Friday Photo – Loading the dug-out canoe – in Ecuador

Today I’m joining in with the Friday Photo at Delicious Baby to bring you a photo from my travels with a story behind it.

As you may know I spent three weeks travelling with friends in Ecuador last October (I can’t believe it’s over a year ago). Part of the trip was a 10 day river journey we took down the Rio Bobonaza in southern Ecuador from Puyo to Kapawi near the Peruvian border where we flew back by light aircraft.

This is the photo of our canoe being loaded for the initial leg of the trip down to the village of Sarayaku. Our guide Luiz had hired the biggest dug-out canoe on the upper river, but we still couldn’t quite believe that all our rucksacks, food, tents, not to mention 5 of our party, plus 4 boatmen could fit in. Oh yes, then there was the lady with her toddler who also hitched a lift with us at the last minute.

As it had been raining heavily for the previous couple of days, the river was high and fast-flowing, and we were all feeling a little nervous. When we mentioned life jackets, our guide Luiz, who had clearly not expected the water to be so high, got a local to cut down some logs of balsa wood for us to cling on to if we capsized. Then he suggested we take off our wellington boots when in the canoe, as if we capsized, they might drag us under. If we went overboard, he advised, we should not fight the current, but just let it take us to the riverbank. We never quite knew when Luiz was joking and when he was serious! Luckily, we didn’t have to make use of his useful tips and made it safely, in record time down to Sarayaku.

Related posts
Sleeping in a canoe in Ecuador
Catfish and Anaconda on the Rio Bobonaza in Ecuador
Kapawi ecolodge at the World Travel Market

See all my photos of Ecuador on Flickr
Read all my articles on Ecuador

See all the other Friday photos over at Delicious Baby


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  • Reply
    December 12, 2008 at 2:57 pm

    These Ecuador pictures are so interesting. My friend spent 5 weeks there this summer and it’s nice to see some of the things she’s mentioned.

  • Reply
    December 12, 2008 at 5:03 pm

    Eek! What a great photo and story Heather. This is why we travel, right?

  • Reply
    December 12, 2008 at 5:37 pm

    This is really cool, but I can’t help thinking – what were the mosquitoes like?

  • Reply
    Kristi - Ciao Bambino
    December 12, 2008 at 6:05 pm

    Your photo brings back such great memories! I lived in Ecuador for 2 years and did a similar trip and I vividly remember the 7 hour motorized canoe trip up the river to the rustic lodge. The monkeys swinging through the trees and the caiman lounging on the banks at night made the thought of the return trip a little easier.

  • Reply
    Angela Nickerson
    December 12, 2008 at 6:07 pm

    Wow! What an adventure! You are a braver woman than I am. Ciao!

  • Reply
    December 12, 2008 at 10:06 pm

    Amazing trip! Thanks for sharing the story and photo 🙂

  • Reply
    December 14, 2008 at 8:53 pm

    WOW! What a story! I don’t think I could have gotten in the boat after hearing that. Great picture!

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