As you may imagine, when traveling on a long-term basis you are consistently filling your days with incredible experiences and creating great new memories. Sometimes, however, you participate in an activity that is not only not enjoyable but downright horrible. This is the story of one such activity.
After having faced my fear of spiders in the jungle, I was feeling really proud of myself, so when our Pampas tour guide told us we were going to be going anaconda hunting (don’t worry this does not involve killing snakes, just finding one) after breakfast one day, I decided to join in on the fun, despite every instinct telling me to do otherwise.
It all starts with putting on a pair of rubber boots at the lodge. I was having trouble finding a pair my size without holes in them and when I asked the guide about it he told me not to worry about holes.
“The boots are to protect you from snake bites, not to protect you from water”, the guide said.
This was not really comforting news. I put on my boots and got into the boat which would take us to a swampy marsh.
Within my first steps in the water, my feet were soaked. The guide told us to spread out and walk around and yell out if we found a snake. Tim knew in advance that he wasn’t allowed to let go of my hand. We walked through the marsh, my feet constantly getting stuck in the quicksand-like mud, battling prickly branches and swarms of relentless mosquitoes. All of course topped with the impending threat of snakes, including cobras, swimming at my feet. The water was so muddy that you couldn’t see more than an inch or two deep and it smelled like manure.
As we walked around looking for anacondas, I kept praying that we wouldn’t see one even though I knew that was the whole point of being there. The water was getting deeper and deeper and at one point the water was up to our thighs. After two hours, we took refuge with the rest of the group in a little forest full of cows while the guides searched every tree for snakes, but to no avail. My prayers were answered; no snakes were seen by anyone on that trip.
We trekked back through the swampy water all the way back to the boat. Everyone in our group agreed that it had not been a very pleasant morning and we all just wanted to go back to the lodge and get out of our wet and filthy clothes.
Later in the day while we were piranha fishing, a guide yelled out that he had found an anaconda in a tree. The group got excited and we went off in the boat to go find it. This time however, I happily stayed on the boat and waited while everyone took pictures.
A few weeks later I spoke with a girl who told me that on her hunting trip an alligator had showed up and snapped at her while she was walking through the marsh. She concurred with me that it is indeed that worst activity ever.