Day 4: Rafting on Rio Napo near Tena

It had rained the whole night – and the hope it would stop in the morning did not materialize. This led to some increasing doubts in the group if, also due the the additional water – the rafting would be the right / safe activity of the day. Finally we ended up with 8 taking the trip to Tena (about then minutes form the lodge) starting with another thrilling pedestrian hanging bridge crossing “by car”. 

The RiosEcuador (RE) team was already awaiting us and we shortly after left with two rafts to the river in an open trucks. Once arrived we took a quick look over the felt wise 100m wide river Rio Napo (1500km long and Ecuador’s economically most important river) which was floating really fast. Quite respectful we returned to the parking lot where we were introduced to the special steering commands and safety measures if somebody would fall out of the raft. The rafting was a super experience as it was the perfect mixture of relaxed passages and thrilling waves that made us wet allover and were celebrated with a “high five” and paddle slap after we successfully made it through. Our guide was part of the Ecuadorian national team in rafting and had participated several world cups – not only did this make us feel safe, but also water surely was his element, as he was once jumping in for us to rescue him for example. We were joined by a kayaker we was watching out for obstacles in front of us and also was very hand to take some outside of the boat pictures and videos from us.

Lunch was provided at a shallow island on the river where the “strong guys” George and Ben from RE were preparing lunch. The boat was flipped around an converted into a big table (funnily-professional we also had a flowery table duvet), were hand made burritos with fresh pineapple and water melon were served. The guacamole was actually made fresh at site.

Then the ride continued and in total we took a 21km ride in about 4 hours before arriving at our destination Mishualli where the impact from the heavy rain of the previous two days vas visible. The water level had risen to two more meters than it still was at the time we were riding, which had flooded the arrival towns harbor area heavily with sand, that the locals were cleaning. A funny excursion also was to the the little monkeys in the trees that were everything but shy and you could arch really closely.

We were heading back in the truck again, sitting with 8 people in the loading area and watching the road behind us. Back at the lodge as sun was out and we were celebrating that we were alive it was time for a relaxing swim in the pool and sleep in the hammock. Dinner was again excellent – to my handicap as with free refills – so I had three steaks with redwine…

Boris Kuster