South America | Bolivia – Descending into the Clouds
Packed beyond belief in a solid pick-up truck, we wound out of the sleepy mountain village of Sorata. It was now time to leave the Andean world of mountains behind us. The rough track would bring us through the final labyrinth of vertical horizons and then send us crashing down into the the verdant world of the Amazon below. It was time to see the other side of Bolivia; steamy forests and thick vegetation, the contrast could not have been more pronounced.
We climbed slowly to the last pass before we rounded a corner into the humid density of of the morning clouds that rise from the Amazon. Visibility was reduced to less than 50 meters, just enough to navigate the rough track. When we left the clouds silent cloak we were already worlds away from the Bolivia that we had been exploring for the past 2 1/2 months. The mountains were still there but they were blanketed in an impenatrable green. Here began the Amazon, thousands of kilometers of green stretched from these last mountains to the Atlantic coast of Brasil, a world in itself, a world with it’s own laws and harmony. Like the sea, it is a world where man is at the mercy of forces greater than his inventions. It was humbling to enter into this realm of eternal emerald hues, humbling and fascinating.
Neon blue butterflies, the size of my outstetched hand, flew amidst the ever-thickening wall of green, great trees rose above the valleys draped in vines and parasitic growth. Under waterfalls and across feeble bridges, the road continued it’s descent. At one point we passed an unlucky, 2 meter-long boa constrictor that hadn’t made it across the track in time. Though small by Amazonian standards it struck fear in my heart; here in the jungle we are insignificant, the nature is strong for the weak and deadly for the foolish. (I’m still not sure to which categorie I belong !!)
Ok, well excuse me but it is now time to dive still deeper into the green. Our transport leaves in a half an hour and there are still a few things to be done. We are now headed to Rurrenabaque, the beginnning of the Amazon basin proper. I will undoubtedly be without internet for a week or so but you’ll be the first to know when I have returned. So hold tight and watch out for the stray boas, hasta luego !