After arriving back in town, we have half an hour to swap out some dirty clothes for some less dirty clothes and jump into a jeep for the trip out to La pampas. And this is when you have to just roll with travelling. After 72+ hours without a shower or toilet, we’re assured that only one hour away in a nearby town lies warm water, food, and a clean bed. Wrong. Wrong wrong wrong.
It’s 5pm when we leave town, at 8pm, after 3 hours down a dirt road, dodging herds of cattle and brumbies, we come to a muddy embankment, where we’re ushered out of the car (5 very confused girls) and wait with our bags on the side of the river for a man we’re told will be name Luis. 20 Minutes later and us wondering if we’re going to be abducted/drowned/become Alligator dinner, Luis turns up and informs us we’ll be making the 2 hour boat ride through the wetlands to our lodge. Good.
After a hesitant night boarding onto our tiny boat just inches from the Alligator infested waters, the trip turns out to be pretty freaking magical. We’re actually quite fortunate for the late night trip as we saw so many things we’d miss during the usual early morning embarkment. The stars are phenomenally bright and clear as we lay back in our boat, spotting the eerie red, glowing eyes of Alligators as we pass them, hiding in the water beneath overhanging trees. Owls swoop above us, the wind tears through our hair and suddenly we’ve forgotten all about how sticky and filthy we are and all we can think about is how fortunate we are to be cruising through the Amazon, looking for Alligators in the pitch dark Bolivian night. 2 hours fly by and we’re all snuggling under our mosquito nets (still unshowered) and listening the Jungle life buzz by into the night.
After breakfast served next to our resident Alligators, Our first day in La Pampas see’s us Anaconda hunting! Luis passes around gumboots, throws us in the boat and heads off into swampy marshland to smoosh around in knee deep Anaconda territory. Unfortunately it’s a 50/50 chance of finding one of these amazing creatures and luck wasn’t on our side. The next two days we spend laying in hammocks reading, eating the amazing food cooked for us by our local chef, and exploring the waters looking for animals, and we were not disappointed! Wildllife galore..birds, eagles, sloths, Caimans, turtles, soooo many kinds of monkeys and of course, the elusive Pink Dolphins! They play around us and we even braved the Alligator/Piranha water AGAIN to go swimming with these beautifully majestic creatures who love to splash about and play with us. We got caught in torrential downpours, Broke her toe and we made a bunch of Irish friends.
After a total of 6 days in the wonderful, bustling, completely ALIVE Amazon we feel incredibly invigorated and inspired.
We made it out alive; no alligator chomps, no anaconda strangles and only fifty thousand mosquito bites. A small price to pay for a weeklong Amazonian Expedition.