31.07.2012 - 12.08.2012
After the salt flats we made our way to the highest city in the world, La Paz. It's a hectic city with super steep streets in every direction. Everything is sold on the street in la Paz from electronics, clothes, food, livestock. It's all there. We met up with the Austrian boys again and saw the sights of la Paz while T managed (badly) to overcome altitude sickness. The witches market was a favourite, minus the revolting dried llama foetus'. At the witches market you can buy all manner of good luck charms, potions and offerings. T liked asking all the ladies about the different meanings of pendants and sugar sculpture offerings.
We decided we wanted to go to an eco friendly lodge/camp, which meant spending more money than the usual backpacker jungle tour costs, but in the end it was worth every penny.
After lots of research and asking practically every agency in town we decided to book 4 days in the jungle with Berraco Del Maddidi. Berraco is owned and run by Pedro a native of a community 3hrs past the Eco camp, which is 6 hrs upriver from Rurre, (the furthest camp in the national park).
On the boat ride to camp we saw a capybara (largest rodent in the world and a good swimmer), kingfisher birds, red and blue macaws, and many other birds.
At the camp there is only 4 cabañas for guests which means a max of 8 tourists plus the staff. Each cabaña was about 50 meters apart from each other, so you really feel like you're on your own in the jungle.
We spent our days trekking through the jungle looking out for animals, tracks, and learning about medicinal plants. A couple days we paddled down river and fished for giant piranha and giant catfish.
It was an amazing experience, so good in fact we decided to extend our stay to a week. We saw so many different animals and their tracks, we drank water from vines, made medicinal tea from tree bark, had honey from a comb, went on mad dashes through the jungle to spot monkeys.
We could go on for days talking about our time in the Amazon, it was that good, but we don't want to take all your time.
We went back to La Paz for a few days, via a notoriously horrendous 18-25 hour bus ride. We had a big night out with an Australian couple we met at the Eco camp, and the next day they suggested we all go to a Lucha libre match. We didn't need convincing. It was hilarious, the most fake, most ridiculous wrestling match you can imagine. And the local crowd was actually better to watch than the wrestlers themselves. They were so into the plots, booing and cheering at the wrestlers. T had bought some weird snacks before heading in to the hall, which turned out to be gross... But they came in handy, (the man we had bought tickets from had mentioned something about, you can throw popcorn at the wrestlers or spray water etc, just nothing that will hurt them). T had way too much fun throwing the crunchy snacks at the wrestlers.