B I E N V E N I D O S
we will hit the road together towards the hypothetical El Dorado.
“This is without a doubt the most incredible trip of my life.”
OUR PLAYGROUND :
I WOULD LIKE TO TAKE THE TIME TO MEET THE PRODUCERS OF BOLIVIA'S GREEN GOLD: THE COCA LEAF
to tour their fields on the road to Caranavi; to meet the coffee producers who are looking to reinforce their territory for more sustainable production. We know a small association that could provide us contacts to do so. Between Coroïco and Caranavi, there are incredible cable cars which carry people from one side of the mountain to the other in a setting 300 meters high and resembling scenes out of the movie The Mission.
THEREAFTER WE WILL ARRIVE IN GUANAY, VILLAGE OF THE RIO BENI GOLD DIGGERS
The founder of Terra Bolivia, Fabrice, spoke to me about a certain Eddyño - if we find him, he will grant us entry into the local gold diggers’ world . Eddyño is part of an established tradition which names a "Bernardo Alfombra," the guy-to-know in a remote village, the one who can get you transportation or medicine or a contact when you are desperate. There is a Bernardo Alfombra in every remote village in Bolivia and he holds the key to many things. Today, Guanay remains the village of the gold diggers, with all that one imagines. We will go to prospect a little in the river with some local searchers, in exchange for a case of beer. Perhaps here we will find El Dorado!
WE WILL THEN BOARD A CANOE TO GO DOWN RIVER, CROSSING FROM ONE SIDE OF THE MADIDI AND PILON LAJAS PARKS TO THE OTHER.
When we arrive at the Madidi Park, we will meet the Uchupiamonas community responsible for the ecological lodge Chalalan. I would like to spend a few days in the community, living amongst the people and at their pace, learning about their way of life, and about the construction of their sustainable accommodation. A return to basics and to nature may inspire us in ways we cannot imagine.
Even today, there are still some madmen looking for supposed buried treasure in the Amazon. Even my colleagues tried - in the upper Madidi, in the Cordillera Apolobamba, along the Bear Route, where they had heard El Dorado could be found. They came back empty-handed and without seeing a single bear.
Next stop: to continue on our search for El Dorado, we arrive in Trinidad, where we will embark on board the Flotel.
THE FLOTEL SERVES AS BOTH BOAT AND ACCOMODATION, ALLOWING US TO TRAVEL FURTHER INTO THE TERRITORY OF THE MOXOS, WHICH INACCESSIBLE BY ROAD.
The route is uncertain, and is dependent upon on the season and upon the course the rivers take. I hope it will lead us to the ancient, rediscovered civilizations, who are known for their agricultural and irrigation techniques.
From Rurrenabaque it is difficult to refuse going to Trinidad where the Flotel is located. I was told: "In Trinidad, there is a Flotel, that is to say a boat on which you can sleep. On this Flotel I had the most beautiful family trip of my life. For 5 days we travelled along the Mamoré river to very remote places, we swam with dolphins, walked on sandbanks, visited schools where children were fascinated by Eliot's blond hair. We, along with our children, lived an extraordinary adventure; totally out of the ordinary, exclusive, intense, but simple at the same time. We rode horses in the Amazon, saw Bolivianita searchers in a mine, ate crocodile in the evening, and were overwhelmed by the amazing fruits. Possibly the most memorable trip of my life."
This trip will take us on a true return to basics. Let's dive into these virgin and mysterious lands. What if our El Dorado lays in this quest for adventure and for the unexpected?