Monday, March 31, 2008

Back In the UK..

One of our first priorities on arriving back in the UK was a new kayak mobile..
Si, settled for a gorgeous Nissan Primera estate..which even came with roof bars.
She hasn't been named yet. But she did have her first kayak outing yesterday when we headed to Wales with a few friends to hit Cheryl's first Welsh ditches.

We paddled two stunning gorge ditches with numerous waterfalls. The Nedd Fechan and the Mellte. Both of them Welsh classics.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Trip Statistics

We have come to the end of our World trip, and we thought people might be interested in a few statistics on our trip.

10 Countries we visited
359 days we travelled
128 different Rivers paddled
160 days paddled
0 Swims for Simon...and we leave you to guess Cheryl's
47 Books read during the trip
3 sets of sunglasses broken / lost
128 hours spent travelling on buses
2 vans owned
28,250 miles travelled in these vans
35 different friends paddled with along the trip
17 different hostels stayed in, in 7 different countries
70 blogs posted while travelling
2 Watches broken
2 bikes stolen
1 PSP left in hire car(Doh)
1 Bag still MIA with BA
Amount of gear broken 2 spray skirts, 2 neck gaskets, 1 pair of shorts, 2 pairs of booties, 1 pair of creeking gloves.
0 boats broken... YIPEEE!! 1 boat sold..Si's first creek boat to be sold before breaking (Burn)
0 Pounds / dollars paid for Kayaks on flights
0 tins of spam eaten in desperation

Don't stop reading the blog, we will have UK updates coming soon!!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Pura Vida

Returning to Costa Rica after 4 years came as a bit of a shock. It didn't seem as cheap as before, particularly having just been through South America. It seems on a par with the US pricewise for many things.
The low water levels turned the trip into more relaxation than paddling...shame as we had hoped to end the trip on a paddling high..(hope UK has some good water levels.)

We met up with our friend Ferdinand who accompanied us on some river trips. We had hoped to do a overnight trip on the Chirripo Atlantico, but unfortunately were thwarted both times by logistics and injuries.

We based ourselves out of Turrialba for a few days, and paddled some classic Costa Rica rivers, the Orosi, Reventazon, Upper and Lower Pacuare , and even safety kayaked for a day for a rafting trip.

Turrialba is still relatively untouched by tourists, On one particular day..A horse parade closed the entire town down. The idea of the parade is for local cowboys to come and show off their horses..most can do wonderful spanish prances. Cheryl got a treat when she was asked to ride (prance) a horse up the street. There were over 500 horses in the parade... later in the evening many of the horses were with the cowboys outside many of the bars, it was quite a sight.

Due to the lack of rivers we headed out to Quepos / Manuel Antonio. We managed to paddle the labyrinth section of the Naranja, which is a great low water gorgey option.
The remainder of our time was spent relaxing, enjoying the scenery and taking in the abundance of wildlife in Costa Rica... we saw sloths, agoatis, cawatis, lots of monkeys, lizards and huge iguanas. One Iguana has taken to enjoying the local tico food on the beach.

Our trip is sadly coming to an end, Tomorrow we fly home to blighty...It been a wonderful 12 months. Its gone fast but the memories will last a life time.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Amazon Adventures

For the last two weeks we have been enjoying ourselves in Ecuador. Eric and Chris, our friends from the US flew down to join us for a couple of weeks boating in the jungle.

After arriving in Quito, the capital, we headed out to Tena, one of the jungle towns that we based ourselves at. Our group swelled to six when we were joined by Alan and Emily. Logistically Ecuador is a great kayaking destination.

Each day, our taxi driver Oswaldo, would arrive at the hotel, and load up with boats and people. He’d drop us at the put in, and then pick us up hours later at the take out. Having door to door service really made things easy.

Eric was very disappointed that the rental boats promised all turned out to be broken, and the only alternative was for him to paddle a pink Dragorossi boat.

We paddled all the established rivers in the area, as well as a newly discovered run, the Piatua, which is becoming very justifiably popular.

One river of note that has got much worse is the Lower Misualhi, which now has a grueling 2 hour portage around a waterfall, that used to be a simple scamper along the rocks!!

In addition to the fantastic rivers in the area, we marveled at the wildlife. At our Hotel we were frequently visited by pygmy monkeys, and we took in some of the more exotic species at a wildlife park, where a monkey took a great liking to Cheryl.

After more than a week in Tena, we moved to Baeza, where we paddled many great sections of the Quihos river, and its sidestreams.

The paddling in Ecuador may not be as hard as some other locations, but it more than makes up for it in sheer consistency. Miles and miles of class 4 boulder gardens. We paddled six different sections on the Quihos river, covering about 30 miles. There’s plenty more that we didn’t have time for.

More Pictures are posted up on Webshots, Use the Our Picture link to the right to get there.