It’s been a while since I have been able to blog due to the internet in La Paz and I was out in the amazon. Just to let you know, I am going to account a week’s worth of events in this one post. I don’t wan’t to forget anything and will be writing each night that I am in Bolivia.
Day 13 – Crusing in La Paz
Didn’t do much on our first night in Bolivia but went to our hostel’s party last night. There were other guests from different hostels at our place and it was the biggest social event I had been to at a hostel but it was just a bunch of dudes. Today, I wanted to get more info on Uyuni. When I was talking to some people, everyone had suggested that I do the amazon in Bolivia. After a few people recommended us to do it, I decided to change our plans and was going to get more info. While I was getting more info in the city, I had decided to check a hostel a block away. I didn’t know if I was leaving that night to the amazon or Uyuni and didn’t want to rush things so I checked into this new hostel instead.
It was an all girl’s room with a private bathroom for 1B less than the other hostel. It was a great change considering the last one we went to was a bunch of dudes partying. The first person I meet is Charlotte (Holland) in my room. We were just chatting and she said she was going to the amazon with a group of 5 others. I told her that I wanted to go to the amazon and she said that our other roommate Rosie wanted to go as well but was away for the day riding on a bike along the world’s deadliest road.
We only wanted to spend one night in La Paz and then head to Uyuni; however, after talking to Charlotte more on the details on her trip we decided to go to the Amazon in Bolivia rather than in Brazil. The reason for this is because the exchange rate of US dollars in Brazil is lower than that in Bolivia. We that said, it was good I decided to stay here for a night.
All day today, I was trying to get more information on the amazon. I was told that we can fly to this jungle; however, the airline Amazonas is currently down and I really don’t want to spend more time here waiting for flights to go. It’s about a 40 minute flight. Charlotte said she was going to go by jeep instead with the others because of the airline being down and not knowing when it will be up. I decided that I wanted to do the same route as her since I don’t have much time.
I decided to get much info as possible before Rosie gets back and try to recruit 1 other person. Charlotte had given me some info and had left for lunch. I talked to an agent and she told me that if I can get a total of 4 people, I can have a private driver drive us to Rurrenabaque in a jeep. She was certain that if I get 4, then we can go with Charlotte and her group on the tour on Monday. She was going to call me and leave a message at my hostel for a confirmation. It’s an estimated 16 hour ride from La Paz in a jeep and I think it would be worth the money. There is a bus that goes to Rurrenabaque; however, it is a plain old bus with no recline seats and I’ve heard of rumors of the bus taking 30 hours total and it being dangerous. The ride is supposed to be shitty with lots of windy roads, cliffs, and landslides.
The best thing about Bolivia is that you can do a lot of adventurous things on a low amount of money but you want to make sure you go with a company that a lot of people had gone on. Just because its inexpensive doesn’t mean its worth it.
While we were trying to hustle and compare rates to the agent. I didn’t get to do much.
While walking the streets there was a parade for the death.
Fireworks were going off and the birds were flying above us.
I got back to the hostel with not much info on our tour and Charlotte brings Stephanie (Holland) into the room and tells us that she wants to go! Yay, now we are hoping Rosie will go.
Every Sunday, there is a Luche Libre match of women vs men. It’s quite odd and somewhat funny. The locals are so into it while the tourists are wondering when we are going home. Our hostel had provided a tour on this and everyone was going. I figured I should go and meet some new people; however, it was such a waste of money and I should’ve gone with my gut feeling and just chill at the hostel. Charlotte, Beverly, and I were so bored out of our minds and just talked about our love life the whole time. Its a total of 3 hours of the same thing on repeat. The only excitement was when there were two ladies fighting and they went crazy and started to come to us and throwing water at us. I guess it’s something to do but if you are reading this and want to do it. Take the local bus for 3.0B roundtrip and the entrance is 20B for a total of $3.33 rather than 80B from the hostel for a total of $11.58.
We met Rosie (UK) at the show and she said she was down! Nice, I was hoping that when I get back to the hostel, there would be a confirmation.
After we got back, there was no new messages waiting for me. I called the agent cell phone and she told me that if I get a group of 6 people than we can go but not 4. WTF. Such a hassle. I tell the girls and our mission that night was to find 2 more people to go with us so that we can leave on Monday for sure. Enjoyed a nice meal and my first wine in South America. Soo good! I had the bartender announce on the mic if anyone wanted to go with us. No luck. Charlotte and I went to my old hostel and asked around and no luck but maybes.
Day 14 – Rurrenabaque or bust
We met the agent this morning at 9:30a and she told she couldn’t let us go without 6 people and that its not guaranteed and to come back at 11. Great, am I really going to find 2 more people to go today at 4p and on top of that I need to check out of my hostel and get money from the bank and pack for the jungle or for the next hostel. Rosie, Charlotte, Bev and I head for breakfast at our hostel and try to recruit. No luck.
We return at 11a and the agent told us she is going to try to get us a jeep while we went to look for 2 other people. She said that 90% we have a driver but she wants to check out his jeep to make sure its legit and to bring cash at 1p. While I was talking to the agent, Beverly and Rosie found 2 more girls who were my old roommates from the other hostel, Shenade and Roselyn (Ireland) What are the odds and woot!
We come back at 1p and everything is settled after negotiating for 30 minutes. We got a 4×4 jeep and a 3 day and 2 night tour in the jungle. We also get to go with Charlotte and her group. Score. After 2 days, I am finally going!
The girls and I head to Cafe Sol Luna for a nice lunch and wine before our 16 hour trip. Daypack, water, wine, and toilet paper and we are ready to go. Oh, we also booked another night at the hostel so that we can all be together for one last night together this week when we come back.
It was 2 hours in and the rumors were true. We are literally on a cliff side and only one car can go. We keep backing up so other people can go. After an hour, our driver starts to drive on the other side. What the heck. It turns out that after a while, the drivers switch lanes and drive the opposite die to safety reasons. There were no signs that told us that and how would people know?
My friend just asked about the death rates and I am freaked out because she won’t tell us what he just said in Spanish. The only thing I know is that I am so glad I didn’t go in a bus and wish I was on an airplane. Too many mudslides that we have seen on the road. None of us can sleep because we are holding tightly to the handles in our jeep.
Better yet, I had to pee in a hole as a bathroom at one of the villages. At least I have my lollipop and candy to ease this scary ride and the “Gringo Chrous” by 6 wonderful ladies!
14.5 hours later, a flat tire, never ending unpaved road, and helping another jeep out of a dutch unsuccessfully, we made it to the city!
We arrived at 7am; however, the tour company was not open. We had gone down to a street for some fresh made parisian croissants from a french pastry chef. If you ever come to this town, definitely go here for breakfast.
After breakfast, we changed jeeps and head to Santa Rosa for lunch. It tooked about 3 hours and on the way, all I see are bone and skins cows. It was pretty hard to eat lunch that was provided for us. Soup and some time of mixed beef patty.
It is so hot and humid and the drive in the jeep of 8 people is not comfortable. We are all covered in dirt due to the unpaved streets and the windows down. Literally all dirt.
We arrive to the river bank and bake in the hot sun for hours looking at alligators, all sorts of birds, monkeys, and flying fishes. It was cool the first 30 minutes and at one point all 6 girls were passes out. We were so tired from not being able to sleep.
We get to our lovely lodge and awaits freshly squeezed juice and biscuits.
We go on a sunset walk and there we meet everyone else from different lodges. It kind of reminded me of camping but for adults. I played some soccer with the Bolivians because Charlotte was crushing on our guide. I just stood there because I suck and playing barefoot hurts.
After, we come back and had a lovely dinner of shredded chicken rice over pasta and salsa.
We thought everything was done for the day but our guide said that we are going to look for alligators in the dark. Headache and tired, I still go.
Every one is just chilling in the hammocks and I am trying to get rid of the bugs that invested my bed.
It’s so hot and laying here with a mosquito net makes it hard to sleep drenched in sweat.
I can’t sleep and I counted 7 bug bites on one hand and it’s only midnight. 7 more hours to go.
Tomorrow should be good.
Day 16 -Bugs vs. me
I woke up to bug bites mainly on my feet and hands! The guide thinks that my bed had bed bugs.The bugs are every where. The places I didn’t put deet is where they got me. I awoke to bug poop on my net. The most out of every one. This guy in our trip has not put any deet on and he has 0 bites. Lucky…why always me i swear every trip, it’s always me.
We awoke to the best breakfast I have had in South America. No more bread, butter, and jam! There were basically three different types of pancakes and I had spread this caramel condense syrup that Bolivia has all over it. They even made us a pizza fritta. Delicious!
After, we go on a 2 hour trek for anacondas and cobras. It was so hot that no one wanted to go or do anything. The majority of the group were in the shade while some of us were in search of it. I didn’t think we would be able to find any since in the last 3 weeks, the guides haven’t been able to find much. Luckily, we found some and it was not a complete waste of time in the field. Apparently, this part of the activity usually takes at least 3 hours. Thank goodness we got back early because the weather was draining every one.
The cooks do not disappoint here. We had a wonderful lunch after my friend Charlotte had a mini seizure. I felt so bad and would never want to be in her position in the amazon, with no meds, and you just want to be home. Hopefully she gets better.
Everyone is resting up at the moment in the hammocks since it so hot in our cabin before we go fishing.
3 hour nap and it is time to go fish for piranhas. For some reason I didn’t think these exist. This was my favorite part of the trip. The bait we had was a mixture of chicken and beef. Beverly was able to catch some and I got none! These feisty fishes were quick on getting the bait!
Afterwards, we had a great evening of dinner and learned that the tour ran out of water. It’s funny how people get when resources are not available. Our guides went on a search for water while the girls and I open our bottles of wine. Bad idea due to our dehydration but it did the trick.
Day 17 – Water vs. Us
Last night, I had to sleep with Beverly on her twin bed. Mind you it is so hot that there were puddles of sweat dripping from us. The mosquito net didn’t help the circulation in the room but I didn’t want to get more bed bug bites from my bed. Imagine you are in a sauna after working out and that is your bed to sleep in. It was horrible.
Four of us awoke at 5:30am to see the sunrise by boat. It was nice listening to the sounds of the jungle. Monkeys marking their territory, alligators splashing into the water, and birds chirping.
I don’t know if the cook ran out of food because all we had for breakfast were different kinds of wannabe donuts. Spread the caramel syrup on and it was divine. We are still out of water and some people in our group were drinking boiling water.
We go on a two hour ride in the boat to find pink dolphins so that we can swim with them. The water is muggy that I don’t even know if they exist and it wasn’t pleasing to know that there were alligators near by.
We head back to Rurrenabaque and it takes 3 hours on out canoe and then another 3 hours in the jeep. Of course our canoe broke down and we had to wait for another boat to push us to shore. I swear there is no point of showering when you are painted with dust and sand on the way back in the jeep. None of the roads are paved!
I am now heading back to La Paz and praying that the girls and I get back safe. We have 2 sick girls and an itchy Xuanie from the damn mosquitos. This ride is the most scariest ride ever.
Day 18 – Amazon vs. Xuan
Worth it? You tell me. We got back home safe and sound. Time to rest.