From Coroico to Rurre

Trip Start Jul 20, 2004
Trip End Jul 20, 2020

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Sunday, December 5, 2004

3345 meters of vertical decent in over 64 km of downhill madness

I booked a mountain bike trip to experience the "The World's most dangerous road". We left on a jeep trip ride to La Cumbre at 4640m (15300 feet)where we got on our bike. I opted for a 4900 Trek mtb which was a bad decision. We were 7 in a group, all guys but 2 girls and rode along pretty smoothly. We stopped frequently for breaks and to take in the amazing views and scenery, the hairy confrontations of opposing traffic along the way, observed the many crosses along the way (many a bus has fallen down the steep cliffs) remembering those who have given the road its name. But the best part was the scenery - lush green mountain sides, smooth waterfalls over the road, dangerous curves, a serpentine road cut into the mountain side, great depths and high views of the sky. The perfect weather, a bit too hot towards the end and shaky arms from riding a bike with an almost non-existing front suspension.
After the ride, we had a sumptuous lunch and bee at the Eco lodge "La Senda Verde" which is also home to a variety of animals such as parrots, macaws, ducks, rabbits, dogs, cats, llamas and 2 monkeys. The ride finished in Yolosa at 1295 m (4000 feet). From thee, we took a bus to Coroico, which lies in the part of the North Yungas. Coroico is a cute little town nestled in the beautiful mountains of the Cordillera Real. I would have liked to stay a bit longer, but since planned a 3 day Pampas tour starting from Rurrenabaque, I had to leave. Rurre, located on the River Beni with tropical vegetation and climate, is a nondescript town and jumping off point for jungle and Pampas tours. Before going on the tour, I spent one day visiting four indigenous communities along the river Beni. The next day, we left for our Pampas trip. We were 5 in our group, Philipe and Audre from France, Jose from Spain and Kimura from japan. The boat trip on the Yacuma river to the camp lasted about three hour during which time we saw the famous pink river dolphins, lots of small and large birds, alligators, squirrel monkeys (we feed them bananas which is ecologically unsound) and
Capybaras. In addition to the diverse animals, there were also thousands of mosquitos. Upon arriving at camp, mosquitos swarmed around us, in our sleeping room, in the bathroom and in the eating area. During dinner, one hand was used to eat and drink and one to swoosh away the mosquitos. The next day, we went on an anaconda search through dry pampas and wetlands. The area was beautiful, the mosquitos annoying and the birds magnificent. We did find 2 baby anacondas - dead ones though. Back in camp, we discovered that someone had gotten into our backpacks. The combination lock on the backpack of the french couple was broken and my backpack was missing 10 bolivianos. Of course, no one has seen or done anything (I suspect the old caretaker as the thief). In the evening, we went out to find an alligators; when shining your flashlight into the water, one can see the yellow or red eyes of the alligator. Our guide Rami catched a female alligator, about 6 years old and explained all the features of the animal. Poor thing, it was probably scared to death being touched and photographed by a bunch of tourists (catching alligators is also considered an ecologically unsound practice).
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