We left early on Thursday morning for our flight to Rurrenabaque, which is the most important Amazon tourist destination near theBeniRiver. It is small, and there are so many agencies, restaurants and a few shops, but it is still a nice place, oh and hot. The National Park Madidi is the one right next to the little town and it is very well preserved. Some interesting statistics: there are more than 1000 species of birds, making up for 11% of the world’s bird fauna. There are 300 species of mammals, 200 of reptiles, and more than 6000 species of superior vegetation. All of which many are found only in this park and no where else in the world.
We arrived, had breakfast at this delicious bakery owned by a Frenchman, and then we were off on our “Pampas” tour for 3 days and 2 nights. We all hoped into our Jeep and had a 3 hour ride toSanta Rosa. Then we had a 2 hour boat ride to the lodge where we were staying. On the way we saw some alligators, many different kinds of birds and caipiranas and a wide variety of birds. The lodge where we were staying was by the river, it had hammocks, big tables for groups to eat and beds in little cabins. Oh and did I mention the mosquitoes? SOOOO many. When I was inColombia, I bought this soap that is illegal everywhere else and that is meant to be the best. I spoke and was with many people who used it and they got no bites. Well I guess that the Bolivian mosquitoes didn’t care because no matter what I would put on, they still had a feast with my blood!
That night, after watching the sun go down, we took a boat ride, in the dark and watched all the alligator eyes glowing in the water, it was pretty cool!
The next morning, we woke up to rain, so, MORE MOSQUITOES! We left a little later than planned because of the rain as well. We were meant to go looking for Anacondas. Obviously there is no guarantee that you see one and after 2hs or 2hs30 we never found a single one. During this time, I kept thinking of my tetee (grandmother on my dad’s side). She used to be terrified of snakes, even if they were on TV. So there I am, in the Bolivian Amazon, looking for anacondas. I was laughing to myself just because if she were still alive, I know she would tell me something along the lines of: WHAT! You went and PAID to go and find one of those horrific and big things! Ahahaha. That afternoon, we went and looked for the pink dolphins to swim with them. I didn’t go however, but it was really nice to see them from close. The water is soooooo brown you could only see them splashing or when they would some out to breathe. And they really are pink!
One of the funnest activities we did (I think) was the piranha fishing on the last day! I only caught one, but everyone was so excited and happy. Our guide caught two catfish as well. Afterwards we got to eat them! They are not the best tasting fish ever but it was cool cuz we had fished them. It was already time to go back to Rurrenabaque so we headed off quite early because we had quite a bit of road to do. We were staying the night anyways, like most of the people in our group so we all went to the same hostel and went out all together that night. The breakfast they served at breakfast at this hostel, which was included in the 6-7$ we paid for the night was the best I have ever had in a hostel. You had the choice of pancakes or omelette, and it came with heaps of fruit. It was really nice.