June 14, 2006
We got up today at 7:30 and had breakfast, which consisted of an assortment of fruits that were beautifully prepared for us. We then proceeded to wait for everyone in the group to get ready for the day. They all had to take showers for some reason, despite the fact that we would be walking through the swamp all day. I didn't have the heart to show them the pipe that pumped the water directly from the muddy river to the holding tank above the bathroom area. We didn't get going until 9:30, which was in stark contrast to the canoe trip, where we were usually on the water by 5:30.
The main activity of the day was to look for anacondas. We took the boat further up the river to an area where cows were grazing. Then we started walking until we got to a wetter area. Everyone was given rubber boots, and at first they somehow thought they were immune to getting wet. We kept crossing deeper and deeper streams, though, and the water got dangerously closer and closer to the tops of peoples' boots.
When we got to the main stream to look for anacondas, several of us started walking through the water, which was almost waste-high, while everyone else walked along the shore. We were told that if we found an anaconda, it would feel like stepping on someone's arm. That was a pleasant thought. As we kept walking, the shore line became smaller and smaller. Eventually, our guides led us to an area where everyone had to walk through the deep water. One by one, people screamed and jeered as their boots filled with water. We didn't find any anacondas, but seeing everyone who had just showered with the river water get muddy made it worthwhile.
When we got back to camp, I wanted to eat the meal that had already been cooked for us, but everyone else had to take another shower first. It was frustrating how different our priorities were. I didn't care if I smelled bad, which probably pissed off the others as much as them not caring if we ate pissed me off.
Later in the day, our group went fishing. We started out using raw beef as bait, and I got a few piranhas, catfish, and dogfish. I switched to using a small fish for bait and caught some bigger catfish. All of the others caught several piranha, too. The fishing outing was a great success, as would be expected considering that they bite constantly here. Tonight's dinner was complimented with a large plate of fried fish, another delicious feast.