So we’re back. Just short of 3 weeks in Bolivia. We did everything. We sweated, a lot. Man it’s hot there right now. Every day 37 Celsius or close. Aren’t you jealous? We swam daily. Ate steak almost daily. And you know…we weren’t cold. 🙂
And after almost 30 years of believing I had a unique genetic mutation, it took one camping trip in the Bolivian jungle to disprove it. I got my first tick. Yeeeek. Many camping trips in Kansas, a childhood running around barefoot in fields, and frequent fishing led me to believe that while my blood was certainly desired among Mosquitoes, some particular ingredient kept the ticks at away. Just like that, bounced back to normal human status. Dang.
For the camping excursion we were driven into the park protected area in a 4×4 through 3 rivers and then loaded up like pack mules and started hiking.
Our first stop was a park ranger station where our guide cooked us a hot lunch over a fire while we took a swim in a nearby lagoon! The water was clear with lots of little fish swimming with us. After lunch we packed up again to hit the trail.
We hiked 3 hours with our ranger cutting the trail with his machete and telling us about the trees, flowers, fruits, spiders and animals around. Most of the time the brush was so thick above you could not see the sky! And the trees were really amazing. Huge and some hundreds of years old.
This flower is the national flower of Bolivia, called the Patujú. After dark, Mauricio and I went on a night hike with our guide. With our flashlights beaming down on the foot trail, all you could see were the glowing eyes of the trees inhabitants staring back at us. Naturally, I was terrified. Naturally, Mauricio thought it was awesome. 🙂 At one point on our night hike we turned off the flashlights to stand in the darkness to focus on listening. Everything is awake at night. And we heard a large animal in the area. That maxed out my fear tolerance and so we turned back to camp. (Ps just so you can be sure I’m not a total wimp, we found fresh puma tracks near where we had been standing in the dark the night before!) The following morning after breakfast we took off again hiking. We spotted a monkey jumping from treetop to treetop talking to his friends, and so much more.
Parque de lomas was a daytrip we took with the entire family. This protected park area is a combination of huge sand dunes surrounded by natural lagoons and forrested area. On the top of the dunes the wind is blowing so hard you can hardly keep your feet on the ground!
New Years Eve we spent at a cabin in the mountains by the little town of Samaipata. We spent the day at El Fuerte, the ancient remains of Amazonas and Incas. Here you can see the carved rock area. Theories of the purpose behind this formation vary, but my personal favorite idea is that it was used as an arrival and landing strip for an ancient alien spacecraft!
How awesome is that to imagine? We know so little about time before history was methodically documented. How much happened that we will never know? That we can only speculate on? Pretty cool to think this over on top of a mountain don’t you think?
On the drive home the next day, we stopped for a hike trail leading through the mountains to some waterfalls.
Happy New Year everyone! (Just 14 days late…chagrined…)