The ride out to the Amazon basin from La Paz was only 260 miles. But, most of the road was dirt and a continuation of the infamous Yungas road - aka Death Road. And, as luck would have it, heavy rain washed out the road in numerous places. So, what would have been a nice one day ride, turned into 2 days of mud, sweat, and tears. But, we made it to the small town of Rurrenabaque where we booked a tour into the Amazon. Then, we spent three memorable days on the water and in the swamps of the Amazon basin. Wildlife galore! We saw turtles, monkeys, capybara, Alligators, Caiman, and lots of different species of birds. We even went looking for Anacondas! Yep! We went traipsing thru the swamp looking for Anacondas - snakes that can grow big enough to eat a pony! But, as luck would have it, we didn’t find any. We did however find a lot of mosquitoes. At the end of the day, it was these tiny blood sucking critters that drove us from the swamp, forcing us to abandon our search for the giant Anaconda. And, it was these miniature terrorist that would leave their mark on our minds and our bodies - when I think of the Amazon, I will remember… the mosquitoes! We did find a few Alligators while stomping around the swamp. They lie in shallow water next to shore with just their eyes sticking out of the water. And, they will remain perfectly still even when you approach them. We walked within a few feet and still they did not move. In fact, scientific tests have shown that these creatures will not move even if you throw small sticks at them. But, if you toss a rock and hit them square on the head, they will move abruptly and suddenly, scaring the crap outta you…. Or, so I’ve heard. Anyway, I took a picture of one just before the test. I didn’t get any after shots cause I was too busy running.
After the Amazon Tour, we still had to ride back to La Paz. Again, in good weather, it should only be a one day ride. But, as luck would have it, the rain gods showered us with riches… so it took 3 days instead. I actually enjoyed much of the ride as I have done a lot of off-road riding on my current bike. But, the roads were very muddy and slick. And, “mi amigos” were on much heavier bikes. So, they enjoyed the ride far less as they spent a good deal of time picking up their bikes. When all was said and done, we were glad we went, but probably wouldn’t do it again. Now, we are back in La Paz and need to do more work on the bikes before heading south again.
Chile to Bolivia - La Paz
The North Yungas Road - aka "Death Road"
Journey to the Amazon
( Inside the mosquito net covering my bed )
( can you spot the Alligator in this picture )
( a Tour Guide teasing/feeding an Alligator under the camp kitchen )