Thursday, January 30, 2014

Amazon River Adventure 2014

The next two days on the Amazon were just as fabulous as the opening day.  Wildlife everywhere!

In the morning we were treated to a jungle hike where we searched for all kinds of creepy, crawlies.  I was hoping for an anaconda, but to no avail.  The bugs were not nearly as bad as I had expected.

The highlight of the afternoon adventure was fishing for piranha.  Basically we had a stick with a string tied to it.  A hook with small chicken bait was used.  We anchored the skiff under some trees in about 3-4 feet of water and set about it.  The guides showed us to drop the line in the water and then stir up the surface with the tip of our stick.  This would attract the piranha as it mimicked the act of something falling into the water from the branches above. 

Sure enough it worked.  Our boat was grabbing piranha in no time.  I think among the six of us we caught nine piranha in about an hour.  Check out these pictures of my catch.....  Watch out for those teeth!

The piranha hunt ended day two and we returned to the Aria for a wonderful dinner and good night sleep before heading out on day three.

The highlight of the third day was our evening hunt along one of the Amazon tributaries.  We had a spotlight on our skiff and as the sun set, we set about looking for wildlife.  Most specifically cayman.  Their eyes would glow red when the spotlight hit them so the cayman were quite easy to spot.  We then glided over and tried to grab one. 

After a few fruitless attempts we were successful.  Our guide scooped one up and before we knew it the cayman was in the boat!  I was the first to hold it.  Pretty cool experience.  We took some pictures and let that little sucker go.

Finally, before heading off the river we were treated to a visit to a river village.  It looked like a village of a couple of hundred I would guess.  Our lead guide George said that they visit the villages randomly and do not tell the specific village when there would be a visit.  This way no village becomes dependent or expectant of a tourist visit.

As we strolled into the village courtyard people began to emerge.  Kids.  Kids everywhere.  It seems to me every family must have five or six kids.  George got the kids all lined up and treated us to the Peru national anthem and some other fun stuff.  Then we were able to pass out school supplies and coloring books to the kids.  It was a cool experience.

After the village we were onto the bus and headed to the airport.  One more adventure remained before embarking on the trip to Cusco.  We were treated to a visit to Centro de Rescate Amazonico, an animal rescue and rehab center.  They had all kinds of Amazon animals being rehabilitated from injuries or other factors.  Monkees, turtles, river otters and manatees.  We toured the facility and got up close with the wonderful critters.

Off to Cusco and Ollentaytambo!


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