Thursday, December 17, 2009

Amazon Adventure Day 17 – Santarem Brazil

I was up early in the morning to go piranha fishing. The most vicious dangerous fish in the entire world, and we are off to catch them. WOW! So the ship docks in the city of Santarem and a small river boat comes along side the Prinsendam and we get on the river boat.

I guess that I should back up a bit here and tell you a little bit about the situation. Forget those pictures of the Amazon you have seen where there is a little dug out canoe widing though the jungle. WRONG. The Amazon is huge. I mean really huge. It is some thing like 150 miles wide at the mouth and even though we are a couple of hundred miles inland at this point it is still something like 25 miles wide. So there are hundreds of these river boats which ply the river. Generally they are about 30 feet long, with two decks. The lower deck might have anything from cattle to passengers who sleep in hammocks. The top deck generally has plastic chairs. They are all painted white with blue trim.

At any rate we get on this boat and head off across the Amazon to this other river called the Tapajos River. Once on this river it is starting to feel like the pictures we were talking about earlier. Small little river with dug out canoes. However it is the end of dry season here so the river is at its very lowest. The river goes up by 25-30 meters from lowest to highest. So we are at the bottom of these huge river banks with the jungle way above us. There are several of the river boats in a line so I commented that it was kind of like the jungle safari ride at Disneyland. About 30 minutes up the river we pull over to start fishing. There are lots of bits but only one piranha is caught. Although the fish is quite small (6-8 inches) it has a huge set of teeth and I can see how a school of them could clean the meat off your bones in minutes.

Back on board the Prinsendam, it is Jim and Sandra’s 38 wedding anniversary. So we are going to the Pinnacle Grill which is this incredibly fancy restaurant on board. A quick shower to get cleaned up and we are off to eat. I have this 18 oz fillet mignon. It is maybe the best fillet mignon I have ever had. I won’t bore you with the rest of the details of the meal but let’s just give this place a five star rating.

It’s a hard life but some one has to do it.


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