Wednesday, 25 August 2010

The Bolivian Pampas - and Tony going mental with the camera

Today is another hangover day...we were supposed to be finally checking out of Wild Rover to go to Uyuni tonight to see the salt flats, but we got to the tour agency to book the bus and the only available seats on it were right at the back next to the toilet.  I took one look at Tony and was like 'na-ah'.  We would have to sit at the back of a crap bus all night next to inevitably stinky toilets and start a tour the next we checked back in to Wild Rover (we did actually check out) and the guy at the desk was like 'why do you bother trying to leave??!' oh dear...

But we did go and do a Pampas tour for 3 days in the Bolivian Amazon Basin, and that was awesome.  Tony went absolutely mental with the pictures, he didn't know where to look there were so many animals!  We spent about an hour yesterday deleting a load of photos (he took about 6 photos each time of the same thing) and have "narrowed it down" to 250 photos!! 

Our journey started at the airport where we had to get a tiny little airplane to Rurrenabaque, the town where our tour would start.  The plane only carried 18 people!  I was pretty scared, especially because there was a lot of smoke in the air because all the farmers were burning the fields to make way for more crops.  The plane didn't fly very high, and it's meant to be an amazing view from the window but we didn't see anything unfortunately :(

The Plane on the landing field in Rurrenabaque
The Bolivian Pampas is a wetland area that is full of caimans, alligators, capibara, snakes, monkeys and loads and loads of different types of birds.  We did a 2 nights and 3 day tour and on our first day we took a boat up the river to our lodge.  We had never seen so many alligators in one place!  They were literally everywhere.  Capibara were everywhere as well - they are such bizarre animals, like a cross between a pig, guinea pig and rat.  But I guess that's exactly what they are...

Us on the boat going up the river
Alligators on the shore of the river
A massive family of Capibara
 On the second day we went out to try and search for Anacondas.  The region is renound for it's Anacondas but because it's the dry season we weren't sure whether we'd actually see one or not.  We went walking for about 3 hours through the farm lands, and were told that during the wet season the whole area is just covered in water.  Apparently you have to get around by boat the whole time.  Anyway, after a few hours searching we got lucky and found one in the tiniest puddle of water.  It was pretty impressive, not massive but Tony was so pleased!  

The Anaconda and our guide in the background

So after our successful morning anaconda hunting, we went piranha fishing in the afternoon (after another boat trip up the river and more countless photos by Tony).  It was actually quite hard catching the piranhas!  They bite the bait (meat) really quickly and you have to pull the line quite hard to get them.  I managed to get a couple though (actually one was a sardine) and so did Tone.  
Tony with his piranha
We got the chefs at the lodge to cook them for us later.  They were ok, but not really any meat on them at all.  

We were also constantly on the lookout for pink river dolphins, and caught a glimpse of a couple in the water but we didn't really get to see them properly.  They were just swimming along and occasionally would come up for air.  Apparently if the dolphins are in the water it's safe to swim in the river, even if there are loads of alligators and caimans around.  So Tony did...i didn't, but mostly because the water seemed a bit minging...

Our guide called over this alligator they all call Pedro, and Tony swam really close to him (ever the photo opportunist!)

Tony and Pedro!
It was so nice being in normal altitude again, you can walk around and not get out of breath with every step!  And it was hot and humid, which was great as well because it's not exactly warm here.

We had a pretty horrendous journey back, but I can't face writing about it now!  It involved a jeep, and leaking exhaust pipe and a farting driver.  Definitely one for next time...

No comments:

Post a Comment