We’re not surprised by people’s desire to return to Ecuador, we’ve been coming back since 1995! This place is amazing. And our Jan 26th trip was dominated by Ecuador alumni, some from previous years and two from the prior week (you’re allowed to do that you know).
Mike W. and Mark B. used the afternoon between trips to relax and site-see in the Quijos Valley. They ventured, sans kayaks, to San Rafael falls. At 435 feet, it is the tallest waterfall in the country.
Joining us from our neck of the woods in California were Scott B. and Nini R. This was Nini’s second trip to Ecuador and she brought her husband Mike P. along. They celebrated a double birthday with a warm water run on the Quijos! Here for his seventh time, Bob B., a C-1er from Arkansas, was accompanied by his partner Jonna, yet another Ecuador alum! Last minute additions, Matt C. (alum) and Arianne M. rounded out the group.
Four guides and two vehicles allowed each member of the group the flexibility to choose the river option that was best for their daily energy level and mood. Team DAK was supported by guide/instructors Matt Terry and Jaime Dalgo. Lucky us!
Weather-wise, it was starting to feel as if the “dry” season had really arrived. Water levels registered at friendly flows and choices abounded. Our warm-up run was part of Chaco Canyon of the Quijos River. The following day we all had fun on the warm-up section of the Cosanga. Part of the group continued downstream through the Cosanga Gorge with Jaime Dalgo and Phil, while Mary and the rest of the gang headed back to finish off and play our way down Chaco Canyon. The full day left everyone feeling tired and super satisfied.
On the Tena side we first hit the Upper Misahualli. The higher you go on this run, the steeper and more technical it gets. Multiple access points allowed everyone to choose the degree of challenge desired.
The Lower Jondachi/Hollin, Jatunyacu, Piatua, and an optional jungle tour rounded out the rest of the week in the Tena Valley. Returning to Borja, some of the group repeated the Lower Cosanga at a much higher flow. The group compared the difference in water levels between the two runs to the height of a large bottle of Pilsner!
Best of all for us, at the end of the week there was talk by many of returning next year for more of what Ecuador has to offer. Bob B., tired of lugging his C-1 through the airport year after year, left it here with us in storage. It looks like he’ll be hitting trip #8 soon!