Into the Jungle

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South America » Bolivia
August 3rd 2008
Published: August 4th 2008EDIT THIS ENTRY

Sunday the 27th

That night, there were a lot of people in the hostel that i knew from having met them in peru. It ended up being a big party night. Funny how all these people who you know for such a short time end up being your best friends for a few days. Drank in the hostel bar and then went to a night club to dance the night away. All gringos and no locals. Ok so im selling out and sticking with the westerners when i go partying. Judge me if you want but im having the time of my life.

Monday the 28th

Not much to report here except another big hangover. Kinda realised id had enough of lapaz. Went to the travel agents and booked myself a trip to the jungle. Oscar and steve decided against the jungle. The wanted to climb mountains and go biking, but Niamh and Meave decided to come to the jungle with me. That night had a beautiful steak, best meal since coming to south america

Tuesday the 29th

Up early to set off for the jungle. Myself Meave and Niamh said our good byes to Steve and oscar but arranged to meet them the following monday when we would all start heading down towards argentina together. Got a bus to the airport and took a flight up to the jungle. The plane was tiny and I hate flying and the plane was shook all over the place on the way up and i now hate flying even more. With me sweating profusely the tiny shakey plane landed in a field in the jungle. They claim it is a runway, but it is not, it is a FIELD.... Alive but still shaking and in the incredible heat of the jungle we made our way to our hotel. It was crap but it did have some hammocks and swing in a hammock in the jungle heat was a nice way to pass some of the evening. The town we were in is called rurrenabaque. Quirky little place set just at th edge of the mountains in the amazon basin. We walked around a bit grabbed some pizza and a beer but went to bed early as we had an early start with the jungle tour the next morning.

Wednesday the 30th

The jungle tour begins. Got

The largest rodent in the world
in a 4 by 4 and headed up the road to catch our boat which was bringing us into the jungle. The ride in the 4 by 4 took 3 hours all on a road that was just a muddy path, and afterwards my arse was killing me. Had some lunch. They told us it was chicked but it was not identifiable as chicked, and there were loads of cats wandering around the place, so i just ate my chips. After lunch we caught the boat. The boat was a long thin river boat with a moter at the back. Off we set up the river. Imediately we started to see all the wildlife. Everywhere there were aligators on the bank and some huge rodent thing called a capybara the largest rodent in the world. There were river dolphins in the water and the array of birds was incredible, all of which ate fish from the river. We stopped for a few minutes where some people were swiming and dont ask me why but i went for a swim with the aligators pirhana and those huge rodent things. Actually felt fish hitting off me. The scary thing is the water is completely muddy so you cannot see anything under the surface. But the guid claimed the aligators were full and they only ate fish anyways. It was so bloddy hot i couldnt help but get in, but once i was in i was a bit on edge. Another few hours up river we reached our camp. We dropped our stuff off got straight back in the boat and went to a sunset bar to watch the sunset. There was a little football pitch and a game started, boliva against the gringos. There were 6 bolivians and about 10 gringos and we still only managed to beat them 2-1. The sun set wasnt all that great. Actually it set behing a dirty grey cloud and soon afterwards there was a crazy thunderstorm and heavy rain. About 20 westerners were cramped up inside some poor bolivian devils shed which turned out to be his bedroom. When the rain eased, and it was now already dark, our guide, Juan Carlos, put us back in the boat and drove us up the windy aligator and pirhana infested river with nothing to light the way only the lightening. I have to say it was a strange experience.

Chilled out in the hammocks back at the camp after eating dinner which was alright considering where we were.

Thursday the 31st

Got breakfast and set off walking into the wilderness hunting snakes, or more precisely anacondas. The guide was very fast and in the heat it wasnt easy. Where were were wasnt very thinck jungle, they call it the Pampas which i think means wetlands. Now it is the dry season so it is easier to find the wildlife as they congregate around the rivers and pools. Took us ages to find an anaconda and when we did it was only about two metres long, thank god. I had images of a 10 metre anaconda eating me. Got a photo taken with the anaconda and headed back for lunch. After lunch we went up the river to go swiming with the river dolphins. I didnt bother getting in as there was an aligator 10 metres away from the boat where the crazy peaople were getting in the water. Just didnt feel right to me so. The dolphins were there but were not really up for playing. Then the crazy guide started playing with the aligator. Hw hung a biece of a biscuit over the aligators nostrils and the aligator would then snap at the biscuit. Nuts. Then he went and picked up one of the baby aligators in the area. I fancied my chances against this foot long beast so i held it and had a photo taken.

Again that evening we headed for the sunset bar. This time the 10 girngios and the 6 bolivians drew 3-3 and there was a real sunset, even though it didnt compare to the sun island.

Friday the 1st of august

Went fishing for piranhas (maybe spelt incorrectly above but you have to remember im an engineer and depend totally on microsoft word to do my spelling). I caught a cat fish which was not really the point of the excercise but fun none the less. Some of the group did manage to catch a few piranhas which was pretty cool. They are very small but my god do they have sharp teeth. After the fishing we headed back for lunch and then started our journey back to rurrenabaque, a two hour boat ride where the engine kept cutting out and then a three hour jeep ride. The jeep ride was real fun. The rain that had fallen caused havoc and allong the muddy road there were cars, lorries and hiace vans stuck everywhere. We complain about a few pot holes. When it rains here they basically dont have any roads. Kinda like father ted, when they took the roads in. Our four by four made it through the mudfest.

We went staright to the airline affice when we got to the town as we expected the grassy muddy "field" might not be in great conditions for an airplane take off. They had cancelled all flights that day and the following day our flight was delayed from 10 to about 4, not too bad considering some people got delayed two days.

Checked into our hotel and then went for some pizza with our jungle tour group. The pizza tasted fine but as it turned out it was the devil. After pizza we all grabbed a few drinks, nothing too hectic and went to bed about 1.30. At 4 thirty I heard meave getting up (i was sharing a room with the two girls) and running to the bathroom. I realised immediately that i was next. Again for the second time in south america i turned into a water feature. Niamh was feeling crasp aswell but didnt get sick, but for the whole night myself and meave were taking it in turns running to the bathroom. I never realised i was a loud vomiter but the girls assure me i am.

Saturday the 2nd

The night was hell and so was the entire next day. I had no energy and taking the flight was horrible but i really needed to get out of the jungle. I usually love pizza, but i think it will be months before i look at another one. One bit of pizza base actually came out my nostril........ get my point.

Anyways we did take off in the field and did land safely in La Paz despite flying very close to a few mountains on the way. Got to the hostel and was in my bed at 6pm.

Sunday the 3rd

13 - 14 hours later I woke up feeling not too bad despite a sore arse from all the ass piss and I ate some toast which stayed down.

Then I did something mental. I visited a prison here in La Paz. Five of us headed for the prison went to the door and said we were here to visit a prisoner called, well lets say Mr X. The guards said no problem, Mr y came to the door and brought us through the main prison courtyard up to a room where we met Mr X. Now this part of the prison was pretty plush and the prisoners, probably having a decent amount of cash from the dealings that got them in there, seemed to have everything they wanted, including women. There were even kids in the prison who stay with their incarcerated parents. A very f%&ked up tour brought us to the punishement cell where four guys and a cat were cooped up in a cell the size of a car. It was the first time I shook hands with a convicted insane repeat stabber. Mr X, a prisoner for drug offences, said the guys were good people just bad situations. Ya Bad situations where they happened to be carring a knife. Mr X was really funny, i think he is on a high cause he gets out in 2 weeks, and he had us laughing, albeit somewhat nervously, the whole time.

The prisoners here need to buy their rooms, there is some wierd real estate going on here, and once they buy the rooms they can rent them out if they want or sell them on. I dont fully understand it, but the westerners in the prison such as Mr X, Y and Z seemed to have nice rooms because they got a bit a cash behind them.

Last stop on the tour was to Mr Zs layer where we, if we so wanted, could indulge in some modified coca leaf, if you get my drift. We politely declined and Mr Z told us about his 3 women and his child back in europe.


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