Piranha, Rum, Yagua!

Last night we took a walk after dinner to hear the jungle sounds! Along the way, a tapir…looks like a HUGE pig with a nose-trunk…joined us on our walk until it realized no one was planning to feed it. Apparently this one has been fed by locals. Before I knew it, the tapir head-butted into my leg! The hide eventually whacked it a few Ives so it would not charge at the group. We did see tarantula, bats, heard laughing frogs and owls, and stood in the dark silence on this night walk which was wonderful!
Under my bed's mosquito netting, I slept in the hot, humid air and listened to the jungle's night sounds to fall asleep by. 6:00am, up for a bird walk. We saw some and certainly more throughout our day. I will eventually put an entire bird list together. On the way to breakfast, tamarin monkeys crowded the trees and bunches of bananas left out for them…they are fun to watch! At breakfast we talked about the various religions in the area: Catholic, Mormon, and Pentecostal. Also discussed the handling of sewage, garbage, and then headed off to fish for piranhas!
We rode in an uncovered boat about 40 minutes downstream to a tributary of the Amazon, Napo River, to a hole for piranha fishing. Our skinny tree pole with fishline and hook was baited with beef chunks. We ended up with 19 piranhas for the 7 of us to eat for lunch. Their teeth are small and sharp so it was left to the guide to take our fish off any hook! Local people also had string across between 2 poles with sardines as bait to catch catfish. The local people on the river, live in thatched-roof cottages built on stilts called ribereños. They have land designated to them from the Peruvian government. The people only pay a tax each year for the land.
Next stop was at a local family-run molasses and rum place of production. Sugarcane was fed into a press by the father as the horse walked in a circle to keep the press working. The juice was collected and ready for the next steps. We had a tasting of 4 different rums and 1 molasses. These river people hope tourists buy from them, but I do not think anyone did.
After lunch we walked over to the Yagua people. In this area they greet tourists and have handicrafts to sell. The chief spoke in his native language and then Spanish for our guide to translate. The Yagua's danced and we joined in a circle dance, then learned how to use a traditional blowgun! My first shot I hit the target! Time for handicraft shopping and then a walk back our lodge. The Yagua people actually live further into the jungle about a 20 minute walk and beyond for the various families.
After dinner, a walk to the river to have open area of sky, then probably second cold shower of the day before sleeping! 6:00am bird walk again in the morning so I want to get this post out soon!
No freshwater dolphins or sloths in cecropia trees seen today, maybe tomorrow.

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