Jungle and Pampas Adventures

Published: May 20th 2007
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And There It Was...And There It Was...And There It Was...

Our guide coaxed the Aligator out of the water for us... they look fake cause they are so good at not moving.
Before we finish this trip, there was no doubt in our minds that we needed a healthy dose of jungle fever to satisfy our cravings...so off we went into the depths of the Bolivian Amazon. Over half of Bolivia is located in the Amazon Basin although most people never consider Bolivia to be on the top of their list for jungle adventure. We went in head first and were well rewarded with a good idea of what comprises of jungle life in the amazon.

So after hearing of how heinous the 18hr bus journey is down and out of the Andes on a single lane dirt road, we decided to get there via riverboat from a gold mining town called Guanay. This place is like Dawson City, Yukon was after the goldrush left it with people still plying the rivers looking for that left over gold. Seriously, they are still mining with goldpans on the riverbanks (some of the more industrious have a small pump mounted on a innertube with a 2 foot sluicebox on top - they walk around all day chest deep sucking up gravel from the bottom of the river). We were told that 18 hours
Ben´s PirhanaBen´s PirhanaBen´s Pirhana

Grrrrrr... Thanks for the chompers parents!
of labour yielded $20 US - on a GOOD day! Poor guys...

Three days on the river was fun. Spent a night camping on a riverbank and another in a indigenous community of 32 people who you could tell had not had too much contact with gringos before - some had never even seen digital cameras! We also did a few hikes in pristine rainforest learning about the uses of all the plants and trees - get this there is a garlic tree whos bark smells exactly of garlic. WOW, you learn something everyday.

We finally pulled into the jungle town of Ruennebaque, a bustling little jungle town of 15,000 people. We spent a day checking out life here - have to say its pretty chill, no rush to get anything done and feels like there are not too many worries around here. We also booked a tour to go check out the pampas for the next day.

Our trip out to the pampas was a blast. It was funny, three people never showed up, so we ended up getting our own private tour for regular price, which turned out to be great. Our own private guide,
This Tree Prevents Animals from Climbing it and taking PapayasThis Tree Prevents Animals from Climbing it and taking PapayasThis Tree Prevents Animals from Climbing it and taking Papayas

And also prevents anyone from mountain biking on it´s path near by...
boat, cook, and riverlodge that slept 35 people! The pictures will speak for most of it, but to sum it up we passed our days fishing for pirhanas, spotting and swimming with pink river dolphins, feeding monkeys, spotting countless birds, seeing aligators and we were even lucky enough to find an anaconda (even though its pretty rare in the wet season because there is so much more habitat for them to hide). Holding a wild anaconda was cool even if he was just a 6 foot long, 2 year old baby...

On our return to La Paz we booked a commercial flight and upon returning to the town of Rurre, we were told that the weather had been poor, resulting in two days of cancelled flights and the resulting number of people backed up waiting to get out. Then our tour company (Inca Land Tours is Great by the way!) told us that because of this dilemma, they had resolved our problems by booking a charter flight for us and two others back to La Paz. Whoo Hoo! Imagine the look on the faces of 30 or so disgruntled gringos as they watch us taxi pass them on the
Found One!Found One!Found One!

This doesn´t happen varry offen because it´s wet season right now, so they are really hard to find in all the water.
jungle strip of the airport, wishing they had booked with our comapany!. Oh the joys. The flight in a little cessna was hilarious. You climb from 200m to 5500m to clear the Andes, which takes almost 45 minutes of continuos asccent. Then 15 minutes later, you land at 4000m. We definately noticed the change in altitude with this drastic step!

So back to the Altiplano we go and head south to check out the Salar de Uyuni - the world´s largest salt desert....

Additional photos below
Photos: 39, Displayed: 24


Mining for Gold in the River BanksMining for Gold in the River Banks
Mining for Gold in the River Banks

This is the original way to do it... They work for 18hrs and on a good day make 20 USD in gold.
Mining for Gold Yukon StyleMining for Gold Yukon Style
Mining for Gold Yukon Style

These guys have a bit more of a production going.
Fire Aunt TreeFire Aunt Tree
Fire Aunt Tree

Fire aunts (more than 50 bites, gives you a fever then kills you in half an hour) live in this tree! If you tap it they come out of little holes.
Photography 101Photography 101
Photography 101

Village of 32, the kids got together to check out our equipment...
River FreightersRiver Freighters
River Freighters

River Life - Mirrors the Yukon a bit doesn´t it?

Life in the Amazon... stuckLife in the Amazon... stuck
Life in the Amazon... stuck

Haha, this truck doesn´t even look like it would run in the first place!

This kid is going to put Bolivia on the map for skateboarding. X-Games 2017 watch out!
One Solution I Guess...One Solution I Guess...
One Solution I Guess...

Main waterline for town of 15000, at least give them credit for attempting to do something...
Interesting Spot to Pick...Interesting Spot to Pick...
Interesting Spot to Pick...

Not exactly were I would like to have a siesta!

20th May 2007

Your Blog still brings a smile to my face.
Hello you two, I can't believe the amount of South America you've covered on your trip. Something about the smiles on your face makes me not help but acknowledge that you are still having the time of your lives. I hope to see you both soon. Take care. Corey
30th May 2007

Did you show them how its done?
so since you both have experienced this panning for gold thing here in the yukon did you happen to share your secrets, you guys are having soo much fun whooo weee!

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