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Amazon Basin River Boat Trip in Bolivia

I was negotiating with the captain of the river boat 'Jose Alberto'. It was not something I had planned yet here I was in the harbor of Trinidad in the Amazon basin of Bolivia. It was time for me to move on to Brazil and what could be more adventurous than a river boat sailing in the Amazon basin.

The captain set a price. It would take a week to arrive in Guayaramerin from where I could cross the border to Brazil and continue my journey. It was just me and the crew. No other "gringos" aboard. I knew from the beginning that this was going to be something that would be remember for the rest of my days.

The 'Jose Alberto', a river boat from the amazon basin - Bolivia  River boat - Bolivia Amazon Basin

We sailed out the next morning. What a sublime decision to do this. Bolivia had already been a treasure of discoveries and had become my favorite country in South America. The 'Jose Alberto' stopped at a settlement to deliver goods. People do live in strange places, I always wondered what the attraction was. A promise of a blessed future? Destiny? Obligation? It is a way of life that is completely beyond me.

I had an inflatable mattress with me and used it to sleep on deck. Luckily there were no mosquito's around (I was in malaria territory). The following days I joined the crew for lunch. We had the same basic meal all week long (I still don't know what it was).

It's good to be the captain - Bolivia Amazon Basin Delivering goods - Bolivia Amazon Basin Boarding cows - Bolivia Amazon Basin You know what this is - Bolivia Amazon Basin

Hold it, the boat is that way! - Bolivia Amazon Basin   Those cows are coming with us - Bolivia Amazon Basin

On the third day we stopped at a farm. There was a special cargo to board the river boat. Tens of cows were guided through basic but efficient channels on board. They were to be delivered to another farm a few hours away. At some point certain cows were not convinced that this was the route to follow and tried to slip away. The 'Jose Alberto' was not going to leave without them. The cows got delivered.

The Amazon basin has an impressive maze of rivers. Some very big, others so narrow we could just go through them. People watched us go by, maybe this was the event of the day for them.

Settlements in the amazon basin - Bolivia  A maze of small rivers - Bolivia Amazon Basin

On the last day we sailed on a river that set the border line between Brazil and Bolivia. My first sight of Brazil. It's jungle, nothing else. How extraordinary. Maybe this was how the first explorers had entered Brazil. I still remember the scenery of the trip, the smell, the colors, the tranquility.

A rainbow touches Brazil - Bolivia Amazon Basin
My destination Brazil, what a journey!

Other Must See Places in Bolivia

Lake Titicaca La Paz Salar de Uyuni
Lake Titicaca La Paz Salar de Uyuni


© All photographs by Mark Van Overmeire

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