Pampas tour in the Amazon of Bolivia – day 2 of anaconda searching, piranhas fishing and observing caimans at night
After the first day in the pampas of Bolivia, our second day started early. We heard the howler monkeys making noise early in the morning and then the group next door woke up very early to go to see the sunrise. Then we tried to sleep a little bit more, took showers at 7.30 am and a delicious breakfast at 8 am. We got fruit (bananas, oranges, papaya), a lot of different fried bread and sweet bread, coffee, tea, toasts and scrambled eggs. Yummy!
Then everyone chose the best boots and all ready we headed off on another boat trip. On the way we saw some turtles and brown monkeys.
Once we got to the right place to look for the anacondas, we got of the boat and started walking through the grass, mud and water. Getting dirty up to the waist, we spotted some nice red small flowers, red crabs, a nest with baby birds.
It was a very tough walking with a bottle of water, in boots and looking all over the grass to see some snakes. It was boiling hot and humid, we were all sweating and covered with aggressive mosquitoes. I sprayed half of the repellent all over my body but they were still so annoying!
I got bites all around my forehead, face, in the hair and more on my ass, legs and back. Ouch! The first part of the whole pampas tour! We also heard some caimans with babies in the grass not far away from us but to find an anaconda was a very difficult task. We were just not that lucky as it was not the anaconda season, next time I guess!
I guess we were all happy when we got back to the boat that the search of anaconda finished, even though unhappy not having found one. Look how dirty my feet and boots were 😀
We all needed to clean up and cool down, so the guys jumped into the water and when I was still stripping off into the bikini, just a couple of metres from us we saw an unbelievably unreal caiman having siesta with its mouth widely open! The cayman got scared so swam away and the guys got back to the boat before I could have even got in, so we continued our boat trip as no one really felt brave enough at that moment to swim in knowing there was a cayman somewhere over there. Not that they are dangerous for people, but there is still this respect we had!
From the boat we saw that there was a slot at the tree, it was so cool and cute and slow!
And we saw more turtles sunbathing on a branch in the water.
It was lunch time so we came back to the ecolodge and jumped into the kitchen to eat soup, broccoli, vegetable salads, lentils and more.
After the yummy lunch, we jumped into the hammocks to have some siesta time ourselves as well (not just the animals) as the anaconda searching was really tiring. Then I headed off to the bed as I had a headache from the Sun and wanted proper sleep and the hammock it was scratching all my bites.
At 3 pm we were still tired and sleepy but all ready to continue and all in good mood we went piranha fishing. Victor gave us all a piece of wood and a hook to try our luck. Yeah, piranhas! You know that dangerous movie about piranhas eating people… well, it is not true, but they can bite a lot, their teeth are so sharp! In our first stop, always in between the trees somewhere, just Tom caught a little piranha but it was so small he let her back into the water.
I almost got lucky twice but the piranhas were little bastards! So we changed the spot, but both in the second and the third place none of us got lucky with piranhas. They were just eating all our beef! And we were getting a bit desperate, especially after not seeing any anaconda earlier in the day.
But Victor explained us that it was the end of the rainy season and when it’s too much water in the pampas, there are no piranhas (December to February) and we just came there when the first piranhas started to appear.
So we changed the spot for the 4th time and were hoping for the best. Victor and Tom caught the first piranhas and we all saw it was full of them there. Suddenly, we were all in a good mood and as positive thinking is really powerful, in the end everyone caught a piranha. I almost got 6 of them but they were so fast and escaped. Then I got a small sardine as well but let it go. We got white and red piranhas and Victor showed us their teeth and how they bite. We took photos and then Victor made a piranha collar 😀
All happy and proud of ourselves, we made it on the boat again to the bar and the sunset place. That night the sunset was amazing and much more beautiful than the previous day. And there were more people playing football, drinking and just enjoying the atmosphere. We found there a caiman skull, too.
Before all the mosquitoes came and ate us alive, we went back to the ecolodge for dinner. We got fish with spaghetti with cheese and tomato sauce, rice and salads. That was a dinner everyone enjoyed!
Straight after the dinner, we hopped on the boat again and went outside to the wild with our torches to watch the caimans’ shining eyes. We saw a couple of them, usually just the eyes somewhere in the dark but got a caiman just a metre from us. It didn’t move, it was so cute and scary at the same time! It was just us, darkness and the caiman’s eyes. Scary movie! And there were thousands of bats flying around us, from very small ones to big ones I have never seen in my life.
Then we got back and I realized how many mosquitoes were around the light bulb outside of our room. And not just mosquitoes, but a huge amount of frogs looking up and waiting for mosquitoes to stick on their tongues.
We finished the day playing the cards, some drinking wine/beers/rum and me writing my diary and listening to the music. I took a shower before the lights went off again at 9 pm and went to bed later on. It was impossible to sleep. Everything was so itchy, I didn’t know how to lie down as I had at least 1 mosquito bite on every single cm of my body. It was a really bad night before my day 3 in the pampas.
- bring sunscreen lotion
- strong repellent
- a cream or something to put on the mosquito bites
- waterproof clothes
- water for the first day
- swimming suit
- 1 or 2 towels
- camera, recharged camera batteries
- 2 long pants
- 1 white T-shirt with long sleeves
- shorts and T-shirts without sleeves or with short sleeves for hot days
- sandals/flip flops and sport shoes
- a cap or a hat
My trip to Rurrenabaque pampas was done by Indigena tours. Thanks so much! I really had a great time! I chose Indigena tours because they are the first company being certified by US AID for completing standards of quality and ecology during pampas tours.