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Looking back at 20 years of Wildlife Encounters can make one nostalgic... The #2 Virtual Encounter is from Bolivia, and it is already 13 years old.
I did a 4 days long tour to visit the "Las Pampas" from Rurrenabaque. The tour itself was amazing, saw loads of interesting species, but it was also a difficult trip for me. My only memory card got corrupted, with 500+ photos on it, and I could not take pictures. Okay, this is not entirely true, because I could take exactly ten photos, the camera had a tiny internal memory. So every day I took ten photos, and if I saw something cooler, I had to delete one, then take a new picture. Very painful process from before the time I would have money for extra memory card, or would travel with my laptop. (I learned from my mistake...) On the four days we saw plenty of exciting stuff, except one of the things I was really looking for, and was supposed to be an "easy" one t find was the three-toed sloth.
I was one of "those clients" who were mentioning sloths every twenty minutes, asking the guide where to look, and reminding him at every opportunity that I want to see one. Could say I was annoying, but I like to think I was simply persistent.
But the tour ended, and we did not find any sloths and I was quite frustrated about the pictures I lost and all the other ones I could not take. Mixed feelings would describe well how I was at the moment I got in the back of a jeep to head back to town.
While bouncing up and down in the back of the car in the heat, just looking at the dirt road behind us I started to relax. And somehow I just thought how lucky I am that I am in Bolivia, and that I saw so many cool things. And I managed to let go of my photos and also felt in peace not being a sloth. Next time.
Literally when I got to this point with my new "zen" thoughts the driver (he was also our guide on the four days boat tour) stepped on the break hard and steered the car almost to the ditch on the side of the road. When the car stopped, he looked back at me and shared his head. He did not say a word.
There was a sloth on the middle of the road, just laying flat lazily. It seems that it got tired crossing from one side to the other, heading towards some tall trees.
So at the end of the day I did manage to get a very close look at a sloth, and also managed to help it to cross the road, we could not just leave it there. So together with the guide we grabbed it by the back/neck and transported it to the tree which was on the direction it seemed to be heading at the first place.
The sequence of the photos are the following: we found it as seen on the first picture. Then for about five seconds it "stood" up and tried to look very threatening. Then it got tired and played even more flat on the road. Then we grabbed it, moved it to the tree, which he hugged very happily, that is seen on the last photo.
Not bad to have this four photos when you can only take home ten...
Sometimes we need to let go so nature/universe can give us what we really wish for.
#StayHome #virtualencounters #theuniverseheardme
Trips with Barna