A Travellerspoint blog

Bonito

Snorkelling in fresh water

sunny 17 °C

With all the wildlife we'd just seen on land, we headed over to Bonito to check out some wildlife in water! We did this by snorkelling down a fresh water river. WOW what a great experience. The water was crystal clear and there were tonnes of fish with rocks and logs to dodge not forgetting the rapids to ride!

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The start of the river

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Lots of fish....

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....they got bigger....

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...when they got bigger they had teeth!

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David in and out of water...

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Peaceful waters

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A fish eating...that's all!

Posted by nicdavid 00:49 Archived in Brazil Comments (0)

Pantanal

Kaymans and hammocks

sunny 18 °C

After the bumpiest 15 hour train journey in the world (the guide book hails this particular journey as the death train due to the number of times it has come off the tracks....) we thankfully arrived within a stones throw of the Brazilian border. We nearly didn't make it across the border, as yet again in South America they stamped our passports as if we had arrived after we had actually left...

With formalities out of the way we headed straight for the Pantanal, the largest freshwater wetland in the world. We were immediatley surrounded by wildlife...

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Daddy Kayman

...these boys were everywhere. We trundled along a few dirt roads getting further and further into the bush until we found our home for the following two nights.

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Nic hanging out

Still knackered from the night before, we unpacked and tested the hammocks. After a snooze we went on a boat ride checking out water pigs, huge birds, more kaymans and lots of parrots as the sun set.

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Beer and cigar - great combo

Camp fire in full flow, out came the beer and a few smokes. The following day we headed to a huge lake where piranhas live! Fresh meat in hand we tempted these snappy chappies out, licking our lips as each one made it to the bank - these lucky fish were going to be our dinner that night!

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It had big teeth - My Pirahana

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Biggest catch of the day by the smallest person there!

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Yum yum - dinner that night

That afternoon, for the first time whilst travelling, we swung our legs over a couple of horses and hit the ranch. Great fun, they galloped on there own accord and pretty much didn't pay any attention to us!

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Clip clip cliperty clop

Posted by nicdavid 00:48 Archived in Brazil Comments (0)

Santa Cruz

Last stop and go-karting!

overcast 13 °C

After a short flight we were in Santa Cruz where the sun shines and the only thing worth doing is to sit and watch beautiful girls walk by...or so we were told. We arrived to a cloudy sky and cold weather! Apart from a fantastic array of ice-cream shops and a modern European feel there were two things that really made Santa Cruz stand out. These were sloths and go-karting. In the main square, instead of watching beautiful girls we stood in amazement watching a sloth in a tree. It was quite fascinating seeing these agile but slow creatures work their way up and across trees, reaching for branches that looked way out of reach whilst continually eating. Go-karting was next on our list and when the taxi driver eventually found the place we were soon sitting in our karts trying to rev our engines. It goes without saying that Nic was by far the best female driver on the track (she was the only one) and that she did the female population proud by coming 2nd (from last)! David tore round the track, lapping Nic twice and as you´ve guessed it, he came first. After this bit of excitement we dutifully boarded an overnight train and headed to the Pantanal.....

Posted by nicdavid 13:27 Archived in Bolivia Comments (0)

Sucre

Paragliding, and Dinosaur footprints!?

sunny 13 °C

We were very relieved to arrive in Sucre. The city seemed very chilled and we had a comfortable hotel we could call our home for the following two nights.

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You can just make them out - sort of

We quickly jumped onboard a dinotruck which whisked us away to a cement factory....Mmmm this wasn´t what we were expecting. Ahhh but after a quick BBC Walking With Dinosaurs episode (good old BBC!) all was clear and we were taken around the corner to a rock face covered with the big boys tracks! This area is a World Heritage Site because these marks are the largest recorded dinosaur tracks in the world.... how random!?

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Ladies first

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The next day we were up early, again, mmm. We were heading to the surrounding hills with a big bag in the back of the truck. We arrived at a cliff edge and mentally prepared oursleves for what we had let ourselves in for! We were going to paraglide off this hill.... all 600 metres of it! Nic went first to make sure it was safe for David! (It was done in weight order because the wind got higher as the day went on! Honest!) Before we knew it she was up in the air gracefully falling to the valley below. She landed with the biggest grin on her face, this was the best thing ever! By the time David had a go the wind was rampant and turbulent. The equpment was a little tight, so most of the journey felt out of control and with a testicle wedgy to boot, he was relieved to touch the ground.... Awesome but bum squelching experience.

Posted by nicdavid 13:26 Archived in Bolivia Comments (0)

Potosi

The highest city of its size in the World!

sunny 4 °C

The journey to this city was bumpy and long. We had watched the sun set and continued along some scarey roads in a bus that had really passed its use by date! After a few windows falling out and picking up a few hitchhikers along the way, we eventually saw the dizzying lights on the horizion.

Potosi was once the richest city in the world because of the silver mine here. An extinct volcano that dominates the the city is where all the action was to be had! We were very lucky to be here in the 1st of August as this day was the only time of the year when the miners pay sacrifice to Pachamama (Mother Earth) for all the wealth the land has given them.

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Not a good combo

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We quickly booked up a tour through the mines and bought gifts for the guys who work in its dingy depths. This was bizarre - it would probably be David´s only chance to ever buy dynamite! With a fuse and stick of TNT in hand we ventured down into the merky depths of the mines and witnessed what these guys had to do....it was all by chisel, hammer and brute force. We were shaken by at least 15 blasts of dynamite from the above and below tunnels. Needless to say this made us feel very exposed! We handed over our gifts (reluctantly!) and made our way outside to the party! There were two llamas at the entrance to our tunnel, looking rather edgy as you´d probably expect. They were dosed up with alcohol and coca leaves before being bundled to the ground. The manager came out sharpening his knife and proceeded to cut each head off. Blood spurting in all direction they gathered the red stuff and began spraying the walls, themselves, us and all the equipment with the warm fresh blood. With the llamas still jerking in the background we declined the offer to a BBQ and made our way back into the town with several explosions around us marking the annual celebration we had just witnessed!

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We´ll never forget that! Meat was off the menu for a few hours at least!

The rest of the evening was full of explosions and as you probably expect, alcohol (96% - lethal stuff!) and TNT don´t really mix. It turned into riots and rocks being thrown....a bit scarey as it all seemed to be outside our hostel, which proved rather tricky when we wanted to get inside!

Posted by nicdavid 13:25 Archived in Bolivia Comments (0)

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