Diary Entry

We are so excited to finally get to the legendary Amazon rainforest and get to know its nature and biodiversity. We’ve had a taste of the wild and want more. Trinidad is famous for its access to the Bolivian Amazon. The fog on the road is increasing, but it’s not fog, it’s smoke. Lots of smoke.

We see the Bolivian Amazon rainforest burning to our left and right. The air bites your nose. A forest fire doesn’t have the likeable smell of a campfire or a grill in progress. It smells like death.

This is no fog. This is smoke. This is death.

We don’t stop along the way because there is nothing to see. only smoke. It’s a disturbing world. On the basis of a map and the recommendation of another traveler, I chose a beautiful spot by a lake for our night’s camp. We get there late. Too late to look for something else, because the lake and the jungle around it, where there are said to be many birds and monkeys, is burned on the ground and a bulldozer is pushing the charred remains together. A few birds still flutter to the last bit of water and a few tree trunks, as if they can’t understand that their habitat no longer exists.

The bulldozer driver is picked up by people in a red Range Rover. The Range Rover comes to us and people ask us what we want here. I explain that we have to stay here on our way to Trinidad. That’s not far! – Yes, too far with baby. They leave us alone, but at night we smell the biting smoke and see the flames in the distance at the edge of the forest.


I have to refuel and there is a shortage of fuel in Bolivia. Diesel in particular is scarce as it is used by all the trucks, tractors and bulldozers. You can see long queues at the gas pumps, stretching far across the street. I try to refuel as often as possible so as not to suddenly find myself stranded in no man’s land. But at the Puente San Pablo gas station there is no diesel today, I am told. Nevertheless, a line of trucks is already waiting for tomorrow. But I am told that women buy up fuel and then sell it on at a small profit.

I ask around and meet a lady with two children struggling with a handcart and large jerrycans. I buy a few liters from her and she heaves the heavy canisters to my car and sucks the diesel in through a hose. Her girls help and hold the cart. It is a pitiful picture and I give the woman an allowance and biscuits for the children, which the woman accepts without a word before disappearing back into the village with the cart and the children.

There are fires all the way to Trinidad. The light is yellow and the air is scratchy. It’s dry and the soot is sticking up our noses.

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