river waiting for us.
We ran the Lower Jondachi River. I had a bit of a rough start, got stuck on some rocks and
kind of pinned my hip. I let go of my paddle and boat and Bob and Shaun rescued the gear.
Thanks guys! The rest of day was great, we ended up on the Hollin river where you can do
an overnight jungle kayaking trip. A few days earlier a group from Edmonton had done the
Hollin when it was in flood and a couple of people lost their boats and had a few
unpleasant nights in the jungle with no food as they were walking out.
We drove up to do the Upper Anzu River but there was a roadblock by the Quijos Indians.
They wanted money but Luis, our taxi driver thought it would be dangerous and we should
turn back. Scotty didn't understand why --there were eight of us and five of them,
"ocho y cinco no problema" he said to Luis. But then more Indians came out of
the bush with machetes so we took off to do the Upper Misahualli instead. Derrick had
taken a day off so he hired a flute player to play at dinnertime back at the lodge. The
music was awful and they wanted 3 times the amount of moola they quoted Derrick for.
At our lodge Scotty and Kevin were always hunting down cockroaches, cutter ants, geckos
and slicing the bark off mango trees with their machetes. They would even take their
machetes in their kayaks for the opportunity to slash some jungle on the river. Scotty had
spotted a water snake on shore above a significant rapid and decided to eddy out and chase
We left Tena and headed to Baeza, which is out of the jungle and 10,000 feet in altitude.
Luis told us of a taxi driver who had his cab stolen and was killed by a Colombian man in
this area. His wife still had to make payments on the car. We ran the Cosanga river (IV)
and had a fun run but my shoulder is still paying for that hole thrashing.
We met up with Adam a friend of Jeff Lewis who was paddling for 3 months in Costa Rica and
Ecuador. He ran a 50 ft waterfall and broke his nose on the paddle. Later we went up to
the Papallacta hot springs , which had a series of hot pools and a
decadent restaurant and lodge. Everyone
was freezing, Scotty was wrapping his jacket around his ears and Kevin begged to go back
to the jungle in Tena.
The next day they ran the Rio Quijos (IV-V) which was another river high on our list. We
headed back to Tena except for Derrick who was leaving to the Galapagos Islands with
Shannon. In Tena we saw an incredible parade that began the week long festival. Kids and
adults were Spanish folk dancing and the amazonian floats depicted their close connection
to the jungle.
On Saturday we went to see the bullfights. There were many bullfights, but for the finale
they picked a smart, feisty bull , so smart it figured a way to escape through the same
gate the matador uses. It was hilarious seeing the crowd dashing in all directions as the
bull tore through the parade grounds. They had to lasso the bull and drag him back in the
ring. He escaped 3 more times, so they gave up on him and picked another bull, this bull
wasn't as smart - he died.
We went back to Quito and shopped and bartered for all kinds of weavings, silver jewelry,
and wood carvings. Our day to leave was a bit of a panic because Bob got the departure
times mixed up. We thought we were really late so we flagged down a whole bunch of taxis
and finally got one that would take our 3 loaded kayaks on the roof. We piled on in and
put our arms out the window to hold on to the kayaks as we high-tailed it to the airport.
It was a bit of a rush, and then our plane was 5 hours late! We'll have to have a talk
with that Murphy!
Hasta La Vista!!!