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Serere Reserve Day 3

Written on: Tuesday December 25th, 2007

A journal entry from: Kevin and Julie's RTW

Location: Serere National Park, Rurrenabaque, Bolivia 

Author: Julie 

Hola and Feliz Navidad!!

We had another wonderful night sleeping in our little cabin in the woods, but we woke up to rain. Imagine that? rain during the rain season in a rainforest. What a shock!  We were supposed to go for an early morning walk to discover the medicinal properties of plants but the rain which at first was only a mist quickly became a torrential downpour. To pass the time by, we made jewellery. Eric showed us to make pendants from the nuts of a wild mango fruit then to string it with lucky beans. They look like black eyed peas but red with black spots We spent an hour sanding down the nut till smooth then drilling out all the natural holes. The end result was a cute necklace that we?ll keep as a memory of our time in the rainforest. Next we made rings from the same nut. It was cut to a small circumference then sanded down and round edges added. The final stage was a polish with cigarette ashes to make it shine. When the rain finally ended, most of the land around the lodge looked like a swimming pool but it quickly dried out when the sun came out. The pigs were as happy as well, pigs in the mud.  

Speaking of pigs, our lunch time was when the pig that had been slaughtered the day before was served. It had been slow cooked and smoked in the wood oven in the back of the lodge all morning. It was absolutely delicious and it was the start to our Christmas day eating. After our large meal, we were all tired and went to take a nap. As wonderful as our cabin had been, we hadn?t spent much time in it so it was nice to just spend a couple of hours during the day to sleep and enjoy it. We woke up a couple of hours later to meet up with our friends for our medicinal plant walk but we couldn?t move fast because we had the most wonderful sight outside. Our cabin was surrounded by a group of Spider monkeys. We lay quietly in our bed and watched them through our cabin?s mosquito screen. It felt like a Christmas present. They put on quite a show for us by jumping around and eating only 10 feet away from us. I couldn?t have asked for a more perfect moment during our trip in the rainforest. Finally, knowing we were 20 minutes late, we got ourselves moving, getting redressed in our permanently wet clothes and out of the door. We ran to the lodge to find out that they had already gone ahead so we ran down the trail to find them. The mosquitoes were at their worse after the rains. A whole new family was born during the morning for our enjoyment. We moved quickly down the trail but none of us were paying particular attention because the little buggers were so persistent, even Eric was going slightly nuts with them. He decided to take us to another lake down the trail called Gringo Lake. We would take a canoe out and see if we could spot caimans and anacondas which can grow to lengths of 15 meters in this area. The moment we were in the boat and out on the water, we were finally able to breath without fear of ingesting mom, dad, brother, sister, and grandma mozzie. We slowly toured around the lake, enjoying the site of the many birds that lived in the reeds or along the shoreline but we didn?t see any anacondas except for the occasional trail of air bubbles below the water. The lake is only 6 meters deep so it was sometimes possible to see a faint outline of something below but never more than that. Near where the canoe was tied, Maxine spotted the head of a baby caiman sticking out of the water. We took a few photos of it then it disappeared under the weeds. 

Our return to the lodge found a new couple sitting in the dining room. They had arrived earlier in the afternoon, but the walk from the river to the cabins had been so traumatizing to them that they had already decided to return to Rurrenabaque the next day with us. It was unfortunate that they wouldn?t be experiencing this amazing place. As much as we complained about the mosquitoes and the heat, none of us would have traded our place for the world. In the dry season, there aren?t any mosquitoes and the heat is quite pleasant, so it isn?t always this bad. 

We spent the remainder of the afternoon hanging around the lodge, laughing and talking with Rosa Maria. Soon, after the sunset, another smorgasbord of food was served including more pork from the afternoon lunch. We stayed up late drinking red wine, eating till we couldn?t move anymore and enjoying everyone?s company even though we all spoke different degrees of English, Spanish and German. Just before heading to bed, Eric asked us if we wanted to head out on the water early the new morning to potentially spot Sloths in the trees before they descended at the start of the midday heat. We all agreed and went to bed knowing that we had a 6 AM wake up call. 

Merry Christmas to everyone. We wish you much happiness with your loved ones during this festive time.