Floating in a tropical river, Day 4 of 6: Catching fish with bare hands

sailor (Ocean & Mountain)

Same as yesterday morning, there is a layer of fog this morning, waiting for the sun to burn it away.

There is no gold mining in this part of the river.  Also there are a lot less motor boats.  The river appears very peaceful.

We start fishing in the morning.  Ruben uses the super thick line with a huge hook of about one and a half inches wide.  His bait is a piece of fish meat from yesterday.  I've been wondering how big a fish he is going to get, with such a huge hook.

Interestingly enough, he gets one regular size cat fish.  I get one as well.  That's all what we get for the whole morning.

We stop at another plantation.  This time Ruben picks cacao fruit for me.  It's the one that chocolate is made from, probably using the seeds.  But the fruit itself does not have much to eat.  It's only a slippery thin layer covering the seeds, with some slightly sweet flavour.


At noon time we arrive at a place where a branch river is joining.  This branch is of clearer water.  While Ruben is preparing lunch, I dip myself into the water, wearing only my hat to block the sun.  So far this is the best dip!

The lunch is fried fish and fried plantain, quite tasty.

As we continue to float down, I see something jumping near the shore, where a creek joins the river.  Fish!  Ruben obviously knows it quite well.  As soon as we reach the beach, he jumps down with his machete, quickly runs to the creek, and starts to chop in the creek.  He gets fish!  Then he starts trying to catch fish with just bare hands, and he gets one!

Later in the afternoon we enter the Madidi Nation Park.  To be exact, we are just outside the boundary.  Separated by this river, on the left it's the park, while on the right it's reserved land for indigenous people.

Later in the afternoon we enter a canyon section.  High mountains are on both sides, the river becomes deeper and appears not flowing.  We had to paddle a lot.  Another annoying thing is there are many mosquitos, a lot more than the previous days.  They are tiny but aggressive.  Although I wear long sleeves and long pants, they bite on every possible exposed spot: my face, my hands, and my neck.

We paddle even after it turns dark.  Finally we land on a small beach, which sticks into the river like a small peninsular. 

This location is far away from any villages, no light can be seen.  While we are having dinner, the stars are so bright.  We can see the milky way!  I'm thinking about taking pictures, but when I finish the dinner, the full moon rises and the milky way disappears.

It becomes very windy late at night.  The river was so calm in the afternoon, but now it has big waves.  We have to fix the tents with extra ropes in order to keep them in place.

2015-10-4 -04:00
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