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Bolivia 2010
(page 4 of 4)

We spent some days down in the Amazon Basin, riding six hours up the Rios Beni and Tuichi to Chalalan Lodge in the world-famous Madidi National Park. The lodge is operated by a local Tacana-speaking tribe, providing jobs and funding community services.

There are really two Bolivias: the Altiplano, very traditional and mostly indigenous; and the Lowlands, wealthier and decended from the Spaniards. The two regions are separated by the eastern spine of the Andes and the impossibly steep valleys of the Yungas. On our flight between the two (transitioning from the La Paz airport at 13,400' to Rurrenebaque at 500'), we buzzed the summit of Huayna Potosi (19,974') just off our left wingtip.

The Rurrenebaque airport might be the smallest we've seen-- but the runway (most of it) has recently been paved, sparing passengers the 19-hour bus ride to La Paz whenever it rains.

The Rio Beni is the main highway for transporting goods in the region. It's several weeks downstream to Brazil.

Lake Chalalan, where we saw four species of monkeys, three species of macaws, and lots of others wildlife-- and we also played a great game of soccer with the lodge staff!

Bunky sits atop the bow of our canoe, not really spotting caimans at this point.

Luke aims his camera. The local tribe used to support Evo, but have turned sour amidst government ambitions to build a highway thru the area, allow petroleum exploration, and dam the river.

A White Hawk watches a troup of Yellow Squirrel Monkeys jump from branch to branch below him.

Steve's birding trip report (239 species)
back to page one (of four) of Bolivia 2010 photos