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Ceiba Tops

July 12, 2011
Matt listening to child read

Matt listening to a child read

Our group “slept in” this morning until time for breakfast at 7 am, followed by a prompt departure for a morning of fishing for piranha! We headed up the river to a “good spot” (according to our guide, Roldan), and tied up to a tree on the riverbank. If you wonder if piranhas really bite, ask Robert, whose finger sports a band-aid, thanks to a frisky piranha jumping off the hook and hopping around the boat!

We fished with poles fashioned from local trees and hooks baited with meat. Our group was excited to catch at least 21 piranhas! We also caught catfish, sardines and another small fish called sabalo. We brought the fish back to the lodge, where they were grilled for our lunch. Delicious!

Frank and Piranha

Using the last piece of bait, Frank caught this piranha!

After lunch some of us made a quick purchase of dragon’s blood from the shaman to treat our various mosquito and chigger bites. We piled on to the boat once more for the trip to Ceiba Tops Lodge, where we would spend the night. On the way, we stopped at a library sponsored by CONAPAC, the non-profit arm of Explorama which helps to improve health, education and living conditions along the Amazon.

We were greeted by the young American volunteer who is head of the library, which was full of local children reading. It was great fun for some of us to read with them. We arrived at Ceiba Tops to air conditioning, hot water and a swimming pool!

Yagua Dancers

Dancers on the last night

We played in the pool, and later were entertained at dinner by a group of dancers from the Yagua community of Indiana. A highlight of the dance was a young woman moving through the crowd with a live snake draped over her shoulders.

After dinner we were also treated to music by the White Bellied Frogs, a group made up of some of the workers at Explorama! We enjoyed relaxing, dancing and listening to music — some of us until the wee hours!

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