your internet guide to all things catfish
|Peru 2000 an Amazon Adventure (part 2)
by Allan James
The Amazon Explorer
Aboard the Skiff
We then set off at 2pm for the Rio Nanay picking up a new generator on the way. After a short trip up the river we laid anchor and took the skiff across to our first village. We lighted and proceeded to follow Dr.Fish ( David Schleser) and Dr.Bird (Devon Graham) through the village. What really enthralled me here was a full-bodied game of football going on between two teams fully rigged out with strips and a commentary going on by megaphone! Nothing changes around the world where football is concerned, not even in the Amazon jungle. We fished, with our nets two shallow blackwater creeks at Padro Cocha where I caught my first catfish, an unusual one for me, a small gold parasitic cat and also small Ancistrus, Hyanuary tetras and a small Pike Cichlid which I later found out to be a male Crenichila lucius. The p.H of the stream was about 6.5 and the temp 75°F.
Our first night on the boat comprised of a meal of pineapples, avocados, carrots, tomatoes and Shovelnose Catfish (dourada), rice and bread, we then finished that off with a few beers. We then fished off the side of the boat and caught a few 10inch Cetopis (parasitic whale cats) I didn't think I would hear myself saying this about a catfish but they were gruesome looking and not the least bit pretty. Retired to bed at 1-15am after a few more beers.
We made our way back to the Amazon Explorer where we had the 'Dourada' again, done this time in a batter, which was delicious. We now headed again down the Amazon towards the Rio Orosa and stopped in the afternoon at a mud sandbar on the upper Amazon adjacent to a small Village, this was one of the funniest episodes of the trip especially trying to walk the gangplank from the boat and ending up to our knees in mud. If you have ever tried to walk in knee deep mud its not to be recommended especially when you start sinking in it and you suddenly realise that your traveling companions are all taller than you and I'm 6' 1"! I was pulled out by Steve, who by the way was standing on my feet under the mud, and a native boy who must have thought that we were all mad. Then Chris Ralph decided to follow my example and started sinking in the gooey mess and he is only 5ft odd! I don't know how we got him out with all the laughing that was going on, but we managed.
With all the hilarity going on, I never caught any fish. When we got back on board a (cold) shower was definitely on the cards. After we all cleaned up we all sat down to our dinner where the Chef had made a fruit cake which went down well with a cup of tea. We made our way into the Rio Orosa and on to the Madre Selva Forest Preserve, which is run by the Amazonian Project, this area covers 50sq. km. and is one of three on this clearwater tributary.
We berthed by the
floating house/office and later started fishing from
the deck pulling in Calophsysus macropterus,
a large pim which is known as an Amazon vulture and
will eat just about anything. We pulled in quite a few
large pims here. I retired to bed at midnight after
an enjoyable but hectic day and crashed out, apart from
the ever-noisy generator of course!
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