Thanksgiving in Ecuador

Oh yea, I’m very thankful to be down here. I woke up today to clear skies, a great view of Sumaco Volcano which is halfway between our cabins on the Rio Quijos and Tena. I think I can speak for our group this week that they are thankful to be here as well. Yesterday at the take out I heard 2 ¨Best paddling day ever¨ and another¨I loved this river thanks for bringing me here¨. It has been an incredibleable week so far. We haven’t followed the published itinerary for a class III plus trip, but that is the beauty of knowing the runs down here. We have jumped around a bit to hit the best water levels on different rivers. In fact we have done FIVE RIVERS IN FOUR DAYS.
Day 1: Picapiedra run on the Rio Quijos, putting in at Cabanas Tres Rios and running down through Picapiedra. The river was up so we had some exciting runs and rolls in Pica even after scouting. We finished off with a cartwheel session at the sala honda playspot.
Day 2: >It rained all night so we headed to the Upper Misahualli. After a warm-up on the technical run below Archidoan we put in at El Renten and paddled down to our river side lodge for the night. It was an outstanding super technical day of paddling followed by evening entertainment provided by spider monkeys playing Tarzan in the trees.

That is Step’s red helmet, nice wa-thunk!

Day 3: We switched it up again with a big water run on the Jatunyacu. Hatless hole was in and Steph got the biggest ride of her life. Nick kept saying each rapid had the biggest wave of his life till he got tired of saying it.
Day 4: We went big today, about twenty miles on the lower Jondachi and Hollin. This is probably the most scenic run in Ecuador with nothing but jungle the whole way. The Lower J. is fun continuous technical paddling and after about two and a half hours you hit the Hollin and the volume more than doubles. Big pushy drop pool with some great play for those who aren’t too tired. Jeff taught Nick the back deck roll at lunch and he was hitting it pretty good on the run down. He maybe should have tried it sissors but that is a story he will have to tell.

Today we are off to paddle the Quijos above our lodge (CTR). I’m already looking forward to grabing a beer and a shower then challenging Nick to a game of horseshoes. Best of all Lili is cooking up her famous thanksgiving feast. I hope you all have as much to be thankful about as I do.
Pool rolling with mokeys in the trees.

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