Yacuba River - Rurrenabaque

Trip Start Jan 2003
Trip End Dec 2003

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Thursday, November 13, 2003

Day 282 - Yacuba River - Rurrenabaque

Mercifully the third and final day rescued the trip. While the weather and hungry insects (Kirsty has 98 insect bites of an unknown description on her arse) were the only serious complaints, if we hadn't been a group of six that got on it would have been disastrous. Up until today our main source of amusement had been chat and cards but today the animals and birds came out to play.

Despite effectively having half the time on the river that we were supposed to, there was only one animal species we might have seen that we didn't - the Anaconda. We saw thousands of birds ranging from kingfishers up to herons and ostriches, pre-historic birds that could barely fly to macaws and toucans, capybaras (the world's biggest rodent), seemingly infinite caimans (alligators), howler monkeys and pink river dolphins. My personal favourite animal wasn't spotted until the jeep ride home when we were fortunate enough to see a sloth. Resembling a cross between a bear and a monkey, this creature takes laziness to a whole new level. Our guide spotted it in their usual nonchalant position hanging in a tree. Normally they leave this position just once a week to climb down and defecate but this particular sloth because suitably agitated with our presence that he deemed it necessary to methodically and deliberately crawl from what's probably been his home for months to a new secret location. This apparently rare sighting, to a certain extent, made up for the shortfalls in the trip caused by the rain.

The whold excursion, despite being disappointing because of the weather, was more than just enjoyable. It's likely to be the last trip of this ilk that we'll manage and the viewed wildlife will serve as a highlight of South America. The guides had a couple of shortcomings (not very forthcoming with drinks and despite us all spotting at least 100 caimans, they still woke Trevor up on the last leg to point one out) but because we could all laugh at our own and in particular each other's misfortune, even the worst bits weren't too bad.
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