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Steve Robinson

Huge Catfish, Barbed Stingray and The Black Hole

Posted from: Wijint
I've just emerged from my sick bed after 36 hours of sweating, stomach cramps and violent diarrhoea! Some nasty little beast got into my gut and wreaked havoc. Unfortunately this is not a great place nor time to be ill.

The gut explosion coincided with a 10-mile walk to film a community fishing trip. The Achuar walk fast, about twice as fast as a heavily laden film crew. I had to nip off into the bushes repeatedly to relieve myself before springing into action to catch up with Bruce and Mantu, the Achuar hunter who is looking after Bruce.

Even so we had a great day. About 20 Achuar - men, women and children - released a mashed-up plant into a small stream. The plant pulls the oxygen out of the water and within minutes huge fish were jumping out and floating to the surface.

Matt Norman up to his neck
Matt N up to his neck

Matt, Zubin and I followed downstream as Bruce and the Achuar fishing party slowly wandered through the chest-high water collecting huge catfish. It was a magical scene, three families working together: one of the best experiences of the trip so far. Matt filmed a woman holding a tiny baby wading through the river picking up fish, who looked so happy - perfectly at ease with his situation.

The team's boots dry in the sunshine after the fishing expedition
The team's boots dry in the sunshine after the fishing expedition

We had a bit of a scare on the way back though, when a giant stingray with a huge barb in his tail accosted Zubin. Angel, the Amazon's strongest man, and our minder, clubbed it to death with a stick!

I got sick as soon as we arrived back. The toilet situation here is not great: two adjacent holes in the ground inside a sweaty shack. Vampire bats live in the deep dark of the holes at night and fly up between your legs mid-movement. I visited the black hole 10 times that night! But I'm better now.

All else is good. Bruce has started his ayahuasca ceremony so I must visit him.

It's good to be in the land of the living.

Find out more about the Achuar


  • 1.
  • At 09:40 AM on 30 Jan 2008,
  • elchanco wrote:

amazing journey...keep up the good work on the blog, i religiously check it every morning :)

  • 2.
  • At 12:46 PM on 30 Jan 2008,
  • Guy wrote:

Now, that's livin'!!
Happy adventuring! Yours lives are so rich in facinating experiences, great stuff.
Stay blessed.

  • 3.
  • At 01:12 PM on 31 Jan 2008,
  • William Pentz wrote:

Your living my dream. I hope the Ayhuasca allows you to dream it well

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