Bolivia · 2 Days · 4 Moments · May 2017

Jenny's adventure in Bolivia

20 May 2017

Our night walk was absolutely amazing. We must have seen 5 or 6 different spiders including one that with bright yellow stripes and a huge tarantula. I don't know how Domingo spots these animals but he's truly excellent at it! We obviously saw thousands more ants. The rainflrest ecosystem really is amazing - the animals look as if they all take steroids but I'm sure it's just a sign they're thriving. When we arrived back to camp, there was a huge spider on the outside of my mosquito net but lovely Domingo flicked it off like it was nothing. We slept with the sound of the jungle all around us and awoke with the sun. It was truly amazing and I'm so glad we made the decision to truly camp in the rainforest.
We trekked for 4.5 hours through the jungle to the camp for the night. Every so often Domingo would stop and explain about a plant or point out animals amongst the trees. We saw numerous breeds of monkeys, birds and even a tapir crossing the path (something Domingo said was super rare because they're nocturnal). We also saw thousands of ants - it's amazing how they work together. Domingo showed us the bull ant which has antlers. When people cut their skin but can't get stitches, they use bull ants to close the wound. There are also fire ants - if people in the indigenous village commit a crime, they can be tied to the trees of fire ants, sustaining thousands of bites. They are actually really poisonous and if they bite you that many times, it can stop your breathing! Brutal! After the interesting walk with the sights, sounds and smells of the Amazon, we arrived at camp to find Santos the cook busy at work and enjoyed a hearty feast before heading out for our night walk.
The following morning, our tour company Mashaquipe (recommended to us by Emma from Up Close) paired us with our guide Domingo. With a cheeky smile and 17 years experience guiding, it was amazing experience to be in his group. His father was also the medicine man for the local village so taught us about the medicinal plants of the jungle. How exciting! After a chocolate croissant from the yummy patisserie next door, we took a 3 hour boat ride to camp, stopping off to make sugar water from an old machine. I definitely didn't duck enough and got my head knocked a few times but it was part of the fun. It was also our first taste of the RAIN! The sound it makes amongst the jungle trees is incredible and made me glad of my poncho. Lunch at the camp was a 3 course affair, after which we packed our bags for our night camping in the jungle. I had enough bug spray to sink a ship; fat lot of good it did me though!

19 May 2017

After an eventful journey here involving 1 colectivo, 2 telefericos and 1 taxi driver who tried to take me to the wrong airport, I arrived at the military airport in La Paz, making friends in the queue as I like to do. Our luggage check at passport control involved only a beautiful labrador sniffing for drugs, a world away from the UK border control. It got interested in a package - turned out to be one of tbe passenger's chicken which was very amusing as he scrambled rescue his pollo. The flight to Rurrenabaque was truly breath taking with the views over the rainforest. It has always been a dream of mine to make it here so I couldn't wait to get started. The friends I made decided to join me on the Mashaquipe tour and we enjoyed a spicy fish curry cooked in large bamboo leaves before starting our adventure the next day.