Ecuador Trip Report

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kayakmamma
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Name: Lorraine McPhee
Location: Arlington, Texas

Ecuador Trip Report

Post by kayakmamma » Tue Feb 05, 2013 2:23 pm

Ecuador Jan. 10th-20th, 2013 A grand adventure for a Texas girl! :grin:

Day 1- Flew into Quito, Ecuador, the airport is 9,500ft+ ($997).The city is located on an incredibly rugged mountainous slopes. Took a cab ($8) to my $6 hotel. BRRR –COLD shower!

Day 2- Took a cab 1 hour to Cumbaya ($10). Then took a bus over a mountain range 3 hours to Baeza ($3). Spectacular drive- mountain and cloud forests, paramo, waterfalls, and deep river gorges.
I found my guide, Abe Herrera, owner of “Boof Sessions”. He, Dominick, and I then paddled the Baeza to Borja section of the Quijos river. Giddy Up! The level was the low end of high. This was an intense beginning. It felt a bit more challenging than the Cheoah 4/4+ sections. I had 4 combat rolls, walked one long rapid, and ended the day with a swim right before the take out. The swim was out of a hole, in a land of holes, in a long rapid Abe has named, “Fight Club”. What an amazing, scary, fun, and awesome day! Easily beyond my ability, smashed several body parts, but I survived.
That night we soaked in Papallacta Termales (hot springs) and ate fresh trout and empanadas. Heavenly!

Day 3- After pleading with Abe to take it down a notch, he and I paddled the Upper and Middle Cosanga River . This 4- section of river was INSANELY GORGEOUS! Boulder choked and creeky, I loved it- it was so fun. Two days with Abe, boat, lodging and meals: $240.

Day 4- Found my way back to Quito and met up with the DeRiemer’s, of “Adventure Kayaking”. 15 paddlers (who became dear friends) and I headed back over the mountains to Borja. We broke into three groups. My group geared up and headed to paddle the Quijos –Chaco Canyon Run. Guide Andy Round (owner of Precision Kayaking) and Matt Terry (of Ecuadorian Rivers Institute) were our guides. My group had four men, plus me. Tons of great instruction, and fun! Today’s focus: the forward stroke. Every day we had instruction on and off the water. This was not just being guided down rivers.

Day 5- My group and I paddled the Cosanga River-Middle and Gorge. The Gorge was challenging 3+-Class 4 and out of this world beautiful. If I could do any river run again for the rest of my life-this would be it.

Day 6- We paddled the Quijos River, this section included “El Torro”. I blew my initial ferry but caught an eddy, and then had a great run down. I started celebrating at the bottom and flipped in a hole, dangit. We all packed up and headed to the jungle city of Tena.

Day 7-We drove to the Piatua River, but it began pouring rain-the river became insanely unrunnable! So we instead paddled a creek which can only be caught with a sudden crazy intense downpour-the 2+-3+ Inchiyacki. Then we got on the Upper Mishaualli. 3+-4-. Following a swimming break in the very beautiful Mish river, we were greeted by monkeys on our hike out. The jungle was so spectacular-we saw indigenous petro glyphs, & countless birds and flowers.

Day 8-We paddled the Middle Jondachi (Hun-DAW-chee) river. The beauty of this river gorge is nearly indescribable. Boulder gardens abounded, and canyon walls-interspersed with veil waterfalls- were laden with massive ferns. Today was a tough and challenging Class IV day. We scouted a lot, and the river was steep and dropped out below us. I ended up in my second swim of the week—following getting off line and landing in a patch of boulders that I pinned (gently) upside down in. I walked the next rapid. Following a grueling and GORGEOUS hike out (luckily porters carried our boats out for $4—crazy women) we all packed up and headed back to Borja.

Day 9- We paddled the Upper Upper and Middle Mishaualli. This was very fun—and beautiful. After running the gorge, I ended up pulling off sick :sick: (you don’t want the details)-I had a fever and was weak, so spent the rest of the day sleeping in the van.

Day 10- Last day paddling: I tiredly flipped my way down the Chaco Canyon section of the Quijos, a repeat run. We then all packed up and headed back to Quito. We stopped at the hot springs and soaked our tired bodies en route. It was a sad goodbye following a touching group farewell meal.
Eight day trip paddling with Adventure Kayaking: $1495.

Day 11- I flew home to good ole Texas, and then promptly slept for two days. Awesome trip!!!
I learned a lot, and met lifelong friends. My guides Abe, Andy and Matt were the very best! I can’t wait to go back to Ecuador. :crossed: I loved the people, the beauty, the food, and above all the rivers!! Hulabulita!! :beer2:
Lorraine McPhee

"Catch every eddy, Surf every wave"

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Jim E
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Re: Ecuador Trip Report

Post by Jim E » Tue Feb 05, 2013 6:07 pm

Purely AWESOME!!!

Color me jealous!!!
Just living the liquid lifestyle!!!

Jim Enns <*)))))))))><

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okieboater
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Name: David L. Reid
Location: Jenks, Oklahoma

Re: Ecuador Trip Report

Post by okieboater » Tue Feb 05, 2013 11:23 pm

Great trip report.

Over the years I have been on a lot of trips with Phil and Mary.

Just great to be around and paddle with.

Have not been down lately but have made 5 trips down there over the years to boat with Phil and Mary. They and that area grow on you and you want to go back. I bet you go back! Are they still using that little German hotel in Quito? Really neat place to stay.

Upper and Lower Mish are my favorite areas out of Tena and anything around Borha is good.

Glad you enjoyed it.

The road over the pass is something else!
The road is paved now on the other side of the pass. On my first trip there that section was one lane dirt with zero guard rails. They were building the pipeline and had these huge lengths of pipe being hauled by a 18 wheeler modified tractor unit with a set of wheels on the pipe at the end. Some poor guy on every unit we saw was wearing goggles with a little hand held walkie talkie riding on a board seat suspended on the back of the pipe. His job was to tell the driver when the pipe was not going to make a turn. Amazing to watch them do their deal. Something like that would never happen here in the states but at that time at least anything that worked was ok in EC.
Okieboater AKA Dave Reid

We are not sure when childhood ends and adulthood begins.

We are sure that when retirement begins, childhood restarts

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BHK Okie
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Re: Ecuador Trip Report

Post by BHK Okie » Wed Feb 06, 2013 12:13 am

WOW Lorraine !!! Sounds like me on the Mullberry :oops: I wish wish wish but I'm just glad to be able to hear the story . I'll buy you a cold beverage or two , to hear the rest in person someday . Thanks for sharing that . :clap: :clap: :clap:
TN

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BHK Okie
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Name: Terry Nixon
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Re: Ecuador Trip Report

Post by BHK Okie » Wed Feb 06, 2013 12:16 am

WOW Lorraine !!! Sounds like me on the Mullberry :oops: I wish wish wish but I'm just glad to be able to hear the story . I'll buy you a cold beverage or two , to hear the rest in person someday . Thanks for sharing that . :clap: :clap: :clap:
TN

Liz Caldwell
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Re: Ecuador Trip Report

Post by Liz Caldwell » Wed Feb 06, 2013 7:53 am

What a wonderful trip and trip report. I knew it was going to be awsome because you are awsome and so are the DeRiemers. I live vicariously through you!
Liz

L.A.paddler
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Re: Ecuador Trip Report

Post by L.A.paddler » Thu Feb 14, 2013 3:59 am

I was finally able to sit down and read your your trip report Lorraine. You had told me about it some, but more of the details tend to come out in a good ol trip report. I am so happy for you that you where able to make this trip. It sounds so incredibly beautiful and exciting. Maybe next time I will get to go with you?? I need a trip like that under my belt.

Cheers, Terry

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