The rest of the day was much better. I guess that’s not hard to do considering how much I did not enjoy the jungle. We had some time to relax by the pool, had lunch, and then it was time to go fishing for Piranha’s! we loaded these little man made boats and headed out onto the Amazon River. We stopped at what I guess was a good place to find piranha’s and the boat drivers gave us bamboo fishing sticks and cups of raw red meat to put on the hooks. I was initially grossed out and not wanting to touch the fish bait, then realized that you touch raw meat when you cook so it was really not that unbearable. I threw my hook into the water and waited for a nibble. I got several but every time I pulled the line out of the water the fish had already gotten the bait and was no longer attached to the hook. I decided I reloaded my bait and threw the line back into the water several times until finally I felt a nibble, pulled my line out of the water and had a piranha! That was satisfactory to me so I had let the fish loose and retired for the afternoon. The sun started to go down and it was literally the most beautiful sunset I have ever experienced. We were in the middle of the Amazon River, surrounded by trees, the water was like glass, and there were green marsh areas dispersed throughout the area. The sky gradually changed from a light purple with orange shining through the clouds to a dark blue and has it got darker the trees became silhouettes. Once again, I’ll be posting pictures as soon as I can. While we were all watching the sunset our boat driver and his assistant, David, were on an alligator search. When it got dark they pulled out a small spotlight and David hung over the front of the boat scanning the marshes. In no time at all he pulled stood up, baby crocodile in hand! (It was actually a Cayman, but I don’t know what the difference is, they look the same). But it was sooo cute! I think just cause it was a baby cause they boat next to us got one too but theirs was a little bit bigger and not as cute. We all oo’d and ah’d at the crocodile and then I got to hold it!
A few things you probably don’t know about crocodiles:
1) Their sex is determined by the temperature that their eggs are kept in. if it’s over 30 degrees F they are usually female. If under, they’re usually male
2) An adult can smell its victims from 3.75 miles away
3) They have 36 teeth on top and bottom
4) They don’t have a tongue
5) Their eyes close sideways and upside down
6) The Portuguese word for them (which I don’t remember) means “the one that can see on both sides” because their eyes can turn 180 degrees on the right and the left
7) When it closes its mouth it’s like 400 kilos coming down
8) 70 percent become female because of the heat of the Amazon.
When we got back to the hotel it was the usual dinner then chatting and sleeping. We convinced our guide to depart the next day at 9am instead of 8am for the rubber factory. We got there and realized that this was just a model of what a rubber plantation used to be, or something like it. It was really not fun, and not that interesting since we had already seen people who really were making rubber…so I’m not going to write anymore about that. After the rubber plantation we went back to the hotel for lunch and to collect our stuff, then it was back to the ship for some much needed showers and homework time.