Even after 14 years, it is still part of our program to do a familiarization run down the rivers of Ecuador before starting a trip—just as we do in Costa Rica even after 20 years. In Costa Rica it is because the rivers change routes like a lady changes her mind….in Ecuador the rivers do not change as much, but they still do and noting these changes is part of our job. Truth be known, rarely will you hear a complaint from the team down doing the scouting week. Take this week in Ecuador:
View on the commute to the “office.”
Heading out of Quito on the way to the Oriente snow-capped Cotopaxi peeked out to welcome us back. The drive over the Pass and into the Quijos Valley is always spectacular.
We had already heard that the country is in a bit of a drought. While it is devastating over on the west coast, by definition drought in the Oriente is a whole different weather pattern than what we are used to in the United States. It tends to mean that it has been raining “not as much” as normal. So coming over the pass to see the Quijos at a low level inspires a much different sentiment than at home: Relief. You don’t run out of water in the Oriente, it just means the rivers are not as “fluffy” as normal. And low water is a much better sight than the big booming Quijos we sometimes drop off the Pass to find.
Arriving in the Oriente, we opted to hop on the Quijos for the first day back on the water. And it was so much fun being back on the Quijos that we went twice as far as we had planned. The stretch through Pica de Piedra was actually easier at low water. But once we entered the Canyon, as is typical with canyon runs, much of the run was more difficult than it is at higher water; enough so that we hopped out to scout at Toro (the rapid we refer to as Logan’s Leap). And for the first time since our first year and Logan’s run through the rapid, we came down and leapt over Logan’s hole (okay, boofed it, but let’s keep with the namesake). Not often that is going to happen. [missing photos here since we are waiting replacement camera equipment]
Angel was up above and caught a few photos of us coming down through the canyon.
And tomorrow we have to get up and go to work again.