We apologise for another very delayed post but here is the second installment of our time in the Pantanal, which unlike the first day had very few mosquitoes… NOT. This time we had a jungle trek and piranha fishing to look forward to!
After an early awakening, both because of the sun rise and the fact that breakfast was at 5:00am, we split into our groups for different activities. Our group was the three of us, two Germans named Ben and Samuel and an Israeli nurse, as well as our guide Sandro. We got into the jeep wearing three layers, a t-shirt, a jumper and raincoats! Why? Because the jungle has 10 more times the number of mosquitoes than the rest of the Pantanal, and that is a lot when you consider how many there are anyway! Of course you get very very hot. After finishing the and taking of the layers it looked like we had gone for a swim fully clothed!
Apart from not feeling great and wearing very silly clothing the trip was great, and Sandro was great at being able to spot everything from Howler monkey´s to Kingfishers to an Caiman that was protecting its den. Also teaching us about a very bitter plant which if crushed (apart from being very difficult to drink) seemed to cure near enough anything including, luckily, stomach problems.
After getting picked up about two hours later we returned to the camp and had lunch as well as a very hot and sticky nap before our afternoon of Piranha fishing with Sandro.
We had heard a lot about the Piranha fishing from other groups as one of the best bits of the expedition, so we were really looking forward to it. We went to the edge of the river with nothing on our feet so that we didn’t ruin our boots and also its apparently easier to fish with no shoes on?.
To catch a fish is quite easy and everyone caught at least about 5 or 6 fish each. After talking to Arthur (who caught the most and the biggest) he suggested to stand slightly up stream, take a big piece of meat (in our case cow heart) and leave your hook in the water until the Piranhas start to nibble, and then with a quick snap of the rod, set the hook. When they are out the water you can hear them chattering their teeth, and strangely the also make a kind of bark!
After fishing and returning to the camp, you de-scail the fish, gut them and slice them along their rib cage so that they can be fried, and then finally EATEN!!!!! It tastes really great! With a squeeze of lime you eat the white fish off the bone. It tastes much better than it look!
After a day of fishing, walking and a hell of a lot a mosquito bites we had a very well earned sleep but not after an evening of cheat (a card game for any of you don´t know) and another game which we named Sandro after theguide,. It was a great day, thanks to the people, the guides as well as the very compfy hammocks we slept in.
Be back very soon with the third and last day of the Pantanal.