Sloths, Quicksand, Piranah fishing & snake catching.

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May 24th 2016
Published: August 22nd 2016
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24 May 16

Today we woke up at 600 again for a 630 sloth expedition. We had an option to pull out the gumboots. I decided to use the supplied boots and ended up truly grateful for them.

Our skiff stayed mostly the same however we gained the extra Canadian woman. We did feel a little MEH about this situation as rumour has it the day prior on the other Skiff she fell over on the jungle walk and they they didn't do any more landings and she slowed them down a lot. Being the young adventurous boat that's not really what we wanted to hear.

Pretty much as soon as we got on the Skiff we saw a sloth. We could have seen it from the big boat if we had been looking. We travelled down river a little further and docked then jumped ashore to do an on foot sloth expedition. Expedition objective – plenty of sloths nice and close and maybe even on the ground.

After only about 20 metres Christie got stuck/bogged into ground and couldn't get out. Meanwhile Raquel also got bogged on the other side of us. Both girls kept sinking up past their knees fairly quickly. Emily and I were laughing hysterically taking photos of them. Amazon karma will likely kick our arses for this.

As Christie was sinking this branch somehow emerged between her legs which created a greater 'oh shit' moment for her but created more laughs for myself and Emily. Yeah we are probably both going to some sort of hell.

The guides had to pull/dig out the girls. In the process Christie was hurt so returned to the Skiff to be washed by Alinson. The rest of us fearless warriors continued on and 2 others got stuck. It was insane in a scary but amusing kind of way. I definitely had some moments where I was questioning how badly I wanted to be on this mission. At one point Juan Carlos went ahead and came back and said no way we could get through as he found quick sand all over the place. Time to abort. We saw one sloth... However it was the one we saw from the boat initially.

As we made our way back one of the older ladies nearly slipped and pushed Juan Carlos over in the process. It was so funny. He was trying to hold her up and was on his hands and knees with her pushing him and he was trying not to face plant into the mud or become stuck himself. Emily and I were just laughing. At that spot Juan Carlos cut down a few branches for us to walk across. Further up ahead another lady got stuck.

I decided screw this and I bush bashed stepping on the high reeds and Emily followed behind me. We made it back to the skiff ok but both covered in little thorn/prick like things from the shrubs we were using to step on. It was an experience. Not sure if should be scared or excited now for the afternoons jungle expedition.

We went back on the skiffs for a bit to try find some sloths from the water but were unable to do so. It was sprinkling a tiny bit but not anything like yesterday's rain. We returned to the boat and had about half an hour until breakfast. Some of us gathered on the deck and made ourselves coffee.

Breakfast this morning was French toast, scrambled egg, ham, salami, cheese, bacon and fruit with Guava or papaya juice. Very nice. We hung out and had a laugh.

This afternoon was one of the activities I was most looking forward to. I think it may have been one of the things that sold me the trip. Piranha fishing. We didn't have to go far on the Skiffs just across the river and up one inlet. I was wearing denim shorts - almost regretted that when it started to sprinkle but the rain never ended up hitting. The crew had thrown ponchos at us then said whoops false alarm.

Juan Carlos showed us how to fish and caught one really quickly. The red on the belly is so vibrant. Such a strong colour. Ash was first catch on our boat and Emily got a massive one – biggest one of the two groups. We stayed at one spot a while then moved to another. At the second spot I kept getting bites and loosing bait so quickly. Eventually caught one - not huge but big enough to keep. When they were trying to unhook him he was screaming and I felt really bad. Fishing ended up more fun feeding the fish and not catching one. Guilt free. We moved to check out where the other Skiff was but Juan Carlos decided our sites had bigger fish so we went back. Only 2 fish got caught when we returned. 2 girls didn't catch anything so Juan Carlos said we will try to fish again another day.

It was a lot of fun. Some would get loose in the boat and we were all jumping around screaming avoiding the teeth. Alex tried to unhook his fish himself and copped a bite but he's ok, he will survive and now has a story to tell.

Lunch today was fish in bacon sauce and pepper beef. Very yummy. Beef was a nice change from our normal chicken. The fish they have been feeding us is cat fish. Normally that's a fish I wouldn't have thought I would try. People talk catfish and turn up their noses but now I love it.

We had a lot of activities planned for the night so I tried to have a nap before the first one started however no such luck. When I got up I saw trees shaking outside the balcony and went outside. Sure enough we were docked and their was a bunch of squirrel monkeys jumping around. I managed to get my best monkeys shots so far - all from my room. I went up to main deck where a lot of the group were gathered also drawn in by the monkeys. It's so incredible so see all of it so close. Had some coffee on deck watching the monkeys. Life is pretty good.

I met some people at the bar/lounge and ordered a pisco sour this time finally using Spanish the entire time. I wss laughing and blushing to get it out as I have no confidence at all in speaking it out loud to people. Martin the bar guy was like 'yes good girl'.

We drank our pisco then jumped in our skiffs and headed into the higher land part of Amazon for a jungle walk. We were assured higher ground meant less muddy and that we would not encounter the same rescue mission that was required from our sloth expedition earlier.

The walk was really scenic and a little hard with the climbing in the heat. It made me feel completely unfit and totally screwed for my up coming Inca Trek.

We saw lots of hallucinate mushrooms. Or ill rephrase – Emily pointed out a lot of hallucinate mushrooms. She had an eye for spotting them. Some were your normal looking type brown white and ugly but others were crazy shapes and colours. There was a deep red one and a really bring pink one.

Next we met our local guide who brought over a poison dark frog. Super cute but also super tiny so hard to photograph. He was red on his back, with blue legs and black spots. Next we saw some poisonous caterpillars. Nothing pretty - just furry and ugly super sized ones. Similar to ones we get at home around the house.

We were told to hurry as a sloth was spotted low to the ground. She was really small only about 30 cm. We were able to get photos with her and even give her a pat. She was just precious. Huge highlight and massive tick off the bucket list. It took our guide ages to get us away from her. Great thing about sloths is they don't move very fast so we all got to get close for a touch and some great photos.

Next we were taken to a red tailed boa. It was no anaconda but it was a big chunky snake and really pissed off to see us. It striked a few times then jungle boy Juan Carlos caught it and put it on a few people's heads. When I came up he said grab the tail and pull. Me, being the idiot I am put my hand in front of its mouth instead of its tail. Everyone was yelling no the other end the other tail. Next thing it's around my neck with the boys stretching it out. So awesome but also a tad scary.

We also taken to a giant huge tree which was really pretty. On our way back the local guide brought over a tarantula on a big leaf. I hate spiders but a tarantula was still on the list of things I wanted to see. Most people got photos with the face behind it but myself and Kristan got photos with our faces in front of it. Stupid move and lucky it didn't decide to run up my face. Emily would have loved that. When we emerged from the jungle the locals had set up some markets so we had a little look and some of the group bought some souvenirs.

It started to sprinkle as we went back but nothing too bad. We had about half an hour free before our night time adventure. It was crazy humid today and I was so damp from sweat figured I would just stay in same clothes rather then destroying another set of clothes.

It was the first time in the skiffs at night. Its so cool being out at night. Jungle man one again showed us how insanely good he is. We boated up to some reeds and he caught a night hawk (pretty much reached out and just gently got hold of this night hawk without it even flinching.) He let us all have a close look before releasing it back into the night.

The other skiff caught a baby Cayman so when they were done we borrowed their catch. When getting passed between the boats he was dropped and nearly ended up under the seats and wood where we could not get him but he was caught again just before he disappeared underneath. I called dibs on first cayman cuddle. They are so much quieter then baby salt water crocodile and have a much sweeter face. He got passed around the group for photos before being released back into the river. A few bats were also seen flying in our spotlights. Juan Carlos was shining a torch on a flying bird and it got angry and shit on him not only once but twice so that made for some great entertainment for us.

Back on the Zafiro we went to the bar for another Pisco Sour. We found out the other group got to see an anaconda on their jungle walk and Warren showed me the photo evidence. It was so cool. They are so lucky. However they didn't see the sloth and said they would have preferred that so we can call it even. That group also got to hold their tarantula. Well they held the giant leaf that the tarantula was on. Warren had the coolest pictures. I wished we got to do that but at the same time that probably would have freaked me out a little more then just sticking my face in front of it. Not sure what of those two is more dangerous.

Dinner we had fish, chicken and also our piranha. None of us really had a clue how to eat it. It looked so bony and crispy. Most of the meat was along the top of the back. It didn't actually have that much meat on it so I feel bad again about killing it. It looked so freaky – like a night of the living dead zombie. There was a piece of lime placed in its mouth full of teeth.

I imagined it to be a meaty or strong flavoured fish I guess because of what they eat. It tasted really good. Pleasantly surprised. I'm going to say it – it tasted kind of like chicken. I think it may have been once of the least fishy tasting fish I've had. Very meaty.

Desert was flan. We hung out for a bit and air dropped photos to each other ( I love airdrop) then all retreated to our rooms about 9 pm so our latest night so far. Sad isn't it - a bunch of girls in their early 30s struggling to make it past 9 pm. I was so exhausted but bit the bullet and went to wash my hair. I used the shampoo and conditioner supplied in the room and it smelt amazing. We are currently docked in Nauta offshore. You can see the city lights from the boat and it looks a pretty big Amazon town.

It's 10.30 pm now so the latest I've been up so far. Tomorrow however it's a little sleep in with breakfast at 730 am.

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