Where in the world are we?

Where in the World are We?

25 February 2011

"I think I've had enough monkey business for today!"

Today, we traveled to the city of Puyo in the Oriente section of the country, where the primary rainforest begins and eventually extends to a number of the tributaries of the Amazon. The purpose of our trip was to visit a monkey refuge and rehabilitation center called Paseo Ecologico Los Monos where we interacted with many of the local resident monos.

The 1.5 hour bus ride traversed the mountains through several tunnels (we forgot to keep count, it was around 4 or 5) and twisted and turned along the cliff’s edge past several waterfalls (which we will visit tomorrow). Upon arrival to the Terminal Terrestre, we quickly found a taxi and made our way to see the monkeys.

We enjoyed our visit and definitely feel for the monkeys and the people working so hard to help them. We were greeted by a staff member who shared that the monkeys are rescued from people who kept them as pets, or who had been orphaned or injured and brought to the center.

During our visit, we had monkeys climb on us, swing by us and sneak attack, and just hang around checking us out as much as we observed them.

The Paseo is right in jungle territory, so we felt the familiar heat and heard the buzzing bugs reminiscent of home in Belize. A few hours of jungle time was definitely sufficient for this trip!

One of our first encounters occurred as we waited for our tickets when something startled a small monkey on the ground near Anthony – it promptly leaped onto his leg to hold on! Later, as we walked through the trails, we observed the monkeys as they swung from tree to tree.

We came upon a cage of monkeys and learned those housed there are not yet ready to be released into the open. We spent a good amount of time watching a really crafty guy who was on a mission to unlock the door. First, he just went straight for grabbing and pulling the lock, and then he banged and pulled on the top of the door. Later, he returned with a rock he’d found somewhere and tried to knock off the lock, then worked diligently at banging the door (check out the video below!). He is one smart fellow – and Anthony was his accomplice whenever he dropped the rock.

Later, when we decided to sit and rest, some monkeys came over to join us; one even kept grabbing on and holding Anthony’s hand. Moments later, when sitting on a nearby bench, one curious guy came right over to curl up in ginnie’s lap. For whatever reason, a really wiley guy decided he wanted to start a fight with ginnie’s companion and they used her as a post! They would wrap their arms and tail around her neck and arms to get better aim at their target until finally jumping around and pulling and trying to swing from ginnie’s ponytail (while also slamming into other visitors nearby as they swung on branches!). It was actually pretty funny and no one was harmed.

There are also several dogs residing at the site that often tend to the monkeys needs, some in a surrogate mother role. It was well worth the bus trip to spend time with the monkeys and support the hard work of dedicated volunteers who wish to help them return to the jungle.

a butterfly who hung around while we waited for a taxi to return to the bus terminal

Paz y Amor!

1 comment:

Mica Clark-Peterek said...

This is hilarious! I love the pictures of the monkeys hanging around Ginnie!