Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Small World Adventures--Beach Surfing, Torrents, Mucha Agua--Feb. 7th Revisited

Thanks for sending in the photos everybody.
Below another visit to our Feb 7 Torrents/Mucha Agua combo and Beach finale.

Sorry it's taken some time to post this stuff, we've had the pictures for a while, but have been busy adjusting to life back in the US again. (well, skiing). My legs are too sore for more turns now, so here's some photos from life in the tropics.

Trees and boulder gardens on the Upper Mishualli

Matt boofing a falls on the U. Mis.

Some of the gang eddied out in "the cave"

Peter boofing "Bobsled"

The monkey that beat us to the take-out bar

Back at our lodge for the end of the week, the Quijos came up a bunch. We got to finish our week of rivers with a stout run from "Cheesehouse" section of the Quijos, all the way down to our lodge for one last take-out.

Kevin heading for the staging eddy in "Piggly Wiggly"

Charging downstream of Bridge 1

After a week of fun boating the rivers of Ecuador, some of the group had to head back to jobs and family in the US. A few lucky ones had more time to play, so we flew to the beach to get in some surfing
Beer in the hand, and toes in the sand. Between surf sessions that is.
Aaron on the break in front of our beach cabins

We rented a local fishing boat to take us out to a remote point break

Carvin' and dodgin'


We had some good rides, and some good pummelings
(I think EJ dodged the bullet on this one)

Surf, sunset and sand.
What a great way to end a week of paddling, and to recharge for more North American winter!

"really, you can climb back into your boat out here!"

posted by Don - sneaking a moment on Darcy's computer.


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Small World Adventures--Winter Whitewater--Class III Trip Part 2

Thanks to Ben and Erica for getting me some more photos, so I could create a part 2 to their blog

Before putting in on the Jatunyacu River, we took a little side excursion up to an amazing Granite bedrock area of the river (much different from the geology just half a mile downstream where the river is wide-open and full of gravel bars). The Jatunyacu, often called the "Upper Napo," is the last free flowing, major tributary of the Amazon in Ecuador. It drains from the Volcano Cotopaxi, and above the popular kayaking and rafting sections is extremely wild. Erica is enjoying a smooth place to sit and soak in the scenery.

Jarret also enjoying a little scenery between rapids. Behind Jarret LLANGANATES NATIONAL PARK, which is rumored to be "home to one of the most exotic and inaccessible regions in Ecuador." Throughout history, explorers have been attracted to this area in search of the elusive gold of Atahualpa, which according to the legend is hidden in the Llanganates. I am continually amazed that in as small a country as Ecuador is (about the size of Colorado), with as many people as it has (13 million), there is still so much land that is essentially inaccessible to all but the most tenacious bush wacker!

Len, paddling his way down through the Upper Misahualli. We are lucky that so many great rivers are accessible to us. But then you think of the immense possibilities that lay out there...inaccessible...

Barbara and Don tackle the Rio Quijos in the shredder. Barbara spent most the week taking kayaking lessons, but she thought it might do her good to get the adrenaline flowing for a couple days in the shredder.

Ah, yes, tropical boating at it's best. Erica going kayaking in ONLY a capeline top!

Monday, March 09, 2009

Small World Adventures. Kayaking Ecuador's Best Class III

Our last trip of the 2008/2009 season was a group of paddlers who came to Ecuador to enjoy the country's best Class III runs. We spent half the week in big water, half the week on low volume creeks, and found some fun distractions in between.

Near the small town of Cotundo, in the Napo Province, we founds some beautiful Macaws. Here a Scarlet Macaw and a Blue and Yellow Macaw enjoy each other's company.

Rich O. from Massachusetts on the Upper Misahualli

This was one of the technical runs we did this week, and was one of the favorites amongst the group.
Dave from Alberta rips it up at Hatless Hole on the Jatunyacu River

Rich is trying out another sort of water craft. I think he really appreciated his Pyranha Seven-O after this experience!

Just another canoeist

Ben from West Virginia showing off both his kayaking skills and his fine wood craftsmanship (yeah, he made that paddle himself).

When not kayaking or making wooden paddles, Ben enjoy monkey whispering. This was a pretty brave move for Ben--playing with this monkey like that. Just 2 days before, in the town of Tena, his wife--Erica--was brutally attacked by a monkey. Ok, brutally attacked is a bit of an overstatement (but it sounds cool), but she did get caught in the crossfire of a kid teasing a monkey and ended up with a monkey bite on her calf. Don't worry though, she healthy, happy, and recovering well from the "incident." And, while this does make for a good story, it is not a "normal" part of our itineraries:)
Parting Shot

I think we always need reminders to stop and enjoy the small pleasures in life--like swimming!