First week in Ecuador!
Well It has been a week since I started travelling to Ecuador, although it felt like it took a week just getting here. As the kayaker I am, I am always looking for the cheapest air fares and this trip was no exception. The cheapest way for me to get to my first winter destination of Ecuador was to travel from Toronto to Mexico city, then connect onward to Quito, Ecuador. Now on paper that seems like a simple route, but actually getting to Toronto would be my first hurdle, its a four and a bit hour drive from where I was staying in the Ottawa Valley. My flight was at 9am, so I would need to check in between 6 & 7 am. Which would mean leaving around 2am. Getting someone to drive me at 2am was, unsurprisingly a non-starter. But I did manage to get a ride the evening before arriving at the airport at around 11pm. Score. Just a seven hour wait until I could check in, which actually went by fairly quickly. I slept a little and when i woke up it was practically check in time. I manoeuvred my boat bag which weighed around 40kgs and my large bag (around 24kgs) through a labyrinth of lines, successfully check-in, ready to pay the extra fee for my "windsurfing equipment" (the airline I was flying doesn't take kayaks, but does take a wealth of other large sports equipment) and as luck would have it, the check in person forgot or chose not to charge me anything, simply instructing me to head over to oversized check in. WINNING!!
The first flight was also very lucky as I was asked shortly after sitting down if I would like to move to an exit row seat with more leg room. UGH YES PLEASE! crushed through the first flight and made it to Mexico City Airport. After navigating the challenging customs process of Mexico I collected my bag and my boat, which I was very happy to see had made it with me on the first flight. Then I negotiated my 60+kgs of luggage from the down stairs to the upstairs of the airport, which I can tell you is no easy feat. Then I settled in for the worst part of my outward journey. The 11 hour wait until my next flight. That is a really really long time to be waiting in an airport. Once I finally got on the plane I slept until it was some kind of mean time, then slept all the way until I arrived. In Quito I was fortunate enough to have get through customs fairly quickly and delighted to see both my bag and my kayak. Score.
Chris at Endless Adventure International who had organised for me to come down to Ecuador and help safety kayak some of his trips, had kindly organised a shuttle driver to collect me at the airport. Wilo, (who it later transpired was the like the guy to know in this area of Ecuador), came to collect me and we headed off to the Endless Adventure base, named the Ponda Rosa. A sweet house on the bank of the Quijos river.
I arrived in time for breakfast and then hit the river, since then I have paddled every day, there is tons of fun whitewater to paddle here, and I am stoked to be spending some more time here.
Some downsides, for some unknown reason my camera has inexplicably stopped working since my arrival. After hours of google searching it seems the small battery that regulates the internal clock may have died and need replacing, but so far I have not been able to get the right battery. This does mean all my pictures are gopro only. Bit of a bummer as the landscape here is epic, but hopefully I will be able to get the right battery or get my camera to a repair shop in the next little while.
Anyways thats all I got for now. Stay tuned and if you aren't already make sure you are following me on Instagram (@seth_ashworth), I am probably updating that the most right now.
Keywords: Ecuador, Endless Adventure International, Kayak, Kokatat, adventure, creeping, fun, kayaking, travel
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