Thursday, October 26, 2006

One Last Cold Snap Before Heading South

Larry has now been in Ecuador for nearly a week, and he is psyched! The new bridge to our lodge is completed, the water levels are great, and he says the hummingbird watching on the porch is better than ever. Our first trip of the season begins on November 4th. It is a kayaking/rafting class IV combo trip, and we have a great crew signed up. Don and Larry are looking forward to this excellent start to their season. Don is leaving soon for Ecuador, and he has been doing some preparing of his own for his season down on the equator. He sometimes wonders if he really appreciates Ecuador enough. It is often easy to take for granted the joy of paddling in a shorty top in the middle of December, then lounging around in shorts and a t-shirt afterwards. But, this year is going to be different, and Don is going to appreciate the hell out of Ecuador when he gets there. Don's training regime for full appreciation involves lots of suffering in the cold rivers and weather of British Columbia. First, is a portage on the Ashlu River that involved full-body submersion into the glacier fed river. Nevermind that the air temperature couldn't have been over 50 degrees.

Next on the list, a 4-day trip to Skookumchuck (this only half counted since we did have one day of sunshine while we were there). Nonetheless, Don did his share of surfing in the wind and rain, and worse--camping in it afterwards.

Then, one more day of river kayaking before heading south. After breaking all the ice off of the tent in the morning, we unrolled our dripping wet drysuits, and headed out for a run on the Upper Elaho. After that take-out, Don was ready to hang up his drysuit and poggies for the winter, and bust out that shorty. At least for his first month there, he won't underestimate the beauty of 70 degree water and 80 degree air temps in the middle of winter.
Have fun down there Don, don't forget your sunscreen!

Stay tuned for some actual photos

FROM Ecuador,

and a report from our first trip.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Heading South

Larry here, getting ready to leave for Ecuador next week. Lots to do when you leave the country for five months and looking for the best airfare took up a big chunk of time. Marcelo at America's Travel got a great fare for me especially considering I am leaving from one city and need to return to a different one, not to mention I am staying for what the airlines conside a long time. Some sample fares I found on the internet for shorter stays are listed below. They all are in November, roundtrip to Quito and depart on Saturaday and return on Sunday nine days later.
Denver $676
LA $508
Atlanta $603
Miami $461
N.Y. $540

Delta is now flying to Quito from Atlanta and I think their entrance into the market is keeping flights cheaper. Try Marcelo at and tell him you are traveling with Small World and see if he can't get an even better price.

As far as flying a kayak to Ecuador, the only airline that we have found that says it will take one is LanEcuador, phone 1 (866)4359526

I'm up on my inoculations but if you want some info on what the pros say the CDC's website is One nice thing is that there are almost no mosquitos where we normally run our trips and as far as we know, no one has ever contracted Malaria on a SWA trip. The guides don't take any medications for it at all.

The rest of the stuff I am doing is paying my bills till next year, speaking lots of English and drinking a variety of beers since Ecuador has only one great beer, Pilsiner. Thanks to Cindy and Stacy for the case of Stone India Pale Ale, I'm enjoying everyone of them - sorry Don!