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The Amazon,
a parallel universe

Trek Travel World Tour
Les Globe-Trotters, December 18, 2009

When we think of the Amazon, it is not believed to Bolivia. Yet the Amazon forest covers 60% of the territory. The rest of the country being in altitude, at the altiplano.

For our 2nd stay in Bolivia, we have experienced several times this region of the world, what the Amazon. A beautiful experience of life in a somewhat inhospitable place, must admit.

The Madidi National Park

Just going there is already a life experience! 35 minutes flight from La Paz to join Rurrenabaque, a charming town on the Rio Beni in the Amazon basin. From El Alto Airport, which in 4061 m above the city of La Paz. We got into our little twin engine with 20 seats. No place for a stewardess on the plane: it will not! We already have a pilot and a copilot that's something, right? We take off on runway 4x4: 4 km above sea level and 4 km long. We pass (yes! Yes!) Snow-capped peaks at 6000 meters altitude, then suddenly, the ground "collapses" under our feet. Much lower, a broad course of brown water winds through the green carpet. Landing on a runway in chaotic land after 35 long minutes of flight equally chaotic! The transition is quite impressive: there's still 1/2 hour we were at 4000 m and 200 m there. It's in the dugout, like Indiana Jones, we reach our haven in the middle of nowhere in the jungle. We ask our luggage hut without walls. Simple bednets serve both brick, tapestry ... and incidentally protection against all this outdoor living. We are at the heart of the jungle: a 360 on the fauna and flora alive ... and noisy! Feeling the heart of the jungle life. Above our heads, amarillo and cappuccino monkeys play Tarzan, while the crickets and other critters of "not home" are beginning to play their favorite symphony. Despite the high temperatures and very high humidity, at each of our outings we must dress to cover us up (long sleeve hooded to minimize the surface of action of mosquitoes + pants into socks to prevent penetration of unwanted insects). In addition to the "Tintin touch" is not super comfortable! During our long walks with our guide (! Without him, we would still be there), we find, sometimes with more or less the smile of tortoises, tarantulas, coral snakes, caimans, crickets and animals homegrown: rabbits, squirrel, partridge. Lev vegetation is lush hyper. Even when it rains the drops will not happen to us, except when they are buckets of water! In the evening we go again just to get even more adrenaline. But this time on the water ... and in ptite canoe. It was nice to say that we are not the first "tourists" to do but it's really scary! We leave no light on the lake with our friends caimans, piranhas and anacondas that have not left the premises at night. Here it is at home! No moon, the starry sky is the setting for hunting alligators. All around us, eyes that are watching you: you approach and when they feel in danger, they sink into the water by a huge noise. Where we laugh less, it is when one of them is inserted in the back of the boat, back to the front at top speed in emerging from the water with a huge bang. If the boat capsizes: we spare you the details! For the most part "cool" is the Sound & light we offer Mother Nature. To sound: the screams of thousands of cane toads, monkeys, birds, insects, alligators ... .A light: thousands of insects that emit light flying. Beautiful and magic! We almost forget the piranhas and anacondas with others who have made the roommate! Back at our cabin without walls; only 3 candles to see something (together, did we need to see a few thing? huh?). Absolute black out, night life reasserts itself. It is now, "night shift": the sounds are different, because animals are different. Go a cold shower smelly sulfur and hop to bed!
L'Amazonie,  un univers parallèle

5-day trek - Samaipata / Amboro

Fresh off our bus at 4am in a dark night, we reach a little lost, Samaipata. The village is charming, and is the starting point of our trek in the Amboro Park. Another beautiful trek experience in conditions, even extreme. Our guide seemed to start in the role of guide, and suddenly a few hiccups next meal (expired food and not enough!) And well-worn pots if not pierced! Sleep on the floor because no mattress. We note that trek the beautiful landscapes of green sugar pines, where according to some hide 'Cities of Gold "; but also that we have been thirsty, very thirsty and hungry !! With my diabetes , I always anticipate this kind of situation, so I had enough to keep my blood sugar. By cons, water has much missed, we were very dehydrated. Despite micropure pellets we had, we were not serene with the water quality. Our guide was certainly beginner, but especially the agency that we blur ... lied about the service. Like what sometimes even with all the precautions we are not sure of anything. When traveling, it is always important to anticipate this situation and to provide for a 'just in case'.

Balance sheet

Assessment of this Amazonian life experience we not feel too out of place! It is a hostile universe. A very strong feeling of jungle law. The food chain is visible: everyone is ready to eat the other ... or be eaten! But it remains for us an experience that reminds us that Man is little in this universe ... Glad to have lived.

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