Chasing waterfalls

The city of Banos, Ecuador is known for its thrills, including some that just seem silly and nauseating like putting yourself in a ball that rocks like a pendulum while spinning.  From the menu of activities, Lindsey and I choose canyoning not fully knowing what to expect yet still having confidence we’d love it.  And like any good adventure, it starts by putting on all sorts of gear.  We have booties, wet suits, helmets, harnesses, carabiners and more.

We know we’ll be repelling down five waterfalls, a measure by which I try to control my anxiety levels as we go.  Heights aren’t exactly my thing, but when being pelted by a strong waterfall and controlling my descent by feeding rope through closed hands, at least I have some things to keep my mind off of the 3-story tall waterfall.  With that, I can report that by waterfall number 5, I felt much more confident, but I’m pretty sure I was still gripping the rope roughly 10x stronger than I needed to.  All of my muscles are sure to be sore from this one.

Throughout the adventure, Lindsey chooses to be afraid during the times when I’m not.  We take turns.  She checks and rechecks every piece of gear we put on.  Takes a while, and I’m not sure it makes her feel too much better, but it is something to keep us busy.  By the time we get to the top of the waterfalls, however, Lindsey settles into her role making me feel better about what we are about to do.  She is able to zip down most of the waterfalls and even graciously captures me in action as it takes me about twice as long to get down.  Thanks Linds!

Jorge de la selva y el Rio Napo

The views from the Napo River are of the same jungle we trekked through yesterday, but this new perspective makes them seem even wilder.  The species of trees and plants easily number in the tens of thousands, and the texture that such diversity paints along the banks of the river is other worldly.  At times we find ourselves lost in our raft games led by our guide, George of the Jungle, a.k.a. Jorge de la selva.  These games include getting stuck on rocks, surfing, spinning in circles, being human hood ornaments and more.  At other times, we navigate exhilarating rapids.  And then at others, we pause, and we get to look around, take in our surroundings, and try to absorb as much as we can, not including inhaling the water through the rapids.