South America | Bolivia | Rurrenabaque – Hell in Rurre
I’m in hell and its called Bolivia, or to be more specific Rurrenabaque. I know, I’m being melodramatic, but this is the way its starting to feel, or maybe I’m dreaming. Anyway, after my last mail, I spent some time in Santa Cruz, great town!! Then headed up to Rurrenabaque where I decided to brave the Bolivian Amazon and trek into the rainforest.
After another nightmare bus journey, I got to Rurre at 2am. Try imagining arriving in a strange village in the middle of the night and its pitch black and you don’t have a hotel reservation. Not good. And then I found there were no taxis, they have motorcycles instead. So here I am riding through the streets clutching my big rucksack and various other bags I’d picked up on my travels. Needless to say I fell off twice.
Managed to lie my way into somewhere to spend the night. So the next day we set off on our rainforest trek, which lasted 3 days. It was pretty good, if you ignore the fact that out guide was certifiable and did his best to get us killed by, tarantulas, hornets, ‘the 2nd most deadliest snake in the world’, river crossings and other things. But we had a blast!!!
So got back and headed out on Saturday for La Paz. In my complete and total naivety I was still relying on the bus. Note at the start of this I said I was in Rurre. That’s right. Guess what? After 12 hours in the smelliest bus imaginable and the most terrifying roads, I swear I thought I was going to die about 20 times, and the way the driver was carrering around didn’t help. We went off the side 3 times and had to be dug and hauled up, we stopped again. At first I thought it was nothing, then people started muttering about roadblocks. Fine, I thought, then after a couple of hours all the guys started grabbing their bags and heading off
We were deep in the mountains, and they were going to cross the roadblocks my walking 6 hours over the mountains to the next town. Now considering I could barely lift my rucksack, this wasn’t really an option. So everyone started screaming at the driver to turn back to Rurre, its about 1am now. At 2 he finally turns round, and I’m thinking about how I can get a flight to La Paz. BUT!!!!!! He isn’t going back, he’s just going down the road to wait. And so we wait till 9am. For what? I’m asking myself. Only the driver knows. Then and finally then do we turn back, the road is blocked for the next week. They’re having strikes so they’ve done a rockfall. So either fly or wait another week
But before we go back he wants each of us to pay for him taking us back. HELLO??? We’ve already paid to go to La Paz, and we’re only half way there and he wants more money. I totally refused, but since everyone else paid, and seemed happy to do so, I had no leg to stand on, and my spanish wasn’t up to a major argument.
Finally got back to Rurre last night, and have spent all morning trying to get a flight out. But its torrential rain and only the military are flying this week and they’re booked solid, so I’m on the waiting list.
I’m feeling very calm about the whole situation. I think I’m in denial. However don’t let me put you guys off, contrary to what you may think after all my ranting Bolivia is a really beautiful country, the sanitation and hygiene leave a lot to be desired, but its great!!
Anyway, have to go back to the military base and see if there’s any space for me yet.