Hello, and welcome to the next step in my post-military globe-trotting. Many of you followed my first blog (tonyrides.com) as I traveled the United States on my Motorcycle, riding over 18,000 miles and reaching 49 states and three countries.

In this next installment, my friend Jerod and I will be going abroad for an open-ended jaunt. We will start in the Middle-East at the end of February and see where the roads and the winds take us.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Movin´ on up

So, after about a month it is our last day in Bolivia.  Since our climbing trip we have been pretty busy.  Well, sort of.  We took several days off after our trip to organize some logistics and do some shopping.  Then we headed off to the edge of the Amazon to a small town called Rurrenabaque, or Rurre for short.  Rurre is the jumping-off point for tours of the pampas (grasslands) and the rainforest.  We only had time for one trip, so we opted for the pampas tour, as it was rumored to be rife with wildlife, and that seemed more interesting that some trees and bugs in the rainforest. 

The tour starts with a three-hour jeep ride to a bend in a river where you load up these long river boats.  About 100 yards from our launching point we were spotting aligators and capybaras (the world´s largest rodent).  By spotting I mean we saw more than I can remember.  You soon lose count and interest.  We also saw many birds, monkeys, and snakes as well.  One of the highlights was swimming with the pink dolphins.  I never saw a dolphin, just blurs and ripples moving throught murkey water.  One of the most fun and terrifying swims of my life.  Terrifying because we had seen alligators several hundred yards downstream.  Our guide assured us that the circles we had made with our boat scared them all away, and that if we stayed in the deep water we would be safe.  Well, we all survived, but I am not sure it was ever safe.  Then, to top it off, we went pirhana fishing about 100 yards downstream from where we were swimming.  We did get to eat some of the pirhanas we caught as well.  

After the pampas tour we went back to La Paz and were reunited with our buddy David who had just returned from some trekking and rafting in Peru.  We had enought time to do some laundry, have a few decent meals, and pack up for our last trip in Bolivia, Lake Titicaca.  Try saying that five times without gigling like a schoolgirl.  We took a bus to the town of Copacabana on the shores of Lake Titicaca and took a ferry to Isla del Sol (Island of the sun).  Both of those places sound very warm and exotic, but the thruth is that they are both at about 4,000 meters elevation and are always a bit brisk, if not downright cold.  The island includes several mediocre Incan ruins, and Copacabana features a church.  Pretty exciting stuff really. 

Anyway, this afternoon we are off to Puno, Peru to see the famous floating islands, and then an overnight bus to Cuzco, or Cusco.  From there we have a three-day trek to Macchu Picchu.  Thanks for stopping in.  Reports of Macchu Picchu coming next week.

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