Thursday, 1 November 2007

Rurrenebaque Pampas

Rurrenebaque is only a 50 minute flight ( or 15 hour bus ride ) away from La Paz, but it´s a world away in terms of enviroment. It´s down in the Bolivian Amazon basin so is hot and very, very, humid.
The Pampas area is basically a huge swamp. Wildlife tends to congregate along the banks of the rivers, so it´s a great place to see weird stuff. We had a couple of days there, trawling up and down the rivers in small boats. We saw Cappuchino Monkeys, Black Howler Monkeys, Red Howler Monkeys, Squirrel Monkeys, Capibarra ( 30 kg of rodent see photo ), Pink River Dolphins, Great Rhea, Cormorants, White Knecked Heron, Tiger Heron, Striated Heron, Eagrets, Storks, Vultures, Great Black Hawks, Lesser Kiskadee, Blue Crowned Trogons, Squirrel Cuckoos, Amazonian Kingfishers, Ringed Kingfishers, Red Capped Cardinals, a Three Toed Sloth, Catfish, Sardines, White Pirahna, loads of Caymans ( the local flavour of Alligators ) and billions upon billions of MOSQUITOES.

We also spent a morning hiking along a very long and very hot road in search of Anacondas. We only found the skeletons of two young snakes on the road ( probably road kill ), but we did find a large Rattlesnake coiled up in a bush. It´s supposed to be the most poisonous snake in the America´s so instead of poking it with a long stick, we left it well alone.

Here´s a video clip of our close encounter with a Cayman. Moments after taking this clip, the boat disturbed a submerged tree branch. It looked like a Cayman was trying to get into the boat with us, so me and The Dog squealed like little girls .. .