Perezoso, Pajaro & Pirana, Ucayali, Peru

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Martin Hash
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Perezoso, Pajaro & Pirana, Ucayali, Peru

Post by Martin Hash » Mon Dec 02, 2019 5:08 pm

Haven with Sloth.JPG

One year, my wife, Gwynne, and I paid hundreds of dollars to see some “rescued” South American tree sloths from Peru that happened to be close by in Oregon. We got to take pictures standing near them and we touched their fur when nobody was looking; the closest we came to holding them was buying some stuffed animals at the zoo a few weeks later. I mention this story as a comparison to what happened recently while we were Peru motoring up a muddy river in one of those shallow long boats you have to sit in a straight line, and not lean to far to out or water comes flowing over the side. After beaching at ramshackle village, two young children came out of the jungle with baby sloths, which they handed over to us, no problemo. Gwynne & my son, Haven, took to the little guys immediately, but interestingly, our grandson, Felix, didn't want anything to do with them, and neither did his mom, Miram, who's full-blooded, grew up on the sides of the Andes, Incan. There were also some wild birds there, some of which were acclimated to humans. Felix didn't like them either.

Gwynne with Parrot.JPG

The reason we were in Ucayali was to swim with the Pink Dolphins. There are statues of Pink Dolphins in town, Pink Dolphins painted on the side of the building across from our hotel room, plus the tourist shop highlighted Pink Dolphins, so naturally we wanted to see the dolphins. Turns out “swimming with the dolphins,” as the sign so enticingly advertised, means being in sewage-filled river with dolphins vaguely arching their backs above the somewhere far away. I don’t even know if the dolphins are pink or not? Both Gwynne & I ended up taking a full course of antibiotics afterwards from E. coli sickness; but, hey, we swam with the dolphins.

One the way back, our long boat stopped in a little backwater of a tributary of the river, and the guide got out homemade fishing poles. I recognized them immediately. I can’t remember the last time I caught a fish; I think it was Boy Scouts, but you have to go fishing to catch fish, which I don't do, but I have been piranha fishing, twice, both times in Peru. How hard can it be; you hang a piece of meat on a string on a stick, drop it in the water and jerk. The only issue is losing a finger. I didn't catch a thing either time. Gwynne, however, caught half-a-dozen of the little blighters the first time and again right there in the bayou, in less than 10 minutes. Piranha tastes good too - like fingers.

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