Wild and wonderful two days on a farm
22.08.2009 - 25.08.2009
Arrived in Santa Cruz, Bolivia this morning after a 14hr night train. Not great, didnt get a lot of leg room and the baby behind us kept waking up and crying. Plus the train shook a lot, so we are still swaying.
Pantanal was brilliant though. We saw so much wild life, dad you would have loved it. There were so many different types of birds, we saw tucans, paraqueets (dont know how to spell that) hawks, storks, vultures and two massive storks called Jaberoos (they were in a nest up a tree and were so huge. They mate for life aswell). We also saw loads of caiman, a couple of armadillo, marsh deer, water hogs and capivara (the largest rodent in the world) oh and a caiman lizzard that was huge too. The guide, a cowboy (Goucho in Portugese) called Alex told us that the lizzard was poisonous and could run really fast so we took the photo and quickly moved on. Also saw monkeys and a fox called a crab eating fox. There were so many different animals, it was really amazing to see them in the wild and hear the different noises they all made.
Pantanal is the largest marsh inland and is about the size of France. Global warming has caused it to start drying up though, it was sad to see large areas really dry that were obviously once covered in water. Alex said that the animals are being affected too because of the water levels dropping. We did a night safari and saw hundreds of caiman huddled together near pools, ALex said it was unusual to see soo many caiman in the one spot but it was because there was less water. Seeing somthing like that makes you realise what damage you are doing. At home you can pretend its not that bad but when you go somewhere like that and see the effects first hand its quite scary.
The night safari was good, because the sun was setting loads of animals came out. Once it was dark Alex shawn his torch over the pools and all you could see was the caimans eyes shinning back, pinks, reds and yellow. It was so pretty, like being in a plane and looking down over a city.
We also went horse riding, which I was a little scared of at first but soon got used to it when I realised the horse wasnt going to take off or throw me off. Half way into the horse ride it started to pour and thunder. The horses wernt scared of the thunder or lightning but they were scared of the rain, so we had to take cover under the trees for a bit.
There were loads of thunder storms while we were there, seemed to be every morning and night, but they were so pretty to watch sitting on the decking at the farm. The hammocks were fun but not very comfy to sleep in. I woke up stiff every morning and because we were in a barn with everyone else you didnt get much sleep for the people snoring.
The day we left we went piranha fishing in the river. Good to try but I got bored easliy, especially cause I couldnt catch anything. Kev was the first one to catch a fish, a catfish that we had to be careful of because they have poisonous spikes in their fins. I think that me and Charlotte, one of the other girls on the tour, were the only ones to not catch anything. I must have had a broken rod, thats my excuse anyway.
From Pantanal we took a bus to the border to cross into Bolivia. What a palava...our tour leader had to cross seperatly because GAP dont give them working visas for Bolivia and if she was caught would have to pay a huge fine or go to prison. So we all had to hang about at the crossing waiting on taxis cause they wouldnt let us cross in the mini van for some reason. Then when we went to get our passports stamped they made up some charge of 5 dollars each or we couldnt get in. Then when we were getting on the night train some guy made up another fee to put our bags on. We had alreay paid for the tickets but he wanted more money to put the bags on. 5 boliviano, only 50p but thats not the point. We were being taking for a ride left right and centre. Bolivia might be really cheap but I think they can get away with anything, which will really wind me up.
Nevermind, spending the day in Santa Cruz just recovering from the 14hr night bus then off again tomorrow. Flying to Sucre tomorrow morning, only a 30min flight over the Andes.
Hope eveyone is well. Take care, speak soon.
Love C and K xxxxx