On May 20th, our 4th day at the jungle lodge, we got to sleep in. Yea! I was very happy to sleep in until 8:00am because I was having a lot of trouble sleeping in this hot and humid environment. During the morning hours, our guide was up preparing for our all day outting – piranha fishing! He prepared a lunch for us, got the bait ready, and put together the fishing poles.
Meanwhile, during breakfast, we said good bye to our dining friend, Alex (left front, in white t-shirt). The four of us (me, Mike, Alex, and Steve) ate every meal together at the jungle lodge and often had a beer together at the end of the day.
We left the lodge at 9:00am and arrived at the small lake where we would fish for pirahnas at 1:00pm. The 4 hour journey to the lake was quite an adventure! Since there are no roads in this part of the world, we went by boat through many different water trails thick with vegetation. Moises, our guide, and Raul, our boatman, spent hours hacking away at the thick knotted network of roots that prevented us from paddling through these small water ways. Several times we also encountered 3-5 foot grasses growing out of the water and again, Moises and Raul chopped the stuff back in order to paddle the boat through. On our way to the lake we also went through a couple of swamp areas where it was difficult to tell the difference between the tree trunks, roots, and branches. It all just looked like vines wrapping around each other with some going down into the water. After about 3 hours, we encountered a down tree. Steve, Mike, and I thought we would have to turn back since it was obvious (only to us) that there was no way the boat was going to get through this passage.
Amazingly, Moises, got out his machete and in about 30 minutes had chopped this downed tree blocking our way, into small pieces. We were all in awe. Here he is in action:
After we arrived at the lake, Moises told us that he was the creater of that route and that he had just created it 2 months earlier. I´m telling you, the man was simply amazing.
After we ate lunch in the boat, Moises gave us a brief piranha fishing lesson. We used live bait, hooking fish pieces onto our hook that was attached to a fishing line and a stick. He explained that you have to use the fishing stick to make a lot of splashing motion in the water. This attracks the piranhas because they think it is a distressed fish. Then, went you feel a bite, pull up quickly and get the fish in the boat. It took Mike, Steve, and I a while to get the hang of this but Moises caught the first piranha 2 seconds after he put his line in the water.
We fished for about 3.5 hours. Mike, Steve, and I each caught 5 fish. We caught red belly piranhas and tiger piranhas and were all so proud of ourselves. Here is a photo of Mike with one of his catches (a tiger piranha):
And here is my award winning photo that shows the mouth of one of the piranhas I caught:
Our journey back from the lake to the lodge took us about half the time as the journey from the lodge to the lake. This was because we went back a completely different way with about half of the boat ride on the Amazon River. While Moises was in the front cleaning all of the fish we caught, the three of us enjoyed watching small silver fish jump out of the Amazon and into the back of the boat.
The end of our day couldn´t have been any better. Moises had the cook at the lodge fry up our piranhas and we ate them for dinner. Yum! We went to bed tired, happy and full.
Life is good!
Tags: Category #28: Peru