Anthony on the Gringo Trail 2005 travel blog

View from outside my hostel in Rurre

Riverside bar

River boat

The people ferry at dusk

Rurre Hospital...sunk under the weight of bureaucracy_

Rurre river traffic

Well here I am in Rurrenabaque, henceforth Rurre for short, so I don't have to keep looking up how to spell it every time I write it. Rurre is fab, very small, very quiet, at least compared to Puerto Muldanado, which is the only other place I have been in the Amazon. I think that may be because a bit of agriculture and a lot of eco-tourism is pretty much all that happens here.

Bit of a palaver getting to the airport, as same as yesterday, the main road in that diirection was blockaded with tree trunks and gas bottles for reasons I am not sure, I think as people are pissed off at national shortage of gas, which everyone is dependent on for cooking. When we got around it, people were driving in both directions on both sides of the dual carriageway due to further blocks, which was interesting. A 15 kg baggage limit involved some hurried repacking at the airport, and then off we go in a little 12 person propellor plane. There were moments when I wished I had gone on the bus on the Calle de Muerte, as little planes don't half get tossed around by turbulence, but there were great views of the mountains surrounding the city of La Paz, and the hills going down to the jungle. And just at the edge of those hills where the flatter bits start is where Rurre is. So we flew in to land at a little grass strip. It was very hot, about 35 degrees and sweaty, but good to have a break from high altitude. My empty water bottles had crushed themselves up due to the different pressure down here.

My hotel is lovely, with hammocks everywhere around a cool open courtyard. And so I walked around town, mostly on the riverside as the sun went down and put a great light on everything. Luverly! And no fat women with dozens of layers of clothes and tiny bowler hats perched on their heads. And a nice dinner with this Chinese Canadian guy who was on my flight who seems to have managed it so he only has to work six months a year and travel the rest. I am obviously slacking. One thing I did do with the help of someone's guide book though, was clarify that leaving Bolivia through Paraguay may not be quick, as the roads involved are so terrible. Looks like Argentina next then, and yes, don't mention the war!

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