Bolivia Travel Stories, Page 3

WAITING FOR GODOT

I was required to read the play “Waiting for Godot” by Samuel Becket in University, and often it is a great analogous representation of travel.

There is a plane from Rurrenabaque to La Paz, when will it come and when will it leave nobody knows, you ask a question and they answer a different question, everyone talks however the answers are not clear. It is obvious that there are no intention of communication, just a mix of noise and clatter.

Waiting and wanting, a frustration at the futile desire, the only progress I make is that I am trying to leave.

I suppose the play was absurd, mostly everyone is careful to not say silly as someone may say they are silly for not understanding, like great pieces of art that make zero sense, although everyone says they do, and of course because you can interpret in a million ways, they make the sense a person wants or needs.

Personally a small dose of common sense and clarity is needed for me per day, and after that nonsense again, I love to listen to travelers try to control other cultures, the time, and the most interesting is, they want to plan the weather.

This is better than the play.

I am lying on a bed with an oversize fitted sheet that does not fit, with no top sheet or cover, however it has a bedspread.



A man from Argentina is sleeping in a tent outside my room that is sitting on the concrete; he works in a bar called the Banana and was making some type of Jewelry from a Coconut.

I had not way of locking my door, so of course I made my own lock, although they did supply a hasp for the screen door, which does not stop the mosquitoes.



There are two men that appears to be a Soldier protecting the privately owned Amaszonas Airlines office however there is no soldier protecting the TAM or Military office.

The soldier tells me they will load for the plane at 6:30 however right now the time is already 7:00, he says the office will open at 7:00 however there is nobody in the office. The office opens at 7:00 the plane is suppose to leave or load around 6:30, nobody knows for sure.

I have a reserved ticket for Wednesday, however today is Thursday, I do not know when I leave or for sure I will go, although they guarantee.
“No Problema.”

I try to pay for my room, I owe 20 Bolivianos, however they never have change for 50. More or less, I owe three dollars and they cannot change a five-dollar bill. I debate what to do; do I need to go spend money so I can receive change so I can spend money?



The sun is rising, nobody is awake until eight or nine, the people are sweeping the sidewalks next to an open sewer, there for sure it will be cleaner, however it still smells.

Tour companies going to the jungle, on a 6 hour trip will leave at nine because they want to guarantee they drive and cook the tourist in the heat of the day, and contrary to popular believe locals do not awake with the sun, they sleep in the same as tourist, nothing starts until nine in the morning and then, impossible to buy coffee, so I make my own.

I will go to a city named La Paz that is freezing in the middle of the tropics.

I went to the jungle and saw a pet alligator by the name of Alfonso, which lives along the river tour that is sold as a Pampas Tour.
(The term is derived from a Quechua Native American phrase meaning “flat surface or plain.”) 1

AGAIN I GO
7:20 Returned from the office that confirmed I should or could, or maybe I will be on the 10:30 flight, however I go to the office at the 9:00 to pay the driver 5 Bolivianos to go the airport, by the Amaszonas shuttle,
I will pay another fee at the airport for exit tax, so on and on it goes, a nick here a nick there…

A New Zealand girl sits, apologizing for her perfect English saying that people cannot understand her, although she speaks perfect English while the British berate me for not understanding their improper English. She is proper while the other are not proper referring to a country that says it is proper, however is not proper, this is from me, a country of peasants who now listen to the Royalty and tell them what to do.

She started by saying, I leave at 9, my plane leaves Lima in two day, I have 10 friends trying to leave, they sold our tickets, I did everything correct, I came to the office I booked my ticket, I reconfirmed before I went to the Pampas, (Which is the River Jungle) and now I return.

I did everything right, however they cancelled my ticket. They always say,
“No Problem; however there is always a problem.”

In the play “Waiting for Godot,” there is this rope that comes on the stage and off the stage, always being pulled on one end and being pulled on the other end, no beginning no end. There is starting of a sentence, however the sentence does not end, probably as good as my grammar.

What is a Godot?

“The tramps Vladimir and Estragon, … wait for Godot, who never arrives. Beckett’s play addresses the absurdity of, and need for, hope”
Encarta 1

Of course, there is no answer, however it is 100 percent sure for me in my mind and only in my mind, and they are maybe talking about God.

Confusion is the Devils best friend, and hope is the thread that is the glue, faith is the belief in hope, and in the end, if you believe, all will be fine.

No Problema

Therefore, they are correct, how it works, how I travel, why I travel, I have no idea, but it does work.

Travel Writers will dream up a story, a place, and an adventure, it will sell a tour, a place, a story, a dream, people will visit this fantasy, go home and tell others they seen the mystical place, and in the end the story is better than reality, because no one would believe the truth.

By the way, I am getting on an Airline that spells the Word Amazonas with and s or Amaszonas in a country where the word is spelled Amazon, in a location where the name of the river is Beni.

I must go spend some money so I can receive change, so I can pay for my Hotel room, to pay a person with no change.

Obliteran!



A list of all the extra fees collect by the Amaszonas Airlines if you change you ticket, I would not be surprised now if they try to collect for what they cancelled.


Magnum Opus Obliterans

Someone post a comment on this permanent link.
http://www.hobotraveler.com/2005/04/obsessive-compulsive.html

Very interesting... now if I can figure out clearly what it means, it is either a good insult or a compliment, what fun.

OK, there does seem to be the meaning it a great work, that is hidden behind a mess, I do not understand if by purpose of lack of skill in writing, nonetheless I am sure there is an essences to an evolving voice that writers develop, or their style.

Magnum Opus - FROM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnum_opus
Magnum opus, from the Latin meaning great work, refers to the best or most renowned achievement of an author, artist, or composer.


BOLIVIA AIRLINE

AMASZONAS AIRLINES or AMAZONAS AIRLINES

From La Paz Bolivia to Rurrenabaque Bolivia
Leaving La Paz is more or less Latino dependable, normal levels of lots of problems, however you can maybe say ok.

From Rurrenabaque Bolivia to La Paz you would need to clarify the tickets are at best a first come first serve.

I first started to leave 4 day ago, it is the month of April and just the start of the busy season.

IT IS A STANDBY TICKET ONLY
Do not stack a trip to another country, so you have less than a four day delay between flights, you need at least a four day delay between connections as the do not guarantee flights in any way.

If you must travel by a time schedule, the bus is more dependable, you are probably guaranteed to make it in less than 48 hours, high water or low.



There are three or more major issues with this Airline that you need to be warned about.

1. Baggage Weight.
There is only 15 kilos of checked bags, and only 3 kilos of carry on allowed. This means the average backpacker could pay more, do not get on this airline with all your bags, and store some in the hotel in La Paz.

2. The reserved seat is not a reserved seat from Rurrenabaque to La Paz, they will cancel or move your day back as they wish, with no notice except when you show up to leave. You need to go check daily and early.

3. Overbooked flights.
As best I can tell, all flights are overbooked therefore there is always someone in the bubble, which will not leave. They do this in three ways.

A. Say you have a ticket; however do not make you pay.
B. Allow you to book through a hotel manager, however when you arrive you do not leave.
C. Just let you do the process and do not allow you to leave.
D. The rain is an excuse presently.

Manana is the standard.



This is pure sugar alcohol I happened to see on the shelf, I asked,
“Como uso?”
How do they use?

She looked at me with the normal, it does not register in my head look, I then guessed.
“Por limpiar?”
To clean.

“Si, Bichos.”
Bugs or Mosquitoes more or less.

I asked,
“Para Tomar?”
To drink?

“Si”
“Hace locos?”
“Si”
They become crazy.

So this is also for drinking, there is not label on the bottle; this gave me the heads up on some local brew.



This Expat American sells the best granola type, sugar cakes, and for sure a gringo food.



This is a fare price or half the price of fare for this type of Gringo food, normally the price of anything made by Expats in the bread category cost more or the same as in the western countries. This sell for three Bolivians or maybe around .35 cents USA. Now compare that to Pringles that cost maybe 2.5 to 3 dollars and this is a great value for a hunk of food.

The mans name I believe is Ron, he has lived outside the USA for about 20 plus years, and to me is a missionary. I do not think he like that term, however he hands out religious materials to travelers in a very non-confrontive way, I believe he is the best source of information on the ins and outs of Rurrenabaque you can find in the city.

If you have had enough typical, then this is a great cheap snack.



Door Hasp or Door Chapa
I installed these two eyelet screws on the door, strangely this door really did not have a lock or only on the screen door. I try to be ready always to install this type of lock system. I never trust a hotel or the staff under any conditions, and more in the more expensive hotels, as the are the most dangerous, or the bigger risk of being robbed.


BOLIVIA PICTURES



I found this kerosene lantern device for sale in a shop here in Rurrenabaque, Bolivia, I purchase for maybe .75 Cents U.S. or about 6 Bolivianos. I always want more light to read by in the event I am on some deserted island. Candles are good, but really they are heavy to carry, the melt, and do not last long, the best form of travel fuel is probably Kerosene, gas for a car is easiest to find, however dangerous, most oil is sort of difficult to find and burns dirty, kerosene is most the time available, the cleanest and easy fuel to find is alcohol, however in the Islamic countries it is expensive because I believe they do not want them to drink it, most alcohol sold around the world is from sugar of some kind and not wood like the USA, so you could drink it if you are a little loco.

I found a cap on a whiskey bottle in Koh Mak, Thailand and it had the wick to a kerosene type lantern. My thought is this, if I had a cap that fit on top of a beer bottle, one that more or less was a little big or small, maybe adjusted in some manner, I could only carry the cap with the wick, there are always beer bottles, and some form of fuel. I will think if I can adjust this, maybe I can buy a piece of cork and it would work, put a small pipe through the cork. Wind is the next problem, however the room is not winding, however when you need a candle there is normally not the best place to sleep.
I am sure a lot of people believe flashlights or torches as the British call them is the answer, especially this little one you clip on your head, however this is just a stop gap solution, does not last long enough where the locals are all going to start buying this junk. The local solution is usually the best for the area.

I have heard, however I have not found, or seen, that there is a little spot light head flashlight, or small pointer that will last like maybe 1800 hours, if that does exist then I could read by this light.


The wick part of the kerosene lantern.




The lady that works in the Amaszonas Airlines office went and lived in the USA, she learned English perfectly, had a good job, said she could sing the National Anthem of the USA, she is very disillusioned now she said,
“If I go pregnant and was on welfare like the Mexicans, I would still be in the USA, I have to be illegal to stay.”

Hmmm…
Then she says,
“I did every thing right and I had to leave.”

This is the nature of the new liberal world, protect the people who do not deserve to be protected and punish the ones that obey the rules.
I said,
“Do not feel alone, I am a blond haired, blue eyed male, that like women from the USA, I am the most hated person on the planet.”
She agreed, everyone hates me, which is why she was complaining to me, I am supposed to be the one that caused the problem for her. I said,
“I am sorry, it make me ashamed that the USA treated a person that did all the right things wrong.”

There is an idea that every sad story in the world has merit and every person needs to be able to live without working. There are some parts of the world broken, I then said,
“Hey, go to Europe, they will let anyone come and live, do nothing, and you can just go to the next if you have a problem, trust me Europe is being invade by people that will not work.”

Hmm… she wants the American Dream, she should have stayed for the eight years or whatever is needed for them to get citizenship by amnesty or whatever the crazy policy is now. I guess I must recommend that crime does pay. I tell people all the time, fly to Mexico or Canada and walk across the border, easy solutions to Visa Problems.



American Breakfast, whatever that is, normally has coffee I think.
Omelet’s for the French,
Muesli for the Germans and Europe.
Beef, Chicken and Fish ala plancha, which mean ironed of flattened to serve the local words.
Brochetas?
Pizza - aagh, the guaranteed sign of too many tourists.
Lasagna for the veggies and pasta people that think they are avoiding the chicken eggs.
Pasta, again for the Vegans and Veggies, you know pasta with Veggies on Monday and Rice with Veggies on Tuesday.
Helados, or Ice Cream.

This is very popular restaurant, one of these days I would love to have a traveler or tourist walk up to me and say,
“I just found the best typical restaurant, no tourist, menu in Spanish, it was like eating with a Bolivian family, no special fuss for us, the place is where all the local eat, the perfect place to learn about Bolivia.”

I had a person make a post in the comments when I was comparing the Peruvian girls to the Asian girls, it was full of curses words so I had to delete, however it is interesting that I am trying to more in a guy way explained he difference between body shapes of various countries and people get angry, not that I care, however the various difference in body shapes, colors of skins, faces, length of nose, the length of thy, and so many differences is interesting, or I suppose no one would take photos, however the world if full of photos, I guess what they mean is show, but keep your mouth shut, do not explain.

I suppose I will go on explaining what I see and feel, I do try my best to day, these are my opinions, not that I sit around trying to prove or disprove anything, this is just an guy that hangs around in other countries.

COFFEE MAKERS IN BOLIVIA



Coffee Strainer more or less.


MISSING PERSON IN KOH LIPE AREA OF THAILAND

PERSON FOUND
Thanks so much for emailing us.
WE FOUND JOHN JANNARONE.
John had gone to some islands and had failed to contact a friend with whom he was to travel with to Hanoi, so his friends in Thailand alerted us that he was missing. We had the embassy looking for him last week. He's safe and sound. Again, thanks for your response to my email. Mr and Mrs Jannarone

I am removing telephone and emails.

KOH LIPE AREA

Letter to Andy on HoboTraveler.com contact link.
http://www.hobotraveler.com/formlettereditor1.php

Please email me at
xxxxxxx @ aol.com CONNECT THIS TO MAKE WORK.

My son was in Thailand with the Princeton Club and left the southern areas to go over to Koh Lipe five days ago. We last heard from him by email April 2, 2005 by email. He did not respond to our following emails or phone calls. Previously he said he was going to be in a national park called Koh Parupao. He should have gone to Bangkok to meet a friend to go to Vietnam, to Hanoi by April 7. My son John is 6' tall and has light red/blonde hair, looks about 19 years old, wears a light or white long-sleeved shirt, dark long pants and has black sunglasses. He is 150 lbs. very slim. I can send a photo. I would like to contact the police and hospitals but internet does not afford me that ability. He is not a drug user. He carried some antibiotics with him, nothing more. He is alone. His telephone number in Bangkok was 011-xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. Please call that number if you are in Thailand. His email is
xxxxxxxxxxxx @ alumni.princeton.edu CONNECT TO MAKE WORK

I will compensate anyone who can find him. Thank you. We live in the U.S. Susan Jannarone.

ANSWER FROM ANDY,
Someone should try to call from Thailand, to see if they can connect, Koh Lipe is in the South closer to Hat Yai and Satun, Koh Lipe is a long ways off shore, and Pak Bara and Koh Tarutao is close.

Tsunami hit this island pretty hard I heard, so facilities may have trouble on the other hand I think it is a smokers island.

Please try to help if you are in the area, missing people in other countries are never talked about, they need a system.

Here is a place to post.
http://www.hobotraveler.com/missing.php


OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE

Ok, I just spent one half hour making a map to put here offline, then had to download the drivers for my flash drive, because 50 to 70 percent of the time they do not have windows XP, then I had to download winzip to unzip my drivers, then load in the drives, then upload Cute FTP... I get all the blog photo s published and I accidentally deleted the correct graphic, and left the wrong one. The internet in the world is a challenge.

Map of my rendition of river systems of South America, I look for possible travel routes.



This is the map that I drew trying to explain the former post about me thinking way too much about rivers in South America. I suppose go down a couple and read the post and this map with make more sense.

WHERE I WAS STARTING
I really did not have much desire to go to Rurrenabaque, Bolivia, however it was one of them ticks on the list of places you are suppose to go, or maybe you could go, I heard there were alligators, however I only seen pets and one alligator. However, I am very obsessed with the idea of traveling from the farthest point of the Amazon water system down somewhere to where I have been before, I would also like to go to Belem, Brazil to smell around to see smugglers and hopefully some really culture clatter, I think Belem is a big city, however that does not mean outside the city there can not be some real crazies.

Obsessions are interesting, I am full of enigmatic quandaries that drive everyone crazy but me, I am immune to my own obsessions and consider them a sport, like many sports I have, game for the mind, my play toys.

I want to find a route behind or East of Cusco and hopefully from Bolivia to Iquitos Peru by river or boat. I am also interested to find the farthest point that a drop of water starts in Bolivia or South America and works its way to Belem, Brazil down the Amazon River systems.

I keep looking at maps, however they are not in one place and the computer one wiggles when I go from place to place, I need a very integrated map of the South American Rivers, I am sure it is in some library outside of South America, it would only make sense anything good would not be here, there may be ones hidden in the South American Explorers Club or for sure the government hides them, I have yet to see a tour company in the world that had a clue of things like maps or information, the South American Explorers Club is more a tour club and not explorers however they do have some great reports, now they need to label me an explorer and give me free me membership… hehehe… I am not fond of paying 50 dollars to enters a small room and look at map maybe two times, for a hour each time, that is 25 dollars per hour, I think I could pay Chris the worlds greatest internet surfer to send me the map I need to have and to hold, to be mine in my pocket, for the trip…. Remember what Alex Garland says about maps, we should not tell or share. (The Beach Movie.)

DHL Shipping does have a use!

OK, so obsession, compulsive behavior, I practice so few of my addictions anymore, that life is sometimes boring, I need a good passion to drive me along. I do admit the woman of South America have a more Jungle feel about them, more basic, back to primitive. People need to go primitive to remember that sometimes monkeys are for sure smarter than Humans are.

Monkeys do what they want without apologizing; people spend their whole time apologizing for animal behavior. Strange anyone would apologize for being natural and anyone would try to say things are natural that do not propagate the species, I think some people need to go…. Do something that is technically impossible to themselves.

Natural, all is natural because it happens, however I do not wish to be annoyed by you, I especially do not want to hear how I you need me to listen to you while you annoy me, this seems unnatural listen to people annoy me, and pretend like I care.

I try to listen to the people with real problems, they are too afraid to talk.

OK, obsession for rivers, this is the start of all transportation, however everyone needs water, so if you stop, and look a maps for too long you will see, there is always a connection between water and cities, rivers and cities, transportations and water, location location location, these are the three most important aspects of Real Estate, wrong…

It is Transportation Transportation Transportation, which will tell you the location, however look for the river… hehehe

OK, so I am trying to find the most enjoyable, best ways that will eventually evolve to trips inside of South America, maybe 50 years from now, contrary to any dream myths the world has, it is not overpopulated, there is 50 percent of the planet with nothing but land and space, the cities are overcrowded and the mice are not smart enough to leave the cage.

OK, there are two major river paths that need explored or opened in South America, maybe there are really four.

1. Down from Colombia to Iquitos Peru, somewhere closer to Bogotá.

2. Coca, Ecuador to Iquitos, Peru, I did this trip.

3. From near Lake Titacaca / Peru / Bolivia to the east of Cusco and to Pacalpa or Iquitos Peru, this is a great trip idea for me from Cusco to Iquitos.

4. From South of Santa Cruz, Bolivia or maybe near Cochabamba, Bolivia, I am still trying to figure out, across Brazil and open up that area for easier travel, it is probably the crazy area to reach, other than the 100 kilometers South and North along the main Amazon Corridor.

The main Amazon Corridor is traveled, leave the river one kilometer and most is untouched as best I can see except for locals eating monkeys and all the animals they can kill.

There is a river called the Grande Mamoré

“Mamoré, river in northern Bolivia, main headstream of the Madeira River, formed by the junction of a number of streams rising in the Cordillera de Cochabamba. The total length is 1,900 km (1,200 mi), of which nearly 1610 km (1000 mi) are navigable.”

Thanks to Encyclopedia Encarta, a.k.a. Microsoft for that knowledge, this leads to the Amazon or is the Amazon in my way of thinking, ok, this river is down around Santa Cruz, and is not easy to figure out, that is why I say obsession, normal would quit.

If you are traveling anywhere in the world, pay attention to the rivers.

The rivers were the first form of transportation, then the road, or trains, so normally most cities are built along rivers for fresh water and transportation, and then come the road, and sometimes trains in South America, however not really.

Therefore if you understand the rivers of a continent you start to understand separations of culture, mountains, languages and how it evolved to the present conditions, there are natural boundaries in the world.

NOTE: I did not reread or try to edit, I am trying to drive you obsessive compulsive people crazy that concentrate on grammar, this is lesson 171, tolerance and you can learn how you are dysfunctional. Communication is the primary reason to read or write, then grammar is a form, concentrate on the form or my writing while I sneak up behind you and smack you in the head. Failure to focus! You have poor concentration skills and cannot handle distractions come to South America so they can rob you and not me…


RURRENABAQUE TOURS

Monday, April 11, 2005 6:48 am

I try to introspect or I try to think what is happening to me, I try to understand what I am feeling and thinking. It is presumptuous I believe and instinctually I think, I believe in certain that people have no natural ability to observe themselves. The belief that one can or does understand oneself consistently or constantly is a myth, not a myth but a self-deception, delusion that keeps our egos intact. These delusions protect us from self-destruction or ego breakdown.

Freud in his elaborate brilliant observations labeled them ego-defense mechanisms. If he would have remained closer to the source of his observations and the resulting conclusions, instead of building more and more conclusions on top of each conclusions he would have been wise, he as many leave the assumption and travel down the road trying to substantiate too many idea from one observation, nonetheless he did isolate and observe that humans protect their egos, reinforce their own self esteem at all cost.

Travel is an over stimulation of the senses, the mind is a sponge that collects all the data around, or ignores all the data around it. The brain needs to process this data and file it away, well I am positive walking down a street in another country is overloading the computer, and there is not enough time in the day to analyze what is seen, heard, felt, or observed.
Rurrenabaque, Bolivia is tour central, this is one big tour city, hard to see anything that I would say is natural small village Bolivian culture, the place may only exist for tourism. There are too many motorcycles of Bolivia, too many tourist restaurants for Bolivia, too many foreigners for Bolivia, and all the percentages are extremely high, you walk down a street and 35 percent of the people you encounter in the street are foreigners. This is still low season, or maybe the start, however for sure it will only gets worst, or there will be more tourist.

Therefore, in a tourist area…duh, what do people talk about incessantly…? Tours as they are all tourist, I am enveloped in this tour mentality and I am not sure how to escape, after too many years of travel tourist are one big stereotype and the conversation is boring, last night the conversation turned to foods in restaurants, not typical food, but how to find the best western foods to eat, the guidebooks encourage people to leave the country when they eat, so hard to fight. Nobody goes looking for a typical meal, which is a generalization people that is generally correct, dysfunctional to over rule a generalization, because by nature a they are only generally correct.

However, in the back of my mind I have created a goal. I have said to myself,

“It would be nice to find the farthest point possible to enter a river finger of the Amazon River and travel down the river towards Iquitos, Peru or maybe Manous, Brazil.”

Yes, of course you can look at map and find rivers, however the problem is this does not say the river is fast, slow, winding, full of crazies, muddy, shallow, has boats, no boats, swamps, people, no people, there is not clear mapping of the river that explains the pros and cons of each river. The best books are in English and probably in some library in the USA, I am here with a bunch of tourist that talk incessantly about tours and yes they did tsee animals or no they did they not see animals, a constant comparison of the tour companies and to me all the tour companies are just tour mills, running the tourist in and running them out, I have not met one intelligent tour guide yet, there are funny ones yes, but enthused, full of knowledge bursting at the seems, no. It is the same as normal, people become tour guides for two reasons, they live here, and second it is a good way to meet foreign girls and pretend they are not Bolivian.

For sure, this place is in dire need here for a couple of Germans or Americans with some organizational skills to bring the standard of tours up five levels.

However, however, there are some hangers around here that are staying too long and do know the ins and outs of this place. I have seen nothing so far that would inspires me to tell anyone they need to come visit Rurrenabaque, this I have learned is fools observations. When there are many people, they can cover up the great reasons to visit a place.

OK, I am wrong, it feels like there is a lot of tourist, in reality they can only bring in about 36 tourists per day by planes, and maybe 15 more come by bus, so the gap is small of incoming and leaving tourist. Iquitos Peru and Manaus is processing hundreds per day and no comparison; however, those cities are more interesting and are not just a destination, but a starting point and ending point. This is only a destination, there is not way to go from here but back where you came from, unless I suppose you are me and would consider taking a month trip down the river towards and that is the question is it Manaus or Iquitos. Manaus is a very long trip and once you get into Brazil there is not way, you are on the other side of the continent.

However, there are three individuals here I can tap for information.

1. The I do not want to compete in the western work Expat American that sells Banana Bread and Cinnamon Rolls.

2. Australian, Chinese girl that got pregnant by the tour guide that is delusional that life is better for her future baby here.

3. The Argentina hippy that is working on every entrepreneurial venture possible, from passing out brochure of Foreigner bars, he gave me one on the Banana something, plus weaves and sells street jewelry. Fun to watch the facts of life intersect the brain of the wanna be hippies.

People need money and nothing is more capitalistic or money driven than selling jewelry or working in a bar. It is just a shorter version of selling Rolex watches, both are luxuries and nothing to do with needs. Selling luxury require more marketing, manipulative skills than selling toilet paper. One person feels they need trinkets and others you must convince people they need, I suppose the jewelry would be considered art if everyone did not make the same.

OK, these three may be able to me where there is something special here to see if I can keep them from trying to get a commission. If I say, I have already been on a tour they may accidentally tell me where the places they would go to see the jungle that is not trampled to death. My guts tell me this place is beat, there is a need for a new path, this one is fried, and too many tourists have destroyed the place.

The gossip is that TAM or the Military airlines has abandoned their flights here, I am not sure, there are two other airline companies besides the Amaszonas Airlines and they both seem to be out of business. Failure to thrive is not a good sign. This is my quandary, something is wrong; they seem to have missed the boat. I have not been able to place my finger on what is going on here, however it appears that maybe they are not going to make the transition from being a backpacker stop to a four star tourist trap. They are bumbling; this is a great time for some major tour operators, hotels to step in a do something correct.

I think I know the problem; the truck trip is too much for tourist. You can take a plane here, that is easy, then you can book a tour, however they then load you inside a four-wheel drive Toyota like cattle and make you ride in bumpy, hot, dusty conditions for 3-4 hours, then they put you on a boat for 3-4 hours more until you arrive at the base camp. I did my best to ignore the trip there and back that was over one third of the trip. Getting there and returning is just the ride, the tour was consumed by transportation time, so actual time spent viewing was minimal.

This was part of the torture to see the place, not bad for 22 year old out of army Israeli people, but a few of the older Frenchies I seen looked like their brains were mush from the heat and conditions.

Air Conditioning

That is what is missing; they are trying to sell this type of trip with no Air Conditioning, only the Israeli travelers that has to be about 70 percent presently here can handle this type of trip. I avoid air conditioning and never think about it, however most travelers are always talking about the weather, too hot, too cold, this is why more modern places like Buenos Aires and such are popular, they are not primitive, the are wanna be Europe places and the travelers can party and have an excuse to be out of the country but can purchase they home away from home.

(I feel stupid when I am in a winter country during winter, I can be in the tropics whenever I wish, so why choose misery?)

All it takes is one air conditioned four wheel drive vehicle to capture the whole tour market here… hehehe

Really, this is not true, Rurrenabaque is over 4-5 hours away from where you go to see the animals, which I did not see, however I think they may be there and we are too far away. The Amazon is too populated with tourist, I believe to have a unique trip you probably need to rent an airplane that can land on water, so you can go way down river to remote places. I started to say to villages along the river, however I am not sure if there is villages along this river, boat people, villages on stilts and all that type of fish people are not around here, I suppose they exist. I do not feel indigenous around the area, they have either moved away or did not exist. There are way to may Mestizo types around with beards, mustaches and Spanish blood, not the brown, sun baked no beard types.

I will place some exploratory questions in the minds of my three people; see if I can bleed off the skinny on what is essential here to know. For sure, the guidebook I have is worthless.

Iquitos, Peru is a much better choice for hundreds of reasons, although for the need to drink bunch, or the Alcoholic traveler this place is better, Iquitos though has the Ayahausca for the drug traveler.

I am a cultural traveler and for sure I believe the large floating house village and huts on the river of Iquitos is more unique and special, they call it I believe Belen. I went and scrounged around in old newsletter, I hope all these links work. Nonetheless, Belen in the city of Iquitos is to me one of the unique places on the planet, and especially unique to the Amazon River or the Amazon River basin or maybe best described as the flood plain areas. Belen has typical home both floating on what am told is balsa wood logs and also the home on very high legs, the water of the Amazon rise and falls up to maybe 15 meters and the actual homes in the flood plain either need to float of have very high legs. In Iquitos with some bravery you can enter one of the dodgy sections of the world, full of grime, mud, dirt, all sorts of wonderful messes and walk around where 99 percent of your travelers are too afraid to venture, mainly because they would get dirty, however for sure one of my top places to visit on the planet, raw Amazon culture, full on. I do not think it even makes it into the guidebooks, however very few of the great places will, because they are too much for tourist to endure…. What fun?

PHOTOS OF BELEN HOMES
By Wally Lloyd
http://www.hobotraveler.com/056belenwally.shtml

MAP - DIRECTIONS - AND MESSAGE BOARD
http://www.hobotraveler.com/056belen.php


RURRENABAQUE BOLIVIA the Pampa Jungle Trip

Ok, what are you supposed to say about Rurrenabaque, Bolivia? This is a a jungle trip, called a Pampas trip, but really it is a boat trip down some river, I am not sure the name of the river, maybe the Beni, my encyclopedia does not talk about this place. The tour guides are not informative, and do not speak English, my Spanish is great, but I am still not very sure of anything after two nights, and three day of sitting on a boat, and a 3-4 hour truck ride to get far enough away to say we went on a tour.

I saw a lot of cows so this is good for the people, they have a lot to eat.

The best part of the trip for me was the plane ride to Rurrenabaque, I suppose it was also fun to watch the smart Israeli guy working the Australian girl out of her clothes, as she was naïve in an American like fashion. I am sure he got shagged last night, obviously the English - Australian girl culture is closer than I thought, as they she could have been English.

We saw a few monkeys that came to feed, a pet alligator by the name of Alfonoso, a few birds sitting on branches. We stopped and baked in the sun while people threw strings out to Piranha.

The fun was landing in the plane on the grass runway, small plane and this type of runway does make you think about is safety before the landing.

I hope I missed something, I hope I am at here at the wrong tour, at the wrong time of the year, or something, because if this is all it, then there is something missing. I am sure a lot of the travelers like the place because there is a couple of wanna be British pubs here complete with pool tables and fat girls, happy hour and such, so that give the tourist a thrill, I am for sure lost for words. I just hate that the world seems to equate good tour with getting drunk in tourist bars, they should stay home.

The was blaming the tour guide, but there were four trucks unloading in the same place, there were always a steady line of boats on the same river as us, I cannot believe that they could have had a different trip. My gut feeling is this place is burnt, and done, nothing left to see, the tour guides have grabbed one to many alligators, a few too many times.



These boys would not give us our bags, I was laughing when he finally loaded them on the five Boliviano taxi I knew he would not give us our bags because then other Taxis would have a chance, so keeping the bags guaranteed they received the taxi fare, typical Latino tactics.

I did like to see the monkey that seen us coming and came down to the river to feed.



Maybe 20 to 30 monkeys came down to the river to have us feed them.



Pile of trash along the way or where the boat loaded and unloaded, this was the common area for all the tour groups, I suppose the water will rise and wash it away.



There were two bars along the river; we stopped on the way down the river and on the way back.



This is Alfonso, the pet alligator at the camp.

Peter was nice to see, still hates his mom, and still is talking about driving a limo, he got some story published in some Sydney Australia newspapers, or he induced somebody hanging around in the Lonely Planet thorn tree to write about his Iraq trip. This is the second article I think, as maybe the person in from the Globe wrote about his trip also. At least his shoes did not stink as bad as the last time I saw him. I was surprised he really has learned some Spanish along the way, so this is good.

He says Syria is his favorite country.

I suppose the best way to choose a trip is to make sure there are some good people on the boat, because without some conversation you could be lost. The cook did not show up for us, so we had to walk to the other camp all the time to eat.

I sometimes am amazed how hard it is to be positive about these Hippy Dippy places, nonetheless it was interesting in a very stupid way, but I believe sometime the more stupid, the more interesting. I would love to have a guide though one day that knew everything about anything and everything. If you really lucky on any tour there is a person that knows an extreme amount about the area that is on the tour with you, then you can really have an educational tour.

I would say the name of the tour company, however I truthfully believe they are all the same.