From the Andes to the Amazon

Trip Start Feb 26, 2010
Trip End Feb 26, 2011

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Flag of Bolivia  ,
Wednesday, January 5, 2011

We had a late breakfast as we had been busy taking advantage of the great WIFI to book hostels and tours for the next two weeks. We only had breakfast at 9.30am and there wasn't much left – enough coffee for one cup, no bread and just some sugar puffs which Andrew had to eat with yoghurt as there was not milk.  Anyway, I’m sure we weren’t going to starve.  We still had the problem of backing up all our photos (which we still had on the laptop and if anything happened to that we would be stuffed) so we were shown in the direction of 'Computer Street’ to find either a disc drive and some dvd’s or a hard drive.  Everything here seems to be sold in streets.  Bathroom Street, Dog collar Street (no joke), Shoe Street, Nuts and Bolts Street – it is hilarious, even some of the shoe-shine boys sit together (surely that isn’t great for business?)

After a bit of a search along Computer Street (which seemed to sell mainly mobile phones) we found a relatively cheap disc drive so figured that was the way we had to go and then bought some dvd’s.  Interestingly the shop owner offered a 7 day guarantee (don’t you get that on food?) so we thought we better get cracking and download some photographs before the thing broke (we did see it working in the shop).  Next we went down to the Witches Market where all the tourist stuff is sold as we had promised to buy Rorie and Emer a magnet – they collected a magnet from every country they travelled to but forgot Bolivia.  We had a look in a few places and there was a very limited choice – I chose one of a Cholita in their typical dress (very Bolivian) and then Andrew decided to buy another ceramic one as back-up in case the first one broke, only he ended up throwing it on the floor towards the shop owner and it smashed to pieces.  We quickly paid for both the magnets and left the woman’s shop in case we caused more damage.

It wasn’t long before we were due at the airport but we were both starving so we went to a lovely little cafe and ordered steak it was so cheap.  The meal was amazing – very, very rare (almost too rare) with the most fantastic pepper sauce – it felt as though we were back in Argentina.  We arrived at the airport and checked everything in along with a 2 litre bottle of Cuba Libre in our hand luggage.  It would seem that the 100ml rule doesn’t apply in the jungle.  There were 18 people on our flight (that was the plane full) and there was no door on the cock-pit so we had a great view of the pilots and the runway in front.  The flight was very different, Andrew spent the majority with his head in his hands terrified.  There was a lot of cloud and the Perspex windows did as much as they could to obscure the view but we did manage to get a good view of the Amazon before landing.  The plane was so, so hot too, obviously a taste of things to come over the next few days (lord help me).

We touched down and the airport came in to view, it was just like a detached house.  The heat hit us as we left the plane and our bags followed us which we collected from a small room – no baggage belt here.  A woman called our names and we expected her to be from the hostel but after a but of investigation it turned out that she was from Indigena and wanted us to go to her office to check in ready for the tour tomorrow.  We took a car in to town along with 3 other girls (one ended up sitting on her friends knee in the back as the car wasn’t big enough for us all) which cost 6 Bolivianos each (60p) and organised the next day.  We could only bring a small bag each with what we needed and we had to be at the office for 8.45am.  We tried to arrange a jungle tour straight after the Pampas trip but with so many options and operators we decided to leave it until we came back – lets see if we survive that first.  Luckily our hostel was just around the corner so as everyone else in our group had decided to stay there too we all made off in that direction dodging the many scooters en route and the open drains.

Hostel Toucanes de los Rurre was basic but we had a private bathroom with shower which was tepid but we really didn’t want it any hotter (a miracle for me) we had a fan too which was much appreciated.  As we had been given a voucher by Amaszonas for a complimentary drink at Mosquitto Bar (hating the mention of the M world) and it was happy hour we tracked down the bar and enjoyed our free drink, a delicious Caiprinha, along with some garlic bread to share – anything to put off those nasty mosquito’s.  Not a mosquito to be found in the Mosquitto bar though which was great so we stayed for a couple more beers before we headed to bed to mentally prepare ourselves for tomorrow.
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