Thursday, January 7, 2010

Ecuador - Day 8

Jan 1, 2010
El Parque de los Monos a.k.a. Monkey Park

By the rio on the edge of Puerto Misahualli is a riverbank beach. That's where families play and lady walks around with a catcalling parrot.

However the beach is also adjacent to a huge grove of trees that connect to the density of the forest, and in those trees the Capuchin monkeys play, rest, and generally act like monkeys.


And yes, you can easily make contact with them. I've met many dogs and cats and consider most of them pals. But to meet a monkey is a different experience entirely. I felt like I was meeting my cousin. No offense, Josh.


When the monkeys are not picking apart grasshoppers, hopping from tree to tree or else doing any other typical monkey behavior, they are harassing the visitors. I had a little plastic bag with two rolls of bread in it. A monkey jumped over to me and grabbed the bag. I swung it around like a fun-park ride, but even after one roll fell to the sand he held on. After a few seconds the bag tore apart, and the monkey grabbed the whole thing - rolls, plastic and all - and ran to his tree to assess his conquest. In a minute we found pieces of bread he didn't like falling from the tree like rain.

Suddenly, a kid started crying, and a monkey was darting toward a tree with a soda bottle in his hand.




A lifeguard found his job to be climbing trees to retrieve the belongings from the children. He was completely unsuccessful. The monkeys dropped their trophies from the tree when they were good and ready.

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