The next morning we followed the river up for a while and came to a ten metre high water fall. After a refreshing swim and a bit of rock diving, we headed back to the boat for some more relaxing cruising through the jungle
. We pulled up for a one hour walk through the jungle where we got to see a large range of the weird plants and trees in the Amazon jungle. There is the shy grass which folds its leaves up when you touch it, the tree that grows barnacles up its trunk to protect it’s fruit, the parasite tree which grows down the side of another large tree and then morphs with it into a third tree, the cats claw vine which produces water when you cut off a chunk and the walking palms which grow new roots to move it towards the sun and can 'walk’ 2 metres a year. Quite impressive, and all that in a relatively short walk. We stopped off at another waterfall for a wash before setting up camp on the banks of the river.
On the final leg to Rurrenabaque we took the time for another 2 hour walk through the jungle. On the way in the boat we spotted some turtles and an Alligator. You don’t get much chance to spot wildlife in the jungle unless you spend a significant amount of time there. Pulling into Rurrenabaque we concluded what was so far one of the best things I have had the opportunity to do. The three day boat ride enhanced the experience of the two days of riding and it provided a great feeling of satisfaction having worked to get to the destination rather than just catching a bus or plane.
Mapiri, on the Rio Mapiri, one of the hundreds of rivers that eventually feed into the Amazon, was where we kicked off our three day boat ride in a 10 metre long, 1.5 metre wide wooden dugout canoe. The first 3 hour leg down to Guanay passed through some pristine jungle. It was a very relaxing cruise down the river. The river itself is a deep brown due to the local villagers mining for gold along the river banks. Although it was sad to see that some parts of the jungle had been destroyed, we can't say we don’t do the same thing at home. After a further cruise down the river we pulled into camp for the night. It was a beautiful spot with its own cascades and deep pool for swimming and a short walk through the jungle to a rock lookout.