Amazon Jungle Tour - Day 2

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

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Where I stayed
Hostel Sol Andino

Flag of Bolivia  , El Beni,
Monday, January 10, 2011

It was light, I was alive, the last thing I remember is shining the light at the huge spider that appeared next to my bed, and seeing two of them, the noise of the cockroaches running around was also bizarrely loud as opposed to silent, I shouted E, she too was awake, but had been more concerned with the noises of something bumping into the wall next to her bed in the night. I gave her a hug and congratulated her, we were out of here in about 5 hours, she was happy about that, she is definitely a pampas girl, I on the other hand despite the trials and tribulations of last night still preferred the jungle and couldn't wait to get out on another great walk with Juan.

At about 8:30am after a breako of bread (which had obviously been trampled all over and savaged by roaches), pancakes and eggs (I suspect the hot frying pan killed all the bacteria) we ate it but the thought process of the number of cockroaches we knew were in the kitchen last night put us off a bit. Sorry I was saying at about 8:30am we set off into the jungle once more, a little dryer than yesterday but plenty of water still around. As we left the camp about 30m away from the camp we found the footprints of an Ocelot made the night before. Crazy I would have loved to have seen that (Erica edit:  Maybe that was what was banging in to the building next to my bed – saying that I was wearing that much insect repellent I could barely stand the small of myself). The first mad nodding moment from Juan Carlos came when he paused then started making a different monkey sound, he ran off into the thick undergrowth and within minutes we were looking up into the trees at a family of six red howler monkeys, a masculino (male) and four females one with a baby. It was amazing again and so much more rewarding for me than a pampas spot. We also saw an eagle, heard a couple of Toucans (which disappeared before we saw them) and lots of other birds. I was fortunate enough to see Juan Carlos almost stand on a snake which it turned out would kill a human if it bit them, that would be a venomous snake then. It disappeared into the undergrowth before the Lady or Tony could see it. The walk lasted for about 4 hours and when we arrived back Juan Carlos was obviously less delighted than yesterday. We had lunch and were both looking forward to a shower back in our hotel in La Paz. The boat men arrived at 12:45 just to pick us up, we picked up all the camps rubbish in plastic bags and carried them off towards the boats.

We were so glad to be on the boat, and we stretched out and let the breeze do its job, I guess it had been about 38 degrees and Erica had a fleece on to try and stop even more mosquito bites. There were just so many, it sounds obvious, either the Pampas or the jungle, you are in the Amazon at the end of the day but there were hundreds around you if not more with that horrible noise in your ears. We got set about by a huge thunder storm on the boat, but that was fine, we were soaking wet through but at the end of the day we just wanted to get back and make sure we were not late for our flight (of death) at 17:10. Sure enough we weren’t we were off the boat dripping wet at about 15:30 and we wandered off to the office to collect our bags and get to the airport. Thankfully the fellow at the tour company suggested we go to the airline office in town, where we found out our flight had been cancelled. It wasn’t as bad as it sounds as we had been rebooked on the 17:40, with another flight tomorrow morning and no way of getting pack to La Paz in time we were just happy to know we were getting back. We headed to a bar over the road and had a read and a few beers. They put us on a bus at the office, which was slightly disappointing for me, I was truly excited to think I was going to get a motorbike taxi with all my luggage, anyway as the heavens opened I was glad to be on that bus especially when I saw the people arrive on motorbikes who then had to undress down to underpants or bra and knickers and use a towel to dry off. We headed off to the gate, which was outside under a tin roof and were more than amused to see people with umbrellas chasing pigs off the runway, this had just been an experience like nothing else we had done, for all the ups and the downs it had been unforgettable. Well I suppose my worst was still to come.

We boarded the tiny plane with thunder and lightning around us and as the engines started I started to panic. When those pesky alarms in the plane started to go off again I started to go nuts, the turbulence then started with the plane seeming to drop about 10 feet at a time leaving your stomach in the air, I started to hyperventilate and make those god damn awful screaming noises just to make sure the whole plane was aware of my full blown panic attack. I just couldn’t breathe however the Lady clearly found her book more important I think in my panic she told me to "sssshhhh" oh well I suppose a loving caring relationship cuts two ways “you’re in the bloody jungle woman what do you expect”. As we landed in La Paz I swore on my own life I would go to all costs to avoid another flight like that. It was weird, despite my pleasure in getting to La Paz alive I couldn’t get my breath back and still seemed to be hyperventilating. We shared a cab to La Paz with a Dutch girl we found in the airport and at 7pm we were at our hostel. The shower was fabulous but I still couldn’t breathe. Our delivery pizza arrived, and I opened the beer I had bought as a prelude to the bottle of wine I negotiated to buy for about 70% the marked price. Almost as soon as I ate and had a few swigs the pain started, my stomach was cramping like no tomorrow, and I still couldn’t breathe. About 2 hours later, I didn’t know if I was conscious, Erica had a bit of a beef saying I was being daft talking about a bank of all things. Again I was hyperventilating but I was lay flat on a comfortable hotel room bed not moving, it reminded me too much of my altitude sickness skiing in France when Dad had to carry me to the emergency doctor where they loaded me up on steroids which were subsequently confiscated by my UK doctor.  We did decide at about 11:30pm we should miss the flight and go to hospital.... but we didn’t.  With Erica still trying to catch up on the blog she owed from days ago then our 5am alarm, both of us with bouts of severe diahorrea and a couple of attempted but unsuccessful vomits, I think we managed about an hours sleep each before our alarm went off at 5am. Awful, absolutely bloody awful, then again we had gained about 4000m of altitude in about 20 minutes so shouldn’t be too surprised.
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