Tuesday, 16 November 2010

To the Bolivian Amazon Rainforest - Madidi National Park

MJC staring with anticipation at the Bolivian rainforest and the meanders of the River Tuichi (pron: Twitchy) below.  We are en route to the small, sweaty town of Rurrenabaque - tourist gateway to the forest and the pampas.

On the left is our guide Yadmani.  He has been much the best guide of our trip so far.  Chosen for us because of his excellent knowledge and love of birds, he was also very good company, professional and speaks English well.  Our entire 4 day forest and pampas tour was extremely well organised by Bala Tours.   They are one of the recommended companies in Rurrenabaque and deservedly so.

One of our trips here was to a towering cliff face in the forest, visited by several species of parrot - including Red and Green Macaws which nest in holes in the rock.

 A great viewing point for the macaws in flight after a 30 minute sticky walk through the forest and up the cliff.  There´s a sheer drop of 100 ft or more.  Our German companion Jurg (the one in green) got stomach-churningly close to the edge, with total nonchalance.  About three years ago, an Israeli tourist fell to his death here when the cliff edge crumbled under his feet. 

The photos I took of the red and green macaws in flight are all rubbish but this perched one is nice.

No, not a still from Death on the Nile

MJC alerts the crew to an outbreak of the Tuichi´s treacherous rapids. OK so that they´re not that dangerous.

Heading to Rurrenabaque again.  This is probably a more comfortable way of commuting than on the 0630 Gatwick Express to Victoria.  Undoubtedly preferable to First Capital Connect.

Next post - the Horrors and Wonders of the Pampas

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