May 11, 2006
NKM Adventure Day 2
We got to San Ignacio very early today and immediately started preparations for our trip to Noel Kempff Mercado National Park. From the tourism information office, we learned that tonight a bus could take us to Santa Rosa, about an hour away, and early tomorrow morning we could head toward the park. We got lucky because there is only one bus line per week and it happens to leave tonight. The bad news, however, was that no buses go to Florida, a small community on the edge of the park. Instead, we will get dropped off in the middle of nowhere and walk 35 K's to Florida.
We walked over to the information center for the national park, but nobody was there. Nobody seemed to know much about the park because it is so remote, so we won't know if our plan is feasible until we get there. We would like to spend around four days in the park to see the highlights which include a waterfall and a gigantic mesa. Then we want to buy a canoe and paddle down the Paragua River from Florida to Piso Firme, which should take 4-5 days. There, we will restock our supplies and continue along the Rio Itenez for a week or two before reaching our final destination of Guayamerin. I don't know how much of the plan will be possible, but that's why they call it an adventure, right?
We spent the afternoon buying supplies. We got about a week's worth of food, lots of mosquito repellent, and two machetes for fending off the puma attacks. We will have to carry all of our own gear, so we limited our water supply to three liters each to cut down on weight. Once we reach the river, we will have an ample supply of water for boiling.
Tonight we found out that the bus had been delayed until tomorrow. It wasn't a big deal because we were only going to be on the bus for an hour tomorrow anyway. We got a motel room and checked out the town a bit more. It's a quiet, small place with a beautiful church next to the well-maintained central square and a thriving market for picking up supplies. The only problem is that the Internet is pathetically slow.