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Wichita , Kansas
April 12, 2003
He stuck some beef on a fishhook, dropped the pole in the water, and soon had a hungry piranha for us. He seemed especially eager to show us all of its very sharp teeth, as we reflected on the fact we had just been swimming there.
He said these piranhas don't attack people, so there's no danger swimming with them. But it was obvious why they take you swimming first and fishing second!
From journal Peruvian Jungle Excursion
Broadbeach Waters, Australia
December 11, 2002
I really don't think you needed the hook. I think it was only there to attach the meat to something. You have to be careful at this point because when you yank the fish into the boat they normally land in the boat next to those delicious toes. They are really feisty as when Jorge took one off a hook he held it up against the boat edge and without hesitation it was biting the wood.
All our guys were lucky enough to have their free lunch and then were returned to the lake. As it was the wet season none of the fish, pirahna's or otherwise were edible due to the mud that they had ingested.
Make sure you try this it really was good fun.
From journal Puerto Maldonado - frontier town on the Rio Tambopata
Although the thought of a 5km walk does not sound like much fun, it was really interesting as along the way there are animals rustling around. You go looking for them and you pass other travellers and locals along the way.
One of my strongest memories was one of how the locals view every animal as an important part of the ecosystem with its own part to play. By a large hole that had been partially filled with water we met a local that was trying to dig out the sides to make them less steep and slippery. When our guide asked why, he replied that there was a large Caiman trapped in there and he was trying to help it to get out. We waited and watched and everytime he went near, the Caiman would thrash around and he was BIG. But it must of worked because by the time we returned the Caiman and man had gone and for the man's sake I hoped that he left on his own steam and not in the belly of a very large Croc.
Nearing the lake we then embarked in a small canoe, paddle power only, and we paddled out through a small estuary in to the lake proper. It was absolutely beautiful, peaceful and calm without any motorised craft. The water was like a mirror reflecting the palm trees perfectly. As we paddled around looking for otters but without success we saw some other animals including Hoatzins. These are large flightless birds that have a raucous cry. Instead of being able to fly they have claws on the end of their wings to enable them to climb trees instead. Amazing.
We stopped off and our guide decided that we should go swimming. Keep in mind this was the exact same lake, although a different section that we were going to go Pirahna fishing in later. Both my partner and our guide partook; I declined even though Jorge explained that pirahnas only attack if there is blood in the water. I was worried about stubbing my toe and supplying the blood and still declined. After having their little paddle and returning to land, I counted to make sure they definately had 10 fingers and toes each and all pieces intact, which they did.
I really enjoyed being out on the lake.