We had to run the canoes aground this morning. I was thankful that our guides chose the western bank as I fear how close the KoraKora might be on the east. Our guides were quick to gather fruit and a few roots to replenish their supplies, but then they just waited by the boats.
I asked them why we didn’t continue immediately. Nonda said that the water would boil. I asked him why mattered if we were in the water. Wouldn’t it boil all the same? He looked at me like I was an idiot.
Nonda turned to another of our guides and said something. The other guide pulled a large bird out of the canoe that they had yet to pluck and clean. He tossed it to Nonda who threw it out into the river. Within seconds what we could see of the river was thrashing violently.
“He are a fish,” Nonda said. “He move in pack, and eat all bird on surface.”
“Not just bird,” he smiled. “Fish eat any thing on surface. Many thing. Move silent, move quick. No see him come until late.”
I asked him how he knew they were coming if they were so silent and quick.
“Like KoraKora, he always send scout. Next time I show you.”
I asked him what it was called. “Bromnom.” When I asked him what it meant, he laughed. “It mean nothing. Sound you make when you eat.” Then he pantomimed an eating frenzy, making the noise ‘bromnom bromnom bromnom’ as he did so.
His companions joined in the pantomime until they couldn’t contain themselves any longer and fell over laughing.
We got back in the boats after an hour. Nonda poled us out until the current took over. So the boiling river is just fish. I suppose that’s no small thing. Perhaps it is less mysterious than a boiling river, but it remains as dangerous. I hope it isn’t long before Nonda can show us how to spot them coming.