Madidi, Bolivia
12° 37' S 67° 7' W
Sep 07, 2006 17:20
Distance 212km

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Text written in: English

The Jungle

it took us a while to get ready for the jungle so we were a bit late, but when we got to the agency we got another look at the "bolivian tranquilo" which made us wait about 1.5 hours untill we left. we decided to get breakfast as we wait and when we got back we finally left. we walked towards the Beni river and got onto a cano. there were few other guys with us, the guide - Jimmy, some drunk man that we don't really know what he does, the cook - Rosa, some local kid and the "captain". we left for a 3 hours cano ride towards "Madidi national parque". we've been sailing for a while and we got to the point where we cross from the Beni river for the Tuichi river but Jimmy noticed a wild boar swimming in the Beni river, the captain stopped the cano and flipped it towards the boar so we can chase it. the boar realized what's going on and started to shout and swim as fast as he can, the kid pulled out a steel chain that was on the cano and tried to catch the boar with it but the boar dove under the cano and tried to get to the bank of the river, the captain flipped the cano once again and the boar almost made it to the bank, he was only 5 meters away from it but the captain got the cano between the boar and the bank. Jimmy and the kid got out from the cano with sticks and hit the boar on his head, that was about the end of this poor boar. they gave him few more hits and he was done. we were shocked form the natural but cruel scene that we saw, but we knew that we probably won't see anything "better" than this in the next 5 days. the captain loaded up the boar in the cano so we'll have something to eat for dinner. and we kept on going towards the reserve.

we finally got to the reserve after we had to push the cano in the lower parts of the river (it's the dry season now and water is not deep). the drunk man tried to help but he couldn't get back on the cano so the captain and jimmy pulled him onto the cano on top of the boar, he was so drunk that he didn't know what's going on. we carried the stuff from the cano to the camp site which we couldn't see throw the dense plantation but it was only 15 meters away from the river. i was surprised to see how organized it was which indicated that this is probably going to be a tourist show, there was a wooden shack, a kitchen with gas and a dining room. we adjusted pretty quickly (getting the mosquito net ready) so all that was left was to wait for Rosa to prepare lunch and to watch the captain cut the boar to steaks, we asked Jimmy for the boar teeths and he said that he'll give it to us later. lunch was surprisly very good (Rosa knows what she's doing). and we were tierd but Jimmy said that it's time to take our first walk in the jugle so we got a bottle of water and left into the jungle. after few minutes of walking Jimmy made us this bottle holders from woods parts that he picked on the way, it was simple and impressive.  we didn't get to see any animals but we ate termites which taste like mint, we saw a puma foot print and we found this huge brench that we hanged on and did some "tarazan" pictures. we got back for dinner which included wild boar steaks. we went to sleep early because there's not much to do here.

 after another delicious breakfast by Rosa we left the main camp for a new camp, we grabbed our bags and followed Jimmy as he leads us into the jungle. it takes no more than 2 minutes until you feel lost. the sun is hided by the high trees, you have no idea from which direction you came from or where is the river but the locals seem to feel like home here. we stopped at some point in the middle of the jungle and Jimmy took a small wood stick and shoved it into this small hole in the ground, a big tarantula spider start to come out of the hole, i was amazed by size of it even that i've seen many other backpackers pictures of it before. we took a few pictures with the spider and Jimmy put him back into the hole, probably for the next group. we kept walking and we got to this small camp next to "Rio Hondo" (deep river), which is actually just a spot with no plantation (no wooden shacks like the main camp). we dropped our bags and left Rosa to cook lunch while we take off for another walk in the jungle. Jimmy told us a lot about the jungle, mostly what medicines you can make from plants. at one point he found a tree that when you cut it all the water in it just pure out so we had a drink, the taste was good as well. we got back for lunch, eating made us even more tierd than we were after the walking so we went swimming and fishing in Rio Hondo. the water was brown as brown can get, but we didn't care it was hot and we were dirty anyway so we jumped in. we kept going deeper and deeper until we got a few bites from the fish so we got back to the shallow part. we tried fishing but we had no luck, Daniel and me gave up after few minutes because we were bored but Jimmy and Uzi kept on giving it a try. it was getting dark so we went back to the camp to get the stuff ready for the night and get some rest.

 in next the morning we asked Jimmy to spend some more time in the river because we liked this place so much and it was so much better than walking in the jungle with the bags. as we were about to leave for the river Jimmy told us to be quite, he seemed focused at something but we couldn't tell at what. he told us that there are wild boars here, he told us to listen but we couldn't hear anything. we followed him as he started walking and after 15 meters we saw a group of about 20 wild boars at all sizes. we tried to get closer so we can catch one of them but they noticed us and they started running. we started running like crazy, we managed to surrounded a very young boar, but he managed to escape between Jimmy legs while he tried to catch him. i got bites from a tree spikes that i've put my hand on, Jimmy said that it's not poisioned so it'll be ok, i looked at my hand and i this few white stinging circules in it i didn't really know if to worry or not. we left for the river once again with one thing on our mind, to catch fish. we went further this time, Daniel and me gave up pretty quickly again and we decided to have a shower in the river instead. a day of relaxation it was great. at evening we went back to the camp to make rings from coconut.

we got up early just to see Jimmy coming back with this 2 big fish that he just caught in the river, i guess it was more important for him than us. we ate quick breakfast and headed back for the main camp but in a diffrent path this time throw the hills. we argued all the way back to the camp about things in Israel (we're israelis after all and we had many diffrences in our opinion) so we didn't get to see any animals on the way from all the noise we made. we were so exhuasted when we got to the camp that we just wanted to rest for a while. there was another israeli group in the camp so we talked with them for a while. they took a 3 day tour and most of them were girls so they never left this camp and all the made was just to make jewelry from things in the jungle. we found a few tubes in the camp so we took them and got into Rio Tuichi (Tuichi river) for a short swim. we got back to the camp for some rest and Jimmy made us chains from the tooth of the wild boar that we caught in the first day. we asked Jimmy to have a night walk in the jungle just to see how it's like, we saw a snake on a tree and a bird but we were sick of it in no time so we got back after about 40 minutes. the guides of the groups made a camp fire and they told us stories about the jungle and their work. one of the guide called himself Mogli, he says that he's the son of the indian man who saved Yossi in "Back from Tuichi" (a book about a group of backpackers that went exploring the jungle by themselfs 20 years ago and they were lost, well some of them). the story was nice but Mogli is a big talker so you don't really know what to believe.

we got up early to have a last walk in the jungle before we got back, Elad from the other israeli group joined us because his group kept on making jewelry. we left for Montaña de Toca (parrot mountain). we used to tubes to pass the river and we put all the cameras in a plastic bag. walking for 5 minutes into the dense jungle plantation on the other side of the river brought us to the this cliff that was full with holes with colorful parrots inside of them. Jimmy said we can get on top of the cliff, we asked to get there. at this point Jimmy probably wanted to abuse us a little, on our way to the top of the cliff we passed throw fire ants trail without a warning from Jimmy, he just started to run and jump without telling us anything. we got biten so many times, few ants got stuck in my sandles the pain was horrible, it was even hard taking them off my legs because they hold so tight. we got to the top of the cliff and the view was worth it, it was an amazing site and for a change green, we're used to see snowy mountains. Jimmy offered us to try a "candy from the jungle" he gave us this leaf to chew on and few seconds later our tongues felt asleep, apparentely it's a natural anesthetize. we started walking back and we stop at some point on the way, Jimmy told Daniel to take a stick and shove it into this hole in the tree to get honey. Daniel did it and nothing happen, he told him to push harder and suddenly this some kind of weird flys\bees started to come out and fly into his hair. Jimmy even took the time to tell us that they know how to cut hair. it took Daniel and Elad (who also got a few in his hair) few minutes to get rid of them but they finally did. we went back, this we knew where to run (fire ants). we got all of our stuff organized, got on the cano and sailed away back to Rurrenabaque.



Photos / videos of "The Jungle":

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