From Mapiri on we took the boat downwards towards Rurrenabaque (it only took me a couple of weeks to learn how to pronounce and spell that name correctly. Only to find out in Rurre, that noone bothers with the full name and everyone just calls it Rurre.) This is easier said than done. The river is very shallow around Mapiri and there’s apparently little to no traffic on that leg.
However, we had a great guide at the front of the boat, who often looked like he was directing an opera, but was really indicating the machinist at the back where to go. This way we only got stuck once on a sandbank after some miscommunication between the two. It did, however, take six people to unlodge that boat from said bank. The next time the river got shallow we all got out and just walked the couple of meters down to where the river ran deeper again.
After collecting our cook in Guanay, we set off for another ride down the river (now funnily named Kaka). In a single day we covered almost 70km, thanks to a fast running river and a quite powerful motor. We stopped for the night in the garden of a local rubber-producer. The camping ground was absolutely idyllic, a little field of green next to a clear stream with enough space for a large fire and our tents. The next day we hiked up the stream until we reached a small waterfall and a large pool where we ended up spending a good hour swimming and frolicking.
From there we went downriver for a couple of hours, having lunch on the boat. In the afternoon we stopped to do a jungle hike. It was already very hot and humid and leaving the river made it even worse. But we got lucky in the sense that we ran into some actual wildlife almost instantly. Now I do believe I did see a back of wild boar. But we most definitely heard and smelled them. There was no mistaking that smell. We did see one boar, but it was already very dead as can be seen in the picture.
We also, apparently, saw some tapirs, but in that case I didn’t even see a shadow.. Our guide, however, did have a very happy grin on his face, so I fully believe that he saw them.
The last night we spent on the beach, with a big fire and while it was great fun, it was also a little sad as it was our last night together. It’s amazing how quickly those days passed by. The next day we had one last lunch on the boat before reaching the river Beni then the Madidi national park and finally Rurre.