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Published: September 21st 2011
I´ve not felf the need to rave about any agencies or hostals etc untill now but I have really just had the most amazing 3 days in the jungle thanks to Mogli tours.
I´ll start from leaving La paz, i headed out at 6am from the hostal and got a taxi to the airport, which is just a small military airport me and the taxi driver had a bit of a problem convincing the guards i actually had a flight booked... i thought for a moment they wouldnt let me in there was a lot of waving of guns and stuff, not good! So gets in the que to check in, the plane apparently holds 20 people but there were clearly more in the que which was a bit concerning but hey! Weighed the bags in mine was 1 kilo over so i had to go in to a small dark room and pay a small áirport tax´which im pretty convinced went straight in to someones pocket because they then changed the weight writen on my case to under the allocated amount! We then went in to departures, they have no xray machiens just a bolivian man going through all the hand luggage by hand, i was towards the back of the que talking to a german girl and an american guy with dreadlocks... we were laughing at the wierd and wonderful things people were trying to get through as handluggage the best ones being a sub woofer... and the absolute corker... a MASSIVE cannister of propane I mean what the fuck!!!! why on earth would you take that on a flight!! So the american guy with the dreads go´s the german girl was translating for me.
´do you smoke´
yes says the american holding out his cigarrettes
´no, do you smoke the marajuana ´
no says the american.
The official then turns to the group annd says in spanish..
OF COURSE HE SMOKES MARAJUANA LOOK AT HIS HAIR
We were all pissing ourselves, not so funny for the poor american guy who had everything in his back sniffed by the official for and smell of weed! In the end we all got on the 90 year old plane, it was a bit of a scary ride but not as bad as i imagined. Touch down in rurrenabaque, which isnt an airport its just a strip of mud, no baggage reclaim the bags are just brought from the flight and its a bit of a free for all, no taxis... just motorbikes which a few brave sould jumped on with a million bags wobbling down the dirt track! i opted to get on one of the mini buses with the american guy and a dutch guy called patrick. a few mins down the road we landed, no one in rurrenabaque owns a car there are only motorbikes, and these motorbikes are the family form of transport. The record was mum, dad and 3 kids. I even saw a woman riding a bike whilst texting and feeding her kid that was propped on the handle bars! We all found a hostal that was about 3 quid a night but no hot water, not that it matters cos its hed hot here! Me and the american guy john then went out for breakfast, we ordered and waited for ages whilst we were waiting Partick and martin another dutch guy we met were walking down the other side of the street so i shouted them over and we explained that we had been waiting for ages... thats because she is breast feeding her baby one of them said... we looked towards the kitchen and to our horror thats exactly what she was doing!
After breakfast John went to have a snooze which turns out is his favourite past time and me and the duth guys headed out to find some tours, we looked everywhere which isnt as bad as it sounds because its only a small place but still. The last place we went to was Mogli tours which i had seen in the internet, the girl was fantastic she explained everything in detail etc. I remembered seeing in the internet about the survival tours they do, i explained i was a vegetairian and she advised i didnt do itincase i couldnt get enough food and died... but that just made me want to do it more! The dutch guys opted for the normal tour and I booked my hardcore survival tour. The market the tour as áll we provide is a mosquito net and a machete... you do the rest´´ ha ha this was going to be fun.
When we went back to finalise the details we met another lady who was very funny, she masde me promise if i was going to die themn i woul eat ´the fucking fish´ I promised i would!
We didnt have to be at the agency till 8am me and the dutch guys were to get the same boat and then go our separate ways in the jungle. Myself and patrick decided 8am was late and it would be a good idea to go out and get smashed, so me patrick, martin and john headed out to a bar. The bar sold allsorts of cocktails, i reasoned that because i probably wouldnt be eating for 3 days and cocktails had fruit in them then they were my best bet for stocking up on vitamins and minerals. Good plan i thought untill happy hour 2 for 1... i never have figured out what happy hour means drink twice as fast and not make your drinks last twice as long! It wasnt long before the catapillar made an apprearance and we stared dancing like loons. we had a group meeting at 12 am and decided to call it a night which was just as well really as i woke up with severe sickness and diahorrea AGAIN!!! A handfull of immodium sorted one end out but i was still being violently sick, we got to the agency and i told one of the girls i was sick, she provided me with some anti vomiting medication which worked a treat but knocked me out for the whole boat journey in to the amazon. When we got off the boat we all walked to a camp where the boys were having their lunch prepared, my guide Chinu ushered us to go.... i forgot if i wanted to eat i had to catch it myself! We walked in to the amazon a few mins in to our walk my guide said ´look, the track of the jaguar´ within a few mins we saw the jaguar running in the distance. It was hunting a pig, soon after we heard a roar and a pig squealing!! After that bit of excitement and I tried mushrooms growing on a tree and we cut open a tree and ate the inside of that which was beautiful, my guide was explaining the uses of all the trees for medicine etc. He showed me a termite nest and before i really had a clue what was going off he´d shoved a few in my mouth... I ate them and they tasted of mint! He then cracked open a nutshell and put the nut (or so i thought) in my mouth. why is this nut soft i thought... AND WHY IS IT MOVING!!! It wasnt a nut it was one of those massive grubs like on im a celebrity!!! It soon got spat out! When it was time to make camp we really did have to do it from sctratch, we chopped some trees down and made a frame then made the floor and roof drom palm tree leaves, it looked awesome! We rested for a bit and chinu made me a ring out of a small coconut which is really cool then we went for a walk. The walk would last the whole afternoon and into the night, we saw loads of monkeys flying through the trees! After night fell we went to the river bank and watch the allegators in the river... my guide insisted we went to the river bank to do this... i was pooing myself! We went through the jungle heading back to camp where we saw a jungle deer some frogs and jaguars eyes flashing when the torch hit them! We had to cross rivers and swamps which was im sure very dangerous and very fun!!! i nearly fell in a few times! If there wasnt a crossing we could cut a tree so it fell across the backs and crossed that! When we got back to the camp we were shattered first thing i did was go in and lie down then chinu came shouting me to stand up...a colony of ants had moved in to our camp and not just any ants MASSIVE ants with teeth!!! Chinu explained the ants were dangerous and we would have to make a camp somewhere else, so off we went, he said that we would just need to make a frame for the mosquito nets we didnt need a roof as there would be no rain. so we quickly built the frame sorted the mosquito nets and fell asleep exhaused... that night i had a dream that i woke up and a jaguar was at the side of my tent. IT WASNT A DREAM! The next day Chinu was laughing at me because he´d woke up seen said Jaguar and was trying to wake me up but couldnt get any sense out of me i was just going ´hmmmm jaguar wow´then apparently i rolled back over and went to sleep! I gutted i wasnt fully awake to appriciate that but i was obviously tired! The next morning we woke up packed out things together and started walking again, today we went in to more dense partes of the jungle... Chinu seemed quite happy as he got to use his machete! To be honest by this point i was struggling, i was expanding a lot of energy but hadnt eaten i ploughed on but it was tough! Lunchtime came and to my delight Chinu made me chips made out of banana which i will forever be greatful for because they are lush! I think most of the fun of my exbedition is supposed to be the catch it kill it eat it thing which obviously being a veggie i missed out on but still i was having a ball! Day 2 we made the camp by a stream where we washed and sat getting eaten my mosquitoes, we were supposed to go for another night walk but both passed out! We had another colony of ants move in to our camp but they werent the biting variety so that night i slept with the ants! To say i was sleeping amongst a million ants i slept really well... proper hardcore! That night again there was a bit cat in camp i dont know if it was a puma or jaguar but i woke up hearing it purr next to where i was sleeping! I tried to wake my guide up but he was snoring away so i sat up to get my torch but as i did it ran away. The next day involved more walking, parrot watching then we headed back. The three days were tough but very very rewarding i had an amazing time! My guide was trying to get me to go live with a community for a few months he said it would be perfect for me! Tempting but nah!!! I went back to another hostal with hot water and had the longest shower ever i washed my hair three times untill ants stopped coming out of it! In my guides words ´we have the smell of the jungle pig and the shower is nessetita´ So now Im all clean and fresh and tomorrow morning i am off the the pampas in search of anacondas!
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