Day two of Fluvial Tours Pampas excursion started with a short boat ride down stream to the marsh land that acts as home to the legendary anaconda snake. Having seen the (pretty shit) film ‘Anaconda’, I was inclined to expect something close to the 40ft computerised monster which stars in that title. A constrictor snake like the python, the anaconda can grow to some fairly extraordinary lengths – but our guide told us that, should we find one (which apparently is about 50/50 on these trips), it was more likely to be between 1-3m long. This, it has to be said, was still going to be long enough for me to be pretty impressed.

The walk itself was actually quite demanding. It was all pretty flat, but the heavy gum boots they’d given us all combined with the awkward terrain meant after an hour and a half there were a few grumbles coming from some members of the group. The fact that as far as we walked was going to be exactly matched by the walk back didn’t really help keep spirits high… then all of a sudden there was a shout!

Another group a minute or so ahead of us had stumbled across the big prize and all 8 in our group raced over with some new found energy and enthusiasm. Understandably the snake wasn’t too happy to suddenly find itself being manoeuvred with sticks and surrounded by 15 gawping gringos. This made the whole thing much more exciting as it hissed and launched itself at anyone who got too close. I’m sure more animal loving vegetarian types might have been a bit uncomfortable with this intrusive behaviour – but it was straight out of the Steve Irwin school of animal loving and seemed pretty cool to me!

We didn’t bother the snake for too long, 5-8 minutes perhaps before it was allowed to slither angrily back into the water (some little rodent or capybera was going to get it later on from that pissed off killer). In the time we were around it, another guy from London managed to pick it up by the tail. He was much braver/stupider (and taller significantly in terms of the snakes reach) than me, but while it vented all it’s irritation at him I did manage to get some good close up photos – and even stroke it’s slimy skin.

Coming from London this was another experience that is completely out of the ordinary for me and way out of my comfort zone – so it was a pretty thrilling morning. Some of the other backpackers I met who hail from more exotic parts of the world like Australia and the US were pretty nonplussed at the site of a 2m snake though – and dismissed the whole thing as a waste of time. So if you’re from a big European city with little in the way of murderous serpents, you’ll love this. Miserable Aussies and Yanks may prefer to opt for a lie in.

These are the best of the anaconda shot. Check out the rest of the photos from Las Pampas here.

Some of the other things I got up to in Las Pampas:
Late night alligator hunting
The amazing wildlife of Las Pampas
(Nearly) swimming with pink dolphins
Piranha fishing – eat them before they eat you