buggy accident, but has survived well.