Next stop was Rurrenabaque. We opted for the cheaper flight with TAM (Transporte Aéreo Militar). As suggested, we went up early to be at the airport one hour before the scheduled flight time. Well, we did not take into account that it was probably Bolivian time they meant ;-) At the scheduled time the plane was waiting outside, all passengers had checked in and the crew was there, too. But they were just enjoying their breakfast at the airport café. So we decided to do the same, especially as it was very cold and a warm tea was quite nice. After round about two hours, we finally boarded and flew to Rurre within 45 minutes. After checking different tour agencies and booking a tour to the Pampa for the next day, we relaxed in the hammocks of the nice Hotel Oriental.
Next day we waited for the four Belgium tour members, who arrived the same morning by plane, which of course was delayed, too. Welcome to Bolivia :-) After they showed up, we headed in a minibus to Santa Rosa where we met our guide and changed into a boat. The next three hours we went through an amazing landscape with a lot of water to the lodge deep into the Pampa. We saw different birds, monkeys, turtles and caimans on the way. Great! After dinner we watched a beautiful sunset over the savannah with a cold beer. Life could be worse!
The second day was dedicated to search for Anacondas. This is quite difficult in the rainy seasons as there is a lot of water and the animals don’t have to concentrate around scare water resources. However, our guide Oscar was very good in spotting wildlife and we got to see different small snakes, but no big Anaconda. After lunch we went for a swim with the pink dolphins. Quite a strange feeling to know that there are caimans and anacondas around… afterward we had a lot of fun jumping from a big tree into the water… and survived both. Yeah!
The third day was the only day with heavy rain. Thus we could not go fishing for Piranhas but instead had a relaxed morning at the lodge. After two hours in the boat and three hours in the jeep we arrived back in Rurre, got a nice shower, a dinner and a few beers. Great evening! Thanks Belgium and France!
I am still impressed how much wildlife I could see, even if one could apparently see much more in the dry season. And the landscape itself is worth the trip alone! Thanks to Oscar for being such a great guide! And thanks to Sofie, Lien, Goedele, and Peter (Belgium), Kim (Korea), Kevin (France), and Laura and Mike (Austria) for being such an awesome group! It was a pleasure to have you guys on “board”!
Kevin and I took the bus back to La Paz. Quite a trip on some muddy muddy roads with big pot holes. I guess European buses would not make a few kilometers on such a “road”, not to speak about the necessary driving skills. People her in Bolivia are again really friendly and open hearted. Reminds me of Colombia: I misunderstood our bus driver and was already on the way with Kevin to a small restaurant to get some dinner. But the dinner stop was not here (aquí) but there (ahí). He honked the horn, but I did not get that it was meant for me, so he sent his workmate after me, who get us back to the bus. Awesome! The bus ride was great! We went through some amazing landscapes. And I liked the different stops in small towns in the nowhere to have lunch, dinner or just a short stop for the toilet.
Greets from the Pampa