Rio Quijos (Borja Run)
|Stretch:||From Bridge #4 to Sardinas Grande|
|Flows:||No gauge. Visual only...|
|Put-in:||In Borja, at Bridge #4|
|Take-out:||Just downstream of the Sardinas Grande|
|Shuttle:||4.5 miles on good road then a good dirt spur for a mile|
Ecuador 2013 Day 4:
As the middle section of our fourth day, between the Baeza to Borja section featuring nonstop rapids and the bottom Chaco Canyon section which featured wonderful scenery and a few good size rapids... this section was hard to measure up. The run starts off with a bang with the first rapid being the largest of the run. The rest of the run was fairly wide open and typically a little shallow. Don't get me wrong, it was still good paddling and worth doing if you are looking for a mellow day. But compared to the excitement upstream and the scenery downstream it just wasn't my favorite.
To do this run, you would want class III skills plus someone to lead you through the one or two tougher rapids and there certainly are some holes to keep you honest in here. Also, I should add the disclaimer... I didn't have a play boat. I was in a creeker. If I had a playboat I think my tune would be very different because there was some very very nice play on this section.
Also, as this area is popular, I am sure all of the rapids on these rivers have real names... but I don't know them.
- First Rapid (III+). The first rapid is by far the biggest. A nice set of waves and holes. We ran down the right then cut back to the middle either above or below a small pour over.
Boogie (II to III). The rest of the run is just boogie, with an occasionally slightly spicier rapid. However they are all just open rapids with a hole here or there to dodge.
Take-out: Halfway between Borja and El Chaco you will cross the Sardinas Grande which is a small creek. Just past the creek there is a dirt road that leads down quickly to the water. From the river it would be hard to recognize as there is gravel mining there and the access is hidden behind an inlet. So you might scout the take-out before putting on.
Put-in: In the town of San Francisco de Borja take a right in the main area of the town to head down to the river. The square opens up to a dirt road that heads ~1 mile to a bridge over the river. Put-in on the far side.
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