“Stuff your eyes with wonder, live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.” – Ray Bradbury
Pampas de Santa Rosa
After my rumble in the jungle, I decided on some pamper in the pampas, and signed on to a 3 day tour. The plan includes a 3 hr jeep ride on rough roads from Rurre to Santa Rosa, and a few hour boat ride to one of the many lodges on stilts in this marsh/swamp/mangrove universe. My tour group of great young folks in their 20s included 3 Taiwanese women (a first on this trip), 2 Dutch women, 2 German guys, and a half Indonesian Englishman. We ate together, swam, fished and toured in our boat as a team. I felt great being on this tour, as you must have transport to the huge swamp, a boat, place to stay, food to eat, etc. and the only reasonably priced way to go is a tour (around $100 inclusive).
The huge 155 square km pampas is bayou swamp with increasing concentrations of bird and animal life as the dry season climaxes with fewer water holes for the masses. In a couple of months, jaguars and pumas will join the party for easy hunting.
The great number of very diverse water fowl was exciting to experience. Add in caiman up to 20 ft long, their smaller cousins (jacarea?), monkeys (mainly red howlers), pink dolphins, snakes (including anaconda, and a poisonous one that can kill you in an hour we saw plenty of)….now this is more like the jungle I’m used to! I was the first overboard to swim with the dolphins, despite the many piranhas present…apparently the piranhas are as friendly as the dolphins as they have plenty of non-humans to eat.
I apologize for having to crop to fuzzy, but will get you a link to quality photos shortly. Also, no shots of the many dolphins we saw as they surface very quickly. Can anyone help me identify the rare, large red/black faced bird directly below, and find a good pic?
There were a bunch of Israeli guys staying at the lodge with our group, and I got to know some of them. Seems the IDF had imparted great amounts of testosterona as these guys were willing to climb, jump, or venture anywhere under any conditions. One of the guys is still numb in his foot from climbing a glacier, but glad he did it. His GoPro has a shot of him jumping over a huge waterfall clearing the crushing/drowing water, but not far enough to smash himself on the rocks below! Apparently, an Israeli born guy in La Paz specializes is these “some make it, some don´t” trips that make my adventures very tame indeed. This is the first travel for most of them, and they enjoyed hearing from “the old guy who says he’s been to 63 countries.”
I fell in love with these playful, squirrel monkeys:
Here are some great shots from others…we saw much of this–you´ll love the pink dolphins:
Time to move on to Peru, and with the rain coming down I made plane reservations rather than go by bus back to La Paz. Stay tuned!
“Adventure is a path. Real adventure – self-determined, self-motivated, often risky – forces you to have firsthand encounters with the world. The world the way it is, not the way you imagine it. Your body will collide with the earth and you will bear witness. In this way you will be compelled to grapple with the limitless kindness and bottomless cruelty of humankind – and perhaps realize that you yourself are capable of both. This will change you. Nothing will ever again be black-and-white.” – Mark Jenkins