The Pampa of Bolivia, tour to the wilderness close to Rurrenabarque. Howler monkeys, water turtles and a pet alligator. Hunting the anaconda in vain. Fishing Piranhas.

Travelogue Bolivia 2003
Rurrenabarque and the Pampa – Part 2

Next morning I got up very early, the best way to experience the live of the jungle. In the tree across the river I saw two more kinds of howler monkeys, one mother with tiny baby. Did I mention that you have to have binoculars to fully enjoy these trips? Then one of the guides caught a turtle and I could have a close look at the poor thing before we let it go again. The others were still sleeping.

Bolivia, Rurrenabarque, Pampa Tour: A Pet Alligator
Pedrito is trusting and loves noodles
Bolivia, Rurrenabarque, Pampa Tour: Alligator
But be carefull – look at those teeth!

Then Pedrito, little Peter, came, a more than two meter long alligator living in the river close to the camp and used to tourists and being fed by them. Its mouth was impressive and even more hearing it shut with a loud clack if you through something in. I tend to be a little to incautious and remembering it I am glad not to miss some fingers as I have been tapping the alligator on its nose with a chicken bone to make it open its mouth. I also touched its tail and pulled it a little which was relatively save though alligators kill most of their pray by knocking it over with the tail.

Later we tried once again to find an anaconda which must be quite easy during drier times of the year. It is a strange feeling to walk through the pampa actually hoping to step on a snake rather than fearing to do so. But nothing. At least we saw a second dolphin but even further away.

Bolivia, Rurrenabarque, Pampa Tour: Sunrise
Bolivia, Rurrenabarque, Pampa Tour: Piranha Fishing
I and my prey, not big …
Bolivia, Rurrenabarque, Pampa Tour: Piranah
… but snappy

The next morning we were supposed to get up very early but our guide slept in and therefore we missed the sunrise and hearing the jungle wake up. But even as late as half past six the boat trip was atmospheric. After breakfast we tried to fish piranhas, without success and finally went back.

But we did finish the trip with a success. The jeep stopped at a river and we tried again. Yes! I caught two piranhas though just little ones. All the fish we caught ended up in a pan of one of the guides. Buen provecho.

Tomorrow I fly to La Paz and will continue to see Lake Titicaca. I don’t think that I will make it to Machu Pichu in Peru and therefore have to spare these mighty Inka ruins for a later trip.

All the best from Rurrenabarque, Bolivia


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© Volker Umpfenbach

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