So I have been a little MIA lately, but there has been a good reason for it, I’ve been flat-out busy travelling! It’s not all fun and games when you’re on the road! Hopefully this is the start of catching up and filling you in on the blanks, my faithful readers.
After ‘volunteering’ in a travel agency in La Paz, Bolivia for more than five weeks, Victoria and I took a trip out to the Pampas in the Madidi National Park. We had been working as digital media and web consultants for food, accommodation and some free tours, including this one! I need to touch quickly on La Paz, which is the highest capital city in the world located at around 4,000m above sea level. It was our home and will always have a special place in our hearts. The people we met were unbelievably friendly, the food was great and after Perth, it’s the city that I’ve lived in the longest. Who would have thought?
Our tour was booked through our agency, Travel Store Bolivia and was a four-day, three-night adventure from Rurrenabaque, which is a bumpy 16-hour bus ride from La Paz. If you ever have the choice, make sure you fly! The bus was probably the worst in all of my travels. From ‘Rurre’ we took an even bumpier three-hour 4WD ride to Santa Rosa, where we boarded a motorized canoe for a further three hours to our lodge. The lodge was an assortment of stilted rooms for guests to sleep, eat and relax in.
We were lucky enough to see a wide array of animals, including monkeys, gorillas, turtles, caiman, piranhas, macaws and other types of birds. We went anaconda hunting through some tall grass but alas, no snake was spotted. I’m not even sure what I would have done if we had found one! The highlight was our last morning, where we dived into the murky river and were surrounded by pink dolphins! They were friendly and you could even touch and hold onto them for a short ride!
The Five Senses of The Pampas
The Pampas looks like animals. As mentioned above, we saw so many animals and were definitely spoilt! The dolphins take the cake though.
The Pampas smells like sunscreen and repellant. The only respite from the sun and the mosquitos was when you were in your mosquito-net enclosed bed. The rest of the time we were lathered up!
The Pampas feels like rough leather. This is exactly what the dolphins felt like! They were so leathery and rough, but at the same time so smooth. If you get me…
The Pampas tastes like sweat. The Pampas was hotter and a lot sweatier than the Amazon Jungle from Brasil and I felt like I lost a lot of water weight.
The Pampas sounds like mosquitos. The mosquitos were incredible. They could bite through your clothes with ease and their buzzing sounds were ever present. Ouch!