The pampas Tour

Trip Start Feb 02, 2010
Trip End Oct 26, 2010

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In the jungle

Flag of Bolivia  ,
Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Our 3 day Pampas Tour
Traveling with Leonie & Miriam we boarded the 4WD along with 2 French guys & 2 Italian girls to make up our total group. After a 3 hour bumpy ride we finally made it to Santa Rosa where we paid our park entry fee & had an amazing lunch. We were also joined by a pig that Miriam & myself fell in love with especially when he feel asleep under our table at our feet during lunch. We then argued that pigs are very clean animals however the pics would say something different. After lunch it was a small trip to meet our guide, Azario, our trusty boat & the river. We loaded up the gear in the boat & started our trip on the river.We were so spoil with all sorts of animals.

Pink river dolphins 
Mucha birds (Joanna all of these were free to fly), Storks, Herrons, Kingfishers, Hawks, Spoonbill to name a few.
Caiman & Aligators
Capybara (giant Guinea Pigs)
Spiders (Bernie was happy)

Our home for the next 3 days was to be Dolphin 2 camp. We were disappointed when we were shown our accommodation.This was not because we are snobs, we were very aware of the fact we were in the jungle however when you are sold a tour that stated double rooms. The 8 of us were placed in the old hammock room that did not have fly screens all the way around. The mosquito nets would do the job but with 8 people tucked into the room it also increased the temperature. OK enough complaining. After we had settled in we made our way to Sunset Bar to sink a couple of coldies & enjoy the sunset over the river. The one thing that the tour company told us was the food was amazing & it was!! We all ate like kings & queens. By the first night Leonie was sick & by the night she was coming down with body aches & fevers so we were all a bit worried being far from a doctor. Of all the places to be sick, poor girl. Did not have a great night sleep as I had a friend that wanted to play early in the early morning in the form of a tarantula. Bernie still to this day does not believe that there was anything in my bed but Miriam saw it crawl out. I then crawled into Bernie´s bed & we both did not have much sleep as I was convinced that the spider had followed me. Poor Miriam then had a spider crawling over her head. She then retired outside to watch the monkeys playing in the trees outside our hammock room.

Early start with a yummy breakfast of eggs & pancakes, fruit with chocolate & coffee. We all then got our wellingtons on ready to go & find anacondas. In the wetlands (The Pampas area) it consisted of miles & miles of very long grass, a few muddy spots (was not wet season there) 2 trees within the whole area & no shelter from the sun. The sun was out in force & with our wellings, long sleeve tops & long pants we were roasting. I was a bit scared of the whole experience but thought it might make me a bit stronger. After the guides instructions, everyone spread out 2 meters between each other & walk in this direction & if you find a snake call out to me. Well within 5 minutes of walking we could not even see our guide (who was even tall for Bolivian standards) & everything was turning into my idea of hell. I struggled through with Miriam for about 30 minutes not really walking very far & not leaving her side. After this we did not find a snake (thankfully as our guide was miles away by then) & we tried to find our way back to the starting point. Bernie found us about 30 minutes later & was disappointed (he was really the only one in our group that wanted to find one) that he did not find anything but happy to reside to the tree that gave a small bit of shelter from the blazing sun. While we were waiting back at the boats from the rest of the gang a guy from another group tried to rescue one of his mates who was stuck in the mud. The poor sod ended up in the drink so with been wet from head to toe he decided to swim to the other side where there was a bar. All was fine & everyone was encouraging him until an alligator entered the water & started swim for him. At the last minute he finally hear us screaming & changed his swimming direction as did the alligator. Was a little too close for my liking. The rest of gang returned with no luck with finding an anaconda. Returning back to camp for a great lunch & a siesta before swimming with the Pink River Dolphins. Our guide took us to a spot where there are quite a few Dolphins which means that there will not be any Caiman or Alligator as the Dolphins are the king of the river. I was apprehensive at first but thought you only live once. The water was so brown you could not see a single thing, watching Bernie swimming around he just looked like a head in the water. Also you do not actually swim with the dolphins it is more in the vicinity of the dolphins. Miriam & Bern now refer to them as the pink river A-Holes as they did not want to play. Was happy when I was back in the boat & as soon as I crawled back in (not very lady like I must add) we could hear a Alligator chomping on a bird or something very close to where we were swimming. I am sure the dolphins would have saved us but I really would not like to test it out. On the way back to camp we stopped of for a beer & watched some volleyball & the locals kick the tourist asses in a game of football. Was lovely just sitting around listening to all the travel stories & enjoying the sunset. After a fab dinner we went back out on the river to find alligator & caiman eyes with our torches. Poor Leonie was still sick. Very happy to be getting her out of the jungle tomorrow.

Breakfast followed by Pirana fishing. Between us we caught 4 catfish, 2 Piranas & 2 Sardines. All were returned back to the river to get bigger. I nearly caught about 4 fish but I am sure that does not count. Back to camp to get our belongings & made our way back to where the 4WD trip starts. I think at this point everyone was starting to remember what a hellish journey it was. Made it back to Rurrenabaque & was very happy to see room number 11 in Santa Ana that we both missed whilst away. We went for 1 drink in Mosquito bar which turned into having many cocktails at happy hour. Meet up with some great travelers there & spent about 1 hour playing pool. From memory only 3 balls where sank which was our cue to leave. Leonie was still sick so we were going to visit the doctors tomorrow.

Was a great trip even if Bern did complain about the mosquitos every 2 seconds!!  :-) In his defense they do love his sweet English blood.

Love The Watties

Will upload some more pics when we get the chance.

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Afua on

Wow what an eventful couple of days x

emma on

Spiders, aligators, etc, you are very brave people!!

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