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The floating Amazon hotel permanently anchored in an Amazon River tributary near Manaus, Brazil.


Those Piranhas Can Bite!

The following day we headed back in the direction of the port of Manaus on the Amazon. On the way, I noticed a fascinating spot and I got the captain to let me off at a floating hotel permanently anchored in the river—a 16-room tropical paradise, with a gaily colored restaurant and bar, and even a swimming pool, which was a large rectangle section of the river itself enclosed with mesh nets.

Among my companions at the hotel were a Dutch engineer and his female companion from Rio. She was fascinated by the fish in the swimming pool. A tiny fish could swim in through the net and enjoy the plentiful food supply such as little bugs and mosquitoes that occasionally landed in the pool and thus grow to be a bigger fish. The girl found a fishing pole and toyed with it as she also showed off her tiny bikini. Suddenly she shouted—she had caught something. This aroused her Dutch friend who protectively went over to help her protectively went over to help her with her catch. He took the fish hook out of the mouth of the fish which turned out to be a piranha and shouted to me to look. Just at that instant, the four-inch long piranha clamped its jaws on his thumb. The Dutch fellow was shocked and didn't know what to do. I rushed over and opened the piranha's jaws by poking a fish hook into the roof of its tender mouth. When the piranha let go, blood spurted out of the dutch engineer's thumb. He turned completely pale and was faint for two days. The whole incident was the result of tiny piranhas, which swum through the net and by eating mosquitos, had grown bigger and bigger. To think I had enjoyed so much the previous week swimming in the lake where the really big piranhas lived! Come to think of it, I don't recall anyone swimming in the swimming pool of the floating hotel although it seemed safe enough. The piranhas typically wouldn't bother you if you didn't bother them first, and such tiny ones wouldn't be overly dangerous.


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