The last time I was in Ecuador we still went to internet cafes to send emails, their currency was the Sucre and I had been boating for about 3 years and was paddling a Wavesport X. I worked for a local rafting company as a guide and safety kayaker. This year I returned in my 21st year of kayaking, the Ecuadorian economy is now based on, and uses American dollars, everyone has smart phones and I’m co-leading my own trip with Juliet from Endless River Adventures/Rio Quijos Lodge. It was really fun to go back after 18 years and acknowledge how much has changed, especially the abundance of amazing single-source chocolate being harvested and produced in country. I’m always a fan of chocolate!
The paddling was still as awesome as I remembered it with a lot of variety and easy access. I’m grateful to the 8 women who joined us for a week of paddling and yoga based in the Quijos River Valley. We had a fabulous week of Class III-IV boating, laughing, eating, sharing, yoga and so much more – there was some dancing and flute playing as well as some wildlife rescue. Over the years many men have jokingly (and seriously) asked if they could wear a wig and come on one of these trips, and for the first time in Girls at Play history a man took on that challenge. Craig Parks wasn’t afraid to don a wig and paddle with the ladies – he shared his years of experience paddling Ecuadorian rivers with us as well as his insightful tidbits of instruction. Only a real man could handle that!
Here’s what the ladies had to say to me about the trip:
“Thanks for leading a great trip. It was truly fun paddling with great women!”
“Thanks again for another amazing trip. These trips are such transformative experiences”
If you haven’t had the opportunity to kayak in Ecuador yet then definitely put it on your list! Thanks Juliet, Craig and the beautiful Rio Quijos Lodge for hosting and showing us your world. Thank you to the wonderful ladies who joined us, some of whom have paddled in several countries with GAP, and with whom I always feel honored to share these experiences. Our 2017 dates are already up so you can start planning your Ecuador adventure with us! Click to here view our calendar. Enjoy some photos from the trip and see if you can find Craig and the wig!