The sun is setting and we are on our way back to the Aqua Amazon for dinner after an exciting afternoon in the skiffs. As we are nearing the boat a man in a dug-out canoe starts to paddle towards us. When he is close enough he shouts something – there have been pirate attacks on these waters not so long ago and, although we wouldn’t expect pirates to approach in dug-out canoes, we watch warily as the man lifts us a large black bag and continues talking in the local dialect to our guide.
The skiff slows and allows the canoe to float close. The man reaches inside the bag and from it he pulls a small, red-tailed boa constrictor. This type of snake is non poisonous and can grow to over three metres long and weight over twenty-two kilograms. He passes the boa to one of the people on the skiff and lifts another bag.
From the second bag the man produces an anaconda. The anaconda is the biggest snake in the world (although this one is not fully grown) and is known as the ‘water boa’. This semi-aquatic meat-eater can grow to over ten metres and the largest one found was almost eleven and a half metres long. He passes this snake around our boat too, although our guide keeps a hold of its neck to avoid any mishaps.