Swimming with fish

Trip Start Sep 2005
Trip End Sep 2006

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Flag of Brazil  ,
Tuesday, November 1, 2005

Today I went snorkelling down a spring water creek. It's crammed with fish with about 30 different varieties. From the very small to the mighty Dorado. It was just like a nature program. We also got to watch 2 whales going for their first swim. Mother and daughter I'm guessing because they looked so alike and held hands quite a lot. Eventually they had to give up because they just couldn't snorkel. They managed a few minutes in the river and had their heads in the water for maybe ten seconds, which I'm sure was a lifetime for them. For me I still see it in slow motion, the two of them floating through the lush vegetation like two manatees. In the end they sailed down the river in a glass bottomed boat. Which was better for all of us, including the fish. Which must have been crapping themselves when they saw these two floating up to them.

The river was great it was just like a huge goldfish bowl. (Poor Lionel would have loved it. God Bless him wherever he is now.) You can swim right up to within inches of the fish without scaring them. It's a big living aquarium of waterfalls, and crystal clear spring creeks. As you float down the river very slowly you encounter lots of fish in their natural habitat. Hiding under tree roots, behind rocks, under overhangs in the bank, round the mouths of feeder streams. They're really obliging, and don't seem to mind posing for photographs. You actually feel like one of them after a while.

Bonito is the first proper Brazilian town that I've stayed in. It's got a totally different feel to the other south american towns. It seems north american. The public telephones are human sized parrots, like something you'd see in California. They've got their own cowboys, complete with stetson and boots. People who need two chairs to sit down. (You didn't see anybody this size in Peru or Bolivia). Lot's of smiling girls rolling past on bicycles, half naked.

It's no surprise there's so many heavy ones. You get a half pound of sugar in your coffee. Many restaurants charge by the kilo. The ice-cream parlours are pay-per-kilo. If you have a sweet tooth and a hearty appetite you've no chance.
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