Here is how Team ERA cooks up a winning Christmas Recipe:
1. Put together a good group of friends, many of whom have paddled with us (many times) previously. And we have them join us for Christmas 2007 here in Ecuador.
2. Survive the holiday travel nightmares getting out of the States (we wont go there!) and land in Quito, Ecuador for a week of paddling, biking, touring and having fun!
3. Enjoy some great paddling here in Ecuador. Make sure there are multiple options each day so that there is a choice of just how much to push the fun meter. And if paddling is not number one option for the day, then grabbing a bicycle, or hiking into a gorgeous waterfall, fishing or hanging out and playing with the monkeys is an option. And for paddling, add a bountiful supply of rain to make for some stout runs. The Upper Cosanga, the Upper Mishaulli and the Quijos awesome days on the river!
4. Make sure Christmas is a memorable one. How about gathering around for a delicious Christmas turkey dinner, all the while making sure that the monkeys dont try and join in!
Lucio, Lucas and the churangos were Santas helpers for our Christmasthat would be Lucio the spider monkey, the white-faced Lucas and the bully churangos. Santa had some bad boys to help him here in the Amazon.
5. Then to top things off, add some variety to the trip. Start with a boat trip down the Napo to visit an indigenous community where the experience of a shamans healing power is be experienced (as well as a sip out of the chi cha bowlthe local beverage of choice for the indigenous).
Then a bike trip down Cotopaxi, followed by a trip to the Mitad del Mundo (literallythe equator), and fnally a post-Christmas shopping trip to Otavalo, the largest indigenous marketplace in Ecuador.
Merry Christmas to everyone at home. We hope you had as great of a holiday as we have. Enjoy photos of our week of paddling, exploring and having fun here in Ecuador!