3 day Pampas Tour
Reyes Travel Blog› entry 65 of 92 › view all entries
So I signed up to a 3 day tour of the pampas wetlands in north Bolivia, hoping to see some of the wildlife that had been so disappointingly absent in the jungle in Equador.
I wasn´t let down, for over the 3 days we saw loads of animals enjoying their natural habitats almost unconcerned that we were chugging down the river in our rather basic wooden canoe type thing.
In all there were 8 of us, me, 2 Chileans and a group of 5 friendly but somewhat odd Frenchmen. After a 3 hour jeep ride, passing through the town of Reyes where they were dancing madly in some procession to celebrate their town´s foundation, we made it to the river. From there it was a further 3 hours along the river to our lodge, which was the furthest of all the tour companies´ giving us a special feeling of increased isolation.
It took less than a minute before we had caught a brief glimpse of a river dolphin swimming near the landing-point, and then shortly after a cabybarra on the river bank (although it proved rather shy as our boat approached and it ran off).
As our journey continued we saw parrots, toucans, a kingfisher, a river eagle with freshly caught mouse in mouth, and a whole manner of other birds darting from bank to bank. On the trip we also encountered a sloth and a number of types of monkeys which we were priviledged to see up close as they were somewhat attracted by the bananas some people had brought with them!
We stayed overnight in a basic wood lodge where we encountered a less exciting animal . the evil mosquito.
The next day we went wading into the pampas itself in search of anacondas.
When we returned to camp we had a refreshing swim in the warm river water, and only a little time after we got out discovered that the camp had a resident alligator that was hanging around the bank about 20 metres from where we´d been swimming! Tempted by a bit of food from our kitchen (surprisinly rice and veg, not meat) it lurched out of the water and onto the bank in our camp, where it pretty much stayed for the next day or so.
That evening we went on a boat ride around the pampas and saw all manner of birds - cormorants, herons etc - before we got to a spot where a number of river dolphins were circling.
The next day it was time to head back, and just as it had dome on the way it began to rain with a huge ferocity soaking me through. But there was still wildlife to observe - including almost riding our boat straight into an idle alligator, and still the opportunity to check that the sloth hadn´t moved from the position we´d seen him in 2 days earlier.
All in all the trip was great, and the wildlife observed at such short quarters amazing.