The Bus Ride from Rurrenabaque to La Paz

It rained this morning. Finally, rain in the Rainforest! Unfortunately, this made the mosquitos worse, and I woke up covered in big swollen bites. I counted later, and I had LITERALLY over 150 bites.

The activity planned for that morning was swimming with dolphins. However, our group wasn’t too fond of going into the river after drawing piranhas out of it, especially now that it was rainy and cold. We went to see the dolphins anyway, though none of us wanted to swim.

After about 10 minutes of watching them, and seeing other tourist groups jumping in, Grace and Deana decided they wanted to give it a shot. I was on my last pair of semi-clean clothes, however, so I stayed in the boat learning about dolphins from Jesús. Apparently, the dolphins hang out in this part of the river because it is in a fork, and therefore easier to catch fish. There are also no piranhas or caiman in this area of the river because the dolphins are highly territorial and will attack these predators.

About five minutes into her swim, Grace yelled that she was skimmed by something, and a dolphin emerged out of the water shortly after. I was very jealous she got to touch one of these amazing creatures.

This was the end of our Amazon adventure, unfortunately, and we zipped back to Rurrenabaque in the three-hour jeep ride again, this time spotting a few sloths! 

We wanted to fly back to La Paz as soon as possible but were told that this was impossible as it was raining still. There were no planes flying in or out of Rurrenabaque. I asked when the next plane would be leaving, but the man only laughed and said “It’s the Rainforest. It’s impossible to tell what the weather will ever be.”

Not knowing how long we would be stuck in Rurrenabaque, we decided to take an 18-hour bus ride back to La Paz. This is something I definitely did not want to do, after hearing horror stories of this particular bus ride. The bus only stopped once for a bathroom break. It smelled like urine because little kids on the bus were peeing themselves. The smell was horrible, so I opened the window, but the wind was brutally cold. I chose to get used to the stench. The mega bus jolted around to damn near 45° angles on the less maintained roads, causing Grace and me to actually pray for our lives. It is insane to me how many things have been completely out of my control on this trip, and every time, how God has pulled through. So once again, we made it out alive, but very tired, and pulled what felt like death’s fingers from our throats.

From La Paz, we jumped on the first bus to Copacabana. On this bus were three guys that were traveling together for the time being. We had already met them on the Amazon tour, and we had actually given them our leftover piranha for dinner. Manuel and Jules were friends from Switzerland, and Tobias was from Germany. He had already been in South America for six months and will not leave until next year. On this bus were also two solo female travelers that had been sticking together for a while. We all had the same plans to tour Isla del Sol, and after seeing how well our little group clicked, we decided to spend a couple of days together.

Once arriving to Isla del Sol, we ate some decent food that didn’t give us food poisoning for once. After exploring Copacabana, we found a hostel. We all climbed rooftop to watch the sun go down over Lake Titicaca.

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