Mishaps, Mischief and Mayhem: Jeepers Creepers!

After a chilly couple of days in La Paz, I was naturally excited to get to the heat of the jungle in Rurrenabaque, Bolivia…that was until I saw our ‘plane’, which looked more like a mini bus with wings. If the borrowers made planes, this plane would be it. Despite appearances, we managed to touch down safely next to a little wooden hut, also known as Rurrenabaque airport, and learned that baggage reclaim was more of a do-it-yourself affair in Bolivia.

After enjoying our first night, we were met at 6am by three suspiciously cheerful guides and their jeeps. The guides’ senses of direction soon came into question when we were given a tour of the town (which we were already familiar with) 8 times before picking up 2 stray travellers. The bumpy, cramped jeep ride into the depths of the jungle was accompanied by our guide telling us with relish about piranha’s sharp teeth and a voracious appetite for meat (sometimes human)– we were due to go piranha fishing that evening.

Despite all this, though, spirits were high and we were excited when we arrived. Just as the guides were neatly parking the jeeps near the riverbank, one guide got a bit overexcited and overshot the cliff, leaving us and our luggage literally ‘living on the edge.’ The guides were laughing hysterically while we cried hysterically. Finally, the two remaining guides in the safe jeeps managed to control themselves and pushed the rocking jeep back to safety. Definitely an eventful start to an amazing month in Bolivia!

Emma McWhinney


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