Select Page

Looking back, our recent trip to Ecuador was on-par with some of the best trips I’ve ever been on. It followed the motto that some of the best things in life come without planning, and started with a phone call into Marty Cronin, less than 3 weeks prior to our departure. Initially we had planned on a Corsica paddling trip in April, but one thing led to another, and… well, 3 weeks later we’re sitting on a plane heading to South America on our way to meet with Chris of Endless Adventure International, and Don and Darcy of Small World Adventures.

Over the course of 7 days we paddled a mix of creeks, rivers, and jungle runs off the Eastern slope of the Andes, from Tena on north to the Columbian border. Flows were optimal on most of our runs, and we got lucky with high flows on the classic Upper Jondachi run.

Besides paddling great rivers and falling in love with Ecuador, this trip was also the beginning of my love affair with the Villain. Until now I’ve been a huge fan of the Hero for river running, and prior to the trip had not paddled the Villain. But after paddling the Villain on day 1 of our trip on the Jondachi at high water , I was sold. Mostly I was impressed with its speed, it’s ability to punch through holes and boof, and its overall predictability. I’ll be adding the Villain to my quiver for the 2011 season – stoked!!

Huge thanks to Don, Darcy, and Larry from Small World Adventures for food and lodging, boat rentals, and letting us tag along the Rios Escondidos trip for 4 days. It was a treat to paddle with you guys and spend time at the Lodge. Everything about Small World was top-notch and as pro as it gets, from the logistics to the food and to the rivers we paddled. You guys rule!

And special thanks to Chris Ryman of Endless Adventure International ( for the perfect start and end to our trip. The high water Upper Jondachi run, the overnight on the Hollin, and afterhours in Quito were definite highlights.