Brasil Days 9,10 – Unkempt raft and Yucca farm

Day 9 –

Leave Sao Paulo tired, not so comfy sleeping with head jammed up against the motors. Downriver there are dolphin swarms. Dolphin watching is supposed to be enjoyable but not when there are masses under your boat. They are huge (more than half the size of the canoe) bulky fish that leap out of the water. Will they jump into the canoe? (bad for both of us human and dolphin) Will they headbutt and smash the underside of the canoe? Must be a lot of fun to be a dolphin in the river though, there’s food abundant and play and freedom.

Feel tired so stop on a raft. Can’t go any further. Put the fishing net around the corner. There’s a man on the bank who sees us and eventually he comes down and pushes his canoe out to dock on the raft and he is calm says we can stay. We lie in the boat resting and then go check the net and there’s just a couple of mini palomitas. As we’re paddling back some guys pull up to the raft and start unloading big fish they stash in the freezer to sell. We’ve just enough energy to make oatmeal on the alcohol can stove then we put up the mosquito net and sleep early sleep deeply.

Day 10-

Go fetch net. There are many palomitas in it. The problem is palomitas are tall but not fat, they are like round discs, so very small ones can get caught. They also like to entangle themselves enmass, the entire shoal. They are yum though. Succulent ribs. There are also some sardines and my favorite the grimace face fish (though smaller with two long protruding fangs from the lower jaw) and a smooth fish with whiskers and a basket mouth fish which is taboo to us because of that day in Peru were we cooked and sweated and by the end were sick with no appetite. Also it looks weird it is blue and red and lumpy like blood has accumulated and bulged on one side of its body. Since its taboo we let it go and it swims away.

I gut and Nina tends to the fire. That’s the worse job because there’s no shade from the already blazing 8am sun. You get roasted from above and below. We salt the palomitas and sardinas and all the while we are getting attacked by sandflies. We’re trying to perform delicate procedures with the knife and all the while the sandflies cling. Nina has a cut on her hand that salt gets rubbed into nicely, typical.

A late start, 10am or so. That night we sleep on a Yucca plantation. While pitching the tent amongst the baby Yuccas I sing a song that goes MAKASHARA MAKA MAKA SHAIRA AAAARHHHHH. I scream the song delightedly over the river. Makashaira (don’t know how to spell) is Portuguese for Yucca. So far the words we know are Makashaira – Yucca, Peixe – Fish, and ‘Esta boa’ – ‘S’all good’ (We use this one all the time.) There’s only time to hastily eat one fish then mosquito hour is upon us. Trillion mosquitos. Retreat fast into the tent. It is too hot in the tent for two. Squish. It is a horrible night we are soaked in sweat practically suffocating but we can’t go outside or open up the door because the mosquitoes are hovering.


Posted on October 20, 2014, in Preparation. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. While reading through all the posts from your adventure, all I keep thinking is I want to send you off spray for the bugs!

  2. We had spray but only used it at extreme times for example when on the point flinging myself suicidally into the river
    there’s not enough bugspray in the world for all those bugs!!

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