Las chicas sólo quieren divertirse – translated:  “girls just want to have fun.”   And the Girls Seven + keith did it in style for the last week of paddling of 2011 – making Ecuador their destination.  Over and above six days of awesome boating, this group can claim the titles of first, last and unusual.

the Girls Seven + Keith Trip - all smiles!!

The title of first: the first official group staying at the Quijos Eco-Lodge and Reserve.

Enjoying some downtime at the Quijos Eco-lodge

The title of last: the final paddling group of the 2011 season, finishing with a blue sky day on the Cosanga River on December 31st.

Last paddling day of the 2011 season: blue skies and fun!!

And the title of unusual: with the makeup being seven women. and Keith. A typical kayaking trip in any country is usually made up of more males than females.  And while we have had so many amazing women join in on the trips over the years, this was one of the first that we had to remember to say “ladies – and Keith.”

The Girls Seven+Keith Ecuador Trip

The paddling in Ecuador this week was definitely more high water than low.  In fact, several of the group had been here for previous trips which some folks called “drought years.” We have always corrected paddlers that there is really no such thing as a drought in Ecuador.  At least when referring to southeast paddling, a drought is when the rivers run dry and there are few-to-almost no paddling options.  In Ecuador, a period of unusual lack of rain just means that the rivers run lower and the creeks have rocks showing.   Everything was a bit fluffy this week!

Jatunyacu means "big river" in Quichua - this week it was jatun, jatun, jatun yacu!!

As with all of our trips, this week was a chance for sharing time with friends and for making new friendships. There was lots of personal challenges this week, roll work, river reading, surfing, and just plain fun.
Over and above the paddling, this adventurous group took advantage of enjoying more of Ecuador than just the paddling: Susan is studying spanish from one end of the country to the other, Mary went exploring from Cuenca to Cuyabeno, Keith and Andrea are exploring Baños, and Wendy and Jeorgia explored the over looks of Quito and the teleferico. And Maren is kayaking.
Following is just a snapshot of the week. Make sure and  enjoy all the photos of the trip.
Thanks so much for an awesome week Mary, Maren, Susan, Shelbi, Jeorgia, Wendy, Andrea; and of course Keith!!

In addition, Mary has shared her photos for the group to enjoy…..