When you’re traveling through the Amazon you keep hearing horror stories about anacondas sneaking into villages and eating people whole. So when I was in Peru I was thrilled at the chance to come face to face with one of these fascinating creatures. As I was walking through the animal sanctuary in Iquitos, I came across an old man sitting quietly on a bench with an anaconda wrapped around him.
I did a double take, not realizing at first what I was seeing, but soon he beckoned me over to have a look at her. He said that I could hold her if I wanted and my first though was ‘is this thing going to strangle me?’ but my survival instincts soon gave way to my curiosity and there was no way I was going to pass up this opportunity. I picked her up and wrapped her around my shoulders, she was much heavier than I’d imagined and extremely placid, she just laid their hissing away contently.
It was obvious that she was used to humans which was a bit of a relief to be honest, but nonetheless it was an incredible experience to put my trust in an animal that could choke me in a matter of seconds. I’d finally come face to face with an anaconda, the creature of folks tales and monster movies alike.
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This post is part of the new series on this blog: travel bloggers share their unforgettable travel experiences.