We spend our last morning in La Paz enjoying a freshly cooked breakfast, a real treat for us....fresh fruit muesli, porridge and homemade bread, fresh fruit juice and a cuppa for only $3.50. We then get our bags together again and head off on our next venture to the Amazon. We are quite amused at our mode of transport to Rurrenabaque, a small jungle plane which only carries about 18 people. It's a short 45min flight and then we arrive at the craziest airport we have ever seen. Well actually it's not really an airport, it's just a concrete airstrip in the middle of the jungle and swampy wetland. And just a funny old bus waiting for us in the mud ready to take us to Rurrenabaque. It's a remote tropical village situated on the Beni River. Very laid back locals go about their day at the markets or in one of the many minimarts.
Day 2 we head off on our journey to the Amazon. It's a long 3 hour drive on a very muddy wet road. We don't know how we didn't manage to get bogged but the locals really know how to get a camery family van through that mud. We then arrive at the river wear a small wooden boat is ready to take us to Bala Jungle Lodge. What an amazing place. It really does feel like you are in the jungle at these lodges. The sounds of the animals, insects and birds and the views of the river banks really make this place utter bliss. A jungle paradise all to ourselves. Our wooden lodges are so cute. We think they gave us the honeymoon sweet. A big bed with a mosquito net hanging and our own hammock to chillax on out the front. From here we venture down the river in our private wooden boat with our lovely guide viewing the native flora and fauna. Birds of all kinds, big, small birds of prey, swamp birds, you name it. Then there were the cute little turtles sunbaking on the logs sticking out of the water and not to mention the array of monkeys in the tree canopies boarding the river. But we always save the best till last....giant gineu pigs the size of a large pig, yes you better believe it. They were so ugly and made the most horrible noises but were certainly a site to see. And yes of course there were the crocs on the river banks. But apparently they are not aggressive in nature our guide explained to us when he asked us to go swimming with the pink fresh water dolphins about a hundred meters up stream. And thats exactly what we did. We jumped off the boat into the water with the beautiful dolphins ready to play with us. But we got back in that boat pretty quick. The thought of a croc coming up a biting our leg off was too much. As you can imagine though, swimming with the dolphins was a magical experience. Such intelligent creatures.
Not only was the wildlife spectacular but the food and staff at the lodge were also brilliant. It was sad to say goodbye on the last day as we went back to Rurrenabaque. We were feeling rather satisfied after our jungle stay as we checked into our hotel and went for a cuppa. We thought the last few days had been eventful, not nearly as eventful as the event happening next door to our hotel as we walked around the corner into our street. A large bar, residence and the cafe across the road were going up in flames. People absolutely everywhere. Probably the biggest fire we have seen with our own eyes. And yes we had to evacuate our bags and pray it didn't reach our hotel. The poor old lady running the hotel moved her whole life out onto the street, tables, chairs, couches, everything. Luckily the locals did an amazing job putting out the fire considering they only had buckets for at least an hour until the local fire truck arrived. And we were safely back in our hotel room that night feeling a little sad and shocked at the afternoon/evening's event. By the next morning we were keen to move onto the salt flats. What a great time we had at the Amazon.