Saturday, December 03, 2005

Ecuador 2004

Jan 2004

It will have been 2 years since I paddled the equatorial waters of Ecuador. The last stay was around 6 weeks, half the
time spent paddling, and the other drinking, exploring and getting sick. I wanted my first trip to be well balanced: kayaking, culture, exploration. The kayaking was the easiest to accomplish with an abundance of quality kayaking that seemed to always be "running". The cultural aspect was not too difficult since Equadorians love a chance to grab a few beers and unwind.

In Tena, I met a girl who worked for the
govern- ment. Tena is a great jungle town at about 1300 feet, and provides great access to the amazon. It also has some quality warm water kayaking within an hour away. The photo above is the put-in to the Upper Misualli, the mud section. The hike-in is short but very strenuous. Sinking up to your high thigh on surprise is not uncommon. The girl, she also gave sex-ed talks to small villages down the Napo River in the Amazon. She asked if I wanted to accompany her on her weekend trip...perfect! I had never been in the Amazon, and was excited to have a guide. The bus ride was long as we passed the take-out to the lower Misualli in Puerto Misualli, or monkey town. Then the road ended. It was on the to the river taxi. Long canoes with motors on the back. Miss X paid my taxi so I would not be gringasised, which is uasually a 30% add-on. The ride was a little scetchy in the rapids, as we had a few close calls with water coming over the sides, we were really loaded down. This was taken from the boat. I was near the rear with the woman and children, but close top the operator. His name was supai, which I think meant the devil. He was handing out sugar cane liquor shots, puntas, and also wheeled and dealed water bottles of the horrible stuff. I was offered a shot finally, a threw it back and everybody laughed. Get the gringo drunk. That seemed to be a reaccuring theme throughout my visit. While in the jungle I was asked to be a god-parent of a new baby and asked to help promote a new eco-lodge on the internet.

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