Rio Atoyac, Oaxaca, Mexico – First Descent (upper canyon)

I was a really funny sight to these children at the Ixtapán take-out.

I made children laugh all over Mexico, I was a very funny spectacle to them.  As we floated past small villiages children would come streaming out of their adobe houses and the surrounding jungle foilage. They ran along-side us, on shore, to get a better look at us and our whitewater boats. Often they seemed a little frightened, but more often they wore huge grins, and were fascinated. Many of them had never seen craft like ours, much less a middle-aged Norte American women oaring a urethane cataraft – I was hilarous to them.

Easy put-in spot, Rocky’s kayak on road and my frame hanging on the truck rack on the right side of this picture.


Chai, our shuttle driver, from Juchetango. We ended up hiring him away from his Carneceria to run shuttle for us three times.

Rocky Contos kayaks alongside the Sabino tree lined banks of the first canyon (Canon Zabache) on the upper Atoyac river.

Exotic cactus thrive on the cliff walls along Canon Zabache on the Atoyac river.

Relaxing after a short portage - Rocky Contos photo

Lacey Anderson contemplating what might be ahead in this gorge - Rocky Contos photo

Violento is another class V rapid that we scouted - Rocky Contos photos

A closer view of the main Violento rapid with Lacey in front of the hole that would have likely flipped her cataraft - Rocky Contos photo

We had pretty big water, probably about 4,000 cfs - Rocky Contos photo

Lacey scouting a very long class IV (V- possible, at the flows we had?) - Rocky Contos photo

Just one of many beautiful camps.

Rocky gave this class IV the name Siniestro Falls.

After the rapids eased to class III, there was a limestone wall and sabinos reappeared - Rocky Contos photo

Colorful grasshoppers (Saltamontes) were on many of the prickly pears - Rocky Contos

Rocky and I (Lacey) at Juchatengo, about 120 km downstream of our put-in. We continued downstream - Rocky Contos

Lacey Anderson enjoying the class III action of the middle Atoyac river - Rocky Contos

At Ixtapán, we first met this man with gourd - it is commonly used as a float device to help swim across the rio - Rocky Contos

More giggling locals at the take-out.

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