Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Amazonas adventure Day 2

We got up at 6, and fortunately there was some coffee waiting, as breakfast was not until 8. Down in the canoe, into the flooded forest, out with fishing rods. I haven't angled in the past twenty years at least so it was very exciting, only there was no fish. Normally, you are supposed to be quiet when you fish, but Ruben showed us how to make huge noise by tapping the water fiercely with your rod. Piranhas was supposedly attracted by the noise thinking that there was a fight going on, so there will be a corpse waiting.

Of course I wished with all my heart that I would catch something, but I would be happy if someone else did, and actually I was just happy to be there, once again watching the reflections of trees and plants in the blank water. We changed places three times, and suddenly fish began to bite. Manolo, who steers the canoe, got two, and we all took pictures and admired, then Ruben got one, and then Enrico got one. I was all the time feeling gentle nibbles, and the hook came up empty, so I thought perhaps I forgot how to set up bait. And then, suddenly, I had a fish! A real, live little piranha! And then another one. So Enrico and I ended up saving the honour of the guests against the hosts.

Then we went back to the boat to have breakfast, and then another excursion into one of the tributaries and into the thicket where we were suddenly surrounded by monkeys. Small squirrel monkeys, so cute (hate this word, but it's the only adequate one). We had bananas with us, and the monkeys came and took bananas from our hands. And we learned how to talk to monkeys: ”Cheep, chip” apparently means: ”Come, lunch is served”.

Then it was time to learn dolphin language, as we tried to attract the dolphins' attention by beating the water surface with the fish we had caught in the morning. There were at least half a dozen pink dolphins around, and finally they came and feasted on our fish. It is very hard to capture the moment when a dolphin reaches for fish, so I have no good pictures. But it was amazing.

Then we sailed on for a while and anchored by a little village - I expected an ethnographic show with song and dance, and small boys trying to sell souvenirs, but there was fortunately nothing of the kind, they just went about their own business. We saw more dolphins by the shore, but of another kind, grey.

Waiting a bit until the worst heat was over, we started on the next adventure which was a hike in the rainforest. A very easy hike, but it was terribly hot, my shirt was absolutely wet. There were many remarkable things we saw, and some I have managed to get good pictures of, but no picture can do it justice. It was a fantastic feeling just to be there. And of course I know that the trail has been used by hundreds before us, and yet it was easy to imagine that we were really the first ever explorers.
I was hot and tired when we returned, but there was the final excursion of the day, looking for tree boas. I am not particularly fond of snakes, and told Ruben so, but he assured me that we won't get too intimate and that boas were not aggressive. We didn't find any snakes, just a couple of tree frogs, but it was once again that magical feeling of gliding in mid-air when you couldn't tell when real world stopped and reflection began. It was pitch dark, and Ruben had a torch. It was weird. Like a fantasy film, but real.

We were all very tired and went straight to bed.

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