Piranha Fishing in the Amazon!
Iquitos Travel Blog› entry 8 of 12 › view all entries
We woke up the next morning with the sun already drifting through the mosquio net walls of our hut. The couple in the neighboring hut called us over to look at a giant tarantula on their "roof".
At breakfast there was a big group of people at the lodge who were eating from a different spread of food from the rest of us. They all sat together and wore new-agey clothing, and for some reason every one at my table assumed they were a cult. The guide said they were their to become preists, to take ayahuasca and go on a spirtual quest. Spiritual quest my ass, they were totally there to get high in the jungle. (For anyone unfamiliar with ayahuasca, wikipedia explains "The brew contains MAO inhibiting harmala alkaloids and the powerful hallucinogenic alkaloid N,N-dimethyltryptamine".
After breakfast, went piranha fishing on the river in one of the canoes. The guide brought out some make-shift fishing poles made out of fishing wire, a stick and a hook. For bait, we had little chunks of raw chicken. All we had to do was dip the bait into the water, wave it around a little (pretending we were yummy yummy caimain), and pull out quickly when we felt a tug. Piranha are tricksy little creatures. Most of the time, we'd feel the tug, pull our hooks out of the water, only to find the bait gone and no piranha dangling from our poles. I think we used up more meat in the form of bait than we caught.
It was really fun, though, and in the end we caught a whole bunch of little piranha. They weren't that big but they did have sharp, angry looking teeth. And apparently, there's another kind of fish that eats meat too, because we caught some of those. I can't remember the exact name of the fish, but the guide said something along the lines of "Rainbowbrightfish", although I may be getting it mixed up with that 80's cartoon about that little girl who was friends with colors.
We went back to the lodge and they cooked up our piranha for lunch. They fried them up whole, and we ate them kind of like sardines. They were pretty tasty. I must say that the food at the Muyuna lodge was really good overall. And I think they actually brought a live pig up the river and slaughtered it fresh, because one afternoon we could hear the weirdest sounds coming from the river.
In the afternoon, we went back to Iquitos and caught a flight to Lima. As we were heading toward the Iquitos airport, I saw the most awesome mural ever, in bright jungle colors on a wall: "Re-elect El Gordo". Like, I can just imagine the mayor of Iquitos. Awesomest little jungle town ever.