Piranha fishing: who's eating who now?
As well as hunting anacondas, another activity that people really look forward to on their pampas trips is piranha fishing. And this morning, that's exactly what we did! Straight after breakfast, we grabbed some meaty bait and some hooked reels, jumped in our boat, and set off to hunt some man-eating fish. Surprisingly, they're very small, and very hard to catch. Piranha fishing may not sound like a relaxing way to spend one's morning; but it's actually no less chilled than any other type of fishing. Plenty of waiting; and now and then, a little bit of catching.
For most of us, piranha fishing was really, really hard. The reason: the minute we cast our lines into the water, our bait got gobbled up, and our hook left bare, by hundreds of pesky little fish! Actually getting the bait past these annoying bastards — let alone snaring a piranha with it — proved a near-impossible task. Added to that, the water was also full of little plants and branches, which our lines were constantly getting tangled in. Absolute miracle that nobody snapped their line. Anyway, in the end, our guide Juan Carlos caught four piranhas, and Marie caught one as well. The rest of us came away empty-handed, with no fish and a lot of gobbled-up bait.
Who's eating who now, eh?
After returning with our spoils, we did — naturally — have them cooked up on the grill, and we then devoured them for lunch. Beautiful eating, piranha is: just make sure that you're the one doing the eating. Unfortunately, the bloody Israelis turned up at lunchtime as well, proudly displaying the 15 or so piranhas that they'd managed to catch this morning. "Why you guys catch so little piranhas? It's emmm, very easy, we got lots". Ah well, we caught more anacondas than them yesterday.
After the morning's fishing, and our piranha-filled lunch, that was basically the end of the pampas trip. We drove the boat back down the river for three hours, back to our original launch point; and then it was a further three hours, once again in the 4x4 Landie, on the dusty road back to Rurrenabaque. Very cool trip, lots of crazy animals, and mountains of delicious food! I vote for the pampas any day.