Reason #6 we love Ecuador–AND, Nov. 21st-Dec. 5th trips

quREASON #6 we love Ecuador: We are famous here! While we are just some regular scum-bag kayakers in the US, in Ecuador, we are muy famoso (we’ll at least in the Quijos Valley that is). We were cruising around the town of El Chaco when this Quijos bus pulled up in front of us, and low and behold, there was a huge poster of us rafting with Memo, Lili and Eduardo during the 2003 Chaco Rafting Race. Even though it was Memo, Lili and Eduardo’s first time rafting, we came in 1st place baby!

Ok, though, onto our last 2 weeks of trips. Over Thanksgiving, we had 2 dudes from the UK, and 2 ladies from the D.C. area. Despite their cultural differences:), everyone gelled well together and we had a great week! Above Jeannine is leading the way through the rapid in front of our lodge while her trip-mates look on. Crazy Jeannine–7 days of paddling in a row wasn’t enough for her, so she paddled 2 more days on the Potomac when she got home beforing going back to work! Way to get after it Jeannine.

People often get to our lodge and ask us where to go for good bird watching…we’ll I’d say just stay put, grab some coffee and sit on the porch–those birds will come to you. I walked out my door one morning and came face to face with this Mot Mot. Not a bad way to wake up!

Here is Bob (from UK) paddling his way down the Quijos River. At 75 years old, he ranks in as our oldest guest to date. But don’t let his years fool you, he still gave us all a run for our money! Not only did he keep up in all the paddling, but he beat most of us to the river the day we did the Lower Jondachi hike in (about 30 minutes through the mud and intense jungle heat)! Keep up the good work Bob!

And, here’s Anne, again on the Rio Quijos, approaching the Pica Piedra rapid. Anne won the “toughest chick” award on this trip (well, actually the toughest person boy or girl award really), but we’ll let her tell the story. I’ll just tell you she is one tough cookie, and you don’t want to mess with her!
Besides the Quijos River, we also paddled the Upper Misahualli, Lower Jondachi, and Jatunyacu Rivers during their trip. Even though everyone in the group can paddle year round at home, Ecuador was an excellent respite from the cold air and cold rivers at home! I mean, come on, who doesn’t want to paddle in the tropics when it’s 35 degrees at home?

And last, but not least, the Midge-Miester. Dave joined the UK/DC crew for his first week in country and then stayed on for a 2nd week of private boating with Don and Darcy. Here he is rocking the Upper Jondachi–way to go Dave!

And here is the entire crew at the take out of their last day of paddling. It was bitter sweet–on the one hand a great end to an even greater week of paddling, on the other hand everyone had to go their seperate ways.

Here’s Marco our taxi driver for week 2 with Dave. I love this shot of his truck with the building clouds in the background. This photo was taken on top of 8,000 foot Guacamayo Pass.

Darcy on “Slots of Fun” on the Upper Misahualli.

Don, testing the weight limit of an Indigenous bamboo bridge


Hector, the newest member of Small World’s kayaking team!
He got his first lesson 2 weeks ago, and he’s psyched:)

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