I don't know when I will have the chance if ever to really do this trip justice but it was so amazing and inspiring and life changing. I know that's a lot to say... but it truly was. You can see some of our funny antics below... I'll meet you below the photos to catch you up on some details.
So we all flew in to Quito the evening of the 26th. There were 12 of us there ranging from 18-30 all having worked teaching boating at some point or another... for some of us (hello) it's been longer than others. On the 27th we had an early breakfast and then drove to San Francisco de Borja outfitted some boats and immediately put on the Cosanga river. It was a how shall I say... a bit of a wake up call for some of us who haven't been in boats for a while. The water was bigger than the guides thought it would be so what is usually a class III- turned into a III+ and IV river. Welcome back to boating!
The next day we drove to Tena which was about 2 hours away. Tena is lower in elevation so it was much warmer and the water was a bit friendlier. We stayed there until New Years Day. So while in Tena we did some big water runs and some creek runs as well. But overall it was so so so so amazing!!!! Yes that is 4 so s and 4 exclamation marks!!!!
In Ecuador there is a tradition where men dress up as women... and then you give them money. It's something about father time leaves on the old year, and leaves a widow and a baby (the new year) so the men all dress up in drag. So on New Year's Eve we walked through the street and danced with boys dressed in skirts. Light up glasses and bunny ears and some true Ecuadorian fashion helped us 'fit in'.
There are so many rivers in that area and such a variety which was super cool!
And yeah, life changing. It made me remember how much I freaking LOVE boating! I have not been in a boat consistently since 2004! Holy crap that's a long time! So I felt like I did really well considering those facts! 7 years is a long long time. It made me think about whats next for me and maybe that answer needs to have some more accessible water. I don't ever want to go to worlds or to be a super proficient Class V boater but I would like to be a comfortable Class IV boater which I think is within my grasp if I were to take some time and just go for it.
So maybe that's what 2012 will bring. Going for it! I'm definitely going for SOMETHING. It's just not clear what direction that will be... I will tell you more as I know, but yeah. I can see the fork in the road that's coming. I'm just not sure which way I am headed yet.
Safely in London now. And I flew in and got a note from my boss saying that I don't have to work tomorrow so I get to do all those errand things (sim cards and home stuff etc). But also I get to walk around one of my favorite cities and enjoy the day.
More to come!