Piranhas & Caimans
Amazon & Oz
Our Amazonian adventure continued as we fished piranha using simple bamboo canes with home-made lines, we jammed greasy chicken fat onto the hooks and stirred the water to agitate their attention and sure enough our fellow travellers and guide Alan landed a few of the meat thirsty razor toothed fish. I on the other hand seemed to be simply feeding them as they snatched the bait from my hook in double quick fashion. Fortune struck a couple of times but mercy was on the side of the fish and their deft wriggling led them back to freedom. Exhilarated we arrived back at the lodge for a quick change of clothes, long trousers and long sleeves for a bout of caiman spotting and catching under the cover of darkness, the motor of the canoe purred through the muddy water. Shining his torch towards the bank of the water, Alan pointed at the reflective eyes hovering just above the water, waiting for prey. With intrepidation we nodded enthusiastically as we sat just yards away from the pre-historic animals. Leaning over the bow of the boat Alan wriggled as he grasped the neck of a baby six month old caiman passing him around the boat and searched for more. We settled for the success of one and took it back to the lodge where Alan talked through their habits and lifestyle. One by one apart from Ludowic (our Belgian companion who proceeded to step up on the bench) we grasped the razor toothed reptile, posing for new Facebook profiles.
Our sleep that night was poor as the generator clicked off the fan consequentially turning our sweat glands to the maximum. Our restlessness was coated in ugly perspiration as the words of the Wicked Witch of the West from Oz played over and over in my mind... "I’m melting”.
We woke at 5.00am to catch sunrise from the view of a canoe, enchantingly golden it rose shimmering above the afro canopy of the trees. After breakfast we trekked for 3 hours through the jungle as Alan talked us through the magic of the fauna and flora and the power of nature’s medicine derived through tree roots, berries, bark and leaves. Drenching our socks and clothes with the jungle’s humidity we amused ourselves as we swung on vines. We spent the afternoon canoe paddling through mangroves spotting tiger herons, calling out to toucans, and listening to the shrill tormenting sound of howler monkeys and then watched the sun tip its hat for the day. After supper we joined Alan in a spot of night time spearfishing capturing an impressive hall of Monkey fish, Dee fish and Bass enjoying them the next day for lunch.
A tortuous night’ sleep ensued as we felt the humidity creep across bodies and slowly felt our skin crawl and move as if harassed by the jungle’s slumber. The skin crawl turned out to be the march of an army of minute termites parachuting from the roof. Shaking the bed sheets we believed we’d seen the last of them, uh hold that..we repeated the process three times, followed by a shower and resorted to the sweltering refuge of slipping into a sleeping bag liner. Our incubation led us to a desperate plea for the morning to arrive...the sun dragged its feet.