See You Later, Alligator: Brazil, Day 3
I awoke early under the Amazonian sky. We all packed up all of our stuff and headed back down to the boats. We had a delicious breakfast (including fried plantains, I’m obsessed!), and then we set out to go to the place where we were to swim with the pink river dolphins. When we got there, all we had to do was to step off of the dock and into the Rio Negro, which was a completely different experience than swimming with the dolphins in the Bahamas. The river dolphins were wild and were attracted by the locals feeding them fish. Not the healthiest idea from a conservationist standpoint, but it was still amazing nonetheless. The water was warm and the dolphins came all around us, passing us by as we carefully touched them. They paid us no attention, swimming underneath and around us, and I’m pretty sure I accidentally kicked a few of them. I believe there’s a special place in Hell for dolphin-kickers.
After that we headed back to the boat to prepare for piranha-fishing. We set out in 3 canoes, 1 for small boat and 2 for big boat. Our guide took us to places where piranhas hang out and showed us how to fish for them, with a chunk of meat as the bait. After a long while, one of the girls sitting behind me caught one, but it was too small so we had to throw it back. Another girl on my boat then caught one that was big enough to eat, so we kept it. It was huge, about the size of a dinner plate. After another little while, I caught one of my own. It was a red-bellied piranha, which is the aggressive type that will bite humans. It was too small, however, so I had to throw that one back too. It then started to rain. And when I say rain, I mean pour. It rained so hard it soaked through all of our clothing and damaged my camera. I then realized that I had no clean and/or dry clothes left to wear out later.
When we got back to the boat, I threw on some borrowed bathing suit bottoms and a semi-wet-but-not-soaked t-shirt, and we set out to go caiman spotting. Caimans are a subspecies of alligator, and we took along a local guide to help us spot them, since it was getting dark. It was amazing how they did it, they looked for the reflection of the eyes and then went in after it. The guide caught a small one with his bare hands, and passed it around for all to hold. It was pretty incredible (we let it go of course).
After we had the thrills of searching for alligators, we returned to small boat for much merriment. We had a couple of drinks and made up our own version of Empire State of Mind to in include small boat lyrics, which we proceeded to sing to big boat. They didn’t seem to care. We then tried to play bonding songs, which the big boat didn’t respond to. Oh well, small boat had soul that night anyway.