When in Ecuador our trips don’t go anywhere without Edmundo Franco. He has been our driver for the last thirteen seasons and he literally holds our lives in his hands. Jump on a bus or in a cab just about anywhere in Ecuador and within minutes you will have your heart in your throat. To the uninitiated, the driving style seems somewhere between the running of the bulls, road warrior and a game of chicken. With a plastic Jesus on the dash and a Dios es mi guia (god is my guide) sticker on the back window, many drivers plow down the road with a false confidence that can leave you considering an ox cart for your next trip. Not so with Edmundo.
Ed’s driving style is in keeping with his persona, he has a quiet, gentle and patient nature. Our boating time is sandwiched between his work, so he starts and finishes the day driving. He knows the put-ins and take-outs like the back of his hand and on more than one ocassion we’ve double checked with him to remind us how long a particular run will take. He sends us off with a thumbs up and “buenas suerte”, waits patiently while we’re on the water, worries like your grandmother and greets us at the take out with a smile as he collects everyone’s paddles. Then he drives, sometimes it’s just ten minutes to our lodging, other times it’s two and a half to three hours over the hill. Luckily for us we can nap knowing that Ed’s at the wheel. Thanks Edmundo!
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