headwaters of the Quijos River.
Ok, we are all back from Ecuador now and are trying to ease back into our lives here in the US. Our goal for this spring and summer is to keep this blog focused on Ecuador, which should be fairly easy as we have so much material that we didn't have time to blog over the last season.
This blog is dedicated to the water levels down in Ecuador. People often have a hard time grasping just how quickly things change there. We often say, "well, we'll tell you the plan tomorrow morning after we see if it rains tonight," and people think we are just full of it. But, honestly, the rivers can fluctuate feet in a matter of hours.
On one of our latest exploration missions, we were at the same bridge over the same river three days in a row. I've got a series of 3 photos here to help you see what we mean by fluctuating water levels in Ecuador.
This was the water level on day 1. Please note how high out of the water the old bridge supports are, and how many boulders are out. We took this photo at 2pm.
We took this photo at 10am on day 2. Please notice that you cannot see any supports or rocks (ok, you can barely make out the tops of the supports, but this is a heck of a lot more water!
Day 3, 11am. Not quite as low as day 1, but the river dropped considerable in only 23 hours.
The great thing about getting different water levels, is that paddlers in Ecuador get to experience all kinds of different paddling. Each water level offers its own unique characteristics that give Ecuador its outstanding reputation for having tons of variety. This wave that Don is surfing, for example, only comes out at high flows.
Whereas this boof that Don is boofing only comes out at low flows. So whatever the water level may be, there is always something great to paddle!