by Jorge Rivero González
The first week of GalileoMobile activities in Bolivia is over and we finally had our first day off in more than 10 days. Most people would use that day for resting a bit to get ready for the weeks ahead. However, we couldn’t miss the chance to learn a bit about the Pando region and its beautiful surroundings. Four of us decided to just sleep a couple of hours after a long trip from the Puerto Rico District to Cobija and woke up at 5 a.m. to visit the Bay Lake. As I like to say, we will sleep when we are dead.
The Bay Lake is located on the Reserva Nacional de Vida Silvestre Amazonica Manuripi and is one of the natural jewels of Bolivia. It is considered one of the best natural reservoirs of Amazon fishes and it shows a great diversity of flowers and animals. In its shores you can find the trails of tigers, wild pigs, alligators, vipers, parabas, parrots, ducks, eagles and many other animals you can’t even imagine.
After three hours of travel by car, we had to sail the Manuripi river on a small motorboat to reach the lake. With Miguel, our host for the visit to the lake, on the steering wheel, we began our journey. We were quite excited: Mayte was trying to spot all kind of animals, especially the alligators. With her pristine vision, just like an eagle, she always was the first one to detect their big eyes over the water surface. Philippe spent his time trying to learn how to steer the motorboat and also playing the Quena, a Bolivian flute. Felipe was trying to get the best takes he could get for our upcoming documentary. And I was completely amazed by the scenery.
The numerous trees on both river’s shores were crooked towards the water and seemed like they were greeting us with a kind bow. Birds were flying really close to the water and crossing our path all the time. The waves produced by the motorboat were gently caressing the small beaches across the river.
And then something magic happened. Suddenly, the colour of the water changed. We arrived on the Bay Lake. Like when you mix oil and water, you could really appreciate the water that belongs to each one of the lakes. As we were sailing deeper on the heart of the lake, new vegetation appeared before our eyes. The water was black and crystal clear. Like a mirror, it reflected everything that was above it. For a while, we dreamed about spending the night on the lake for observing the stars. How wonderful would be to observe them reflected on the lake. A place with two skies.
We stopped on a small beach on the lake and had lunch. Felipe had the great idea that we should stop talking for a couple of minutes and tried to appreciate the sound of nature. The birds chants, the sound of the insects flying or the streams of water flowing were clearer than ever. We felt one with the lake.
We also walked a bit across the forest. We followed a narrow path guarded by thick vegetation. We walked for half an hour and reached nowhere. The trees were so tall that couldn’t have any reference to follow. Over there, you could feel the solitude of nature. We marched back using the same path. On the way back on the motorboat, we didn’t talk much, listening to nature and thinking about our experience on the lake.
Second week of activities here we come!