Along the Natchez Trace

Saturday, January 4, 2014

In Search of The Monkey Farm....

Maybe I should lay off the Imperial beer....  I got a little carried away with the monkeys yesterday.  Well, I did buy a 6-pack of Stella Artois...  that's a beer we've had in the Caribbean, and until I put it in the fridge today I thought it was an "island" beer...  nope... it's brewed in Belgium.  But...  no monkeying around with today's post...  well... maybe a little.

Bill and I are used to keeping busy...  knitting socks isn't really very aerobic.  We had heard of a place near us called "The Monkey Farm"....  a place a woman from the States is trying to develop into a sanctuary/rehab place for monkeys and other injured animals.  She is also trying to establish hydroponic gardens and offers living and working opportunities to folks who want to help while learning (or even teaching) such skills.  Her website tells of her needs for volunteers.  She is having an open house this coming Sunday to recruit volunteers and hopefully get monetary donations.

Today we decided to find Vicki's place.  Bill had looked up an aerial view on Google Maps...  looked like it's just across the valley from us.  We have done volunteer work ever since we retired and thought we'd see if our services could be of use at The Monkey Farm.

I think it was 7:30 or 8:00 when we started out....  got down that long downhill road from our condo, was walking along a wooded pasture...  and saw....
Turquoise-browed Motmot
An absolute exquisite bird!  In fact, it's the national bird of Nicaragua.
Of course we lingered here quite a while...  my "little" Canon does not have a view finder so getting a decent photo was difficult.  We'll be heading back to that area soon...  I'll have my Leica in hand.

We turned up the road around the corner...  one we've not walked on yet.
There is no signage for the Monkey Farm, but we were told just keep bearing to the right when coming to an "intersection".  

We did...  we walked past a whole neighborhood of houses....  kids playing, dogs napping...  chickens pecking for bugs...

The scenery is fascinating...  tall plants...  a view of the hills...  and sometimes across the valley.

We never saw any vehicles at all.  Finally we are to what to us looked like the end of the road.  There's a gate...  but no sign on the gate.  We walked through and a young man was headed out to turn his sprinkler system around.  We could see a fenced in area that looked like a playground for monkeys.  We're sure we're in the right place.  Nope!  He doesn't understand English and when Bill asked where the sanctuaria del mono is, he points to a (very) unimproved road leading off to the left by that gate.

Off we go....
 We walk....  and we walk...  and we walk....
And of course we look all around us....  we start seeing monkeys....

 There are 2 monkeys in this photo...  The head you see belongs to a fairly large male.  I had been taking photos and after watching me a bit, he climbed through the branches and hovered over a tiny, little guy.  I wonder if he was protecting it?

Another adult and youngster.... 

Once they noticed me, they watched for a while, quit eating leaves...  and started heading away into denser trees.  We could see as many as 5 at the same time....  

On we walked...  until the road became so overgrown and rough we knew for sure we were going the wrong way.

Just look at how long the tail is on this lizard!

We headed back to that gate with no sign....  and when we got there, we heard voices....
speaking English...

There was a road to the right of that gate...  and over a low-water crossing...
Encountered the "voices...  a retired man from Canada and a young man from Columbia...  
bringing a wheel barrow with some tools down to the crossing to make some repairs before Sunday's open house.

They told us that Vicki had gone to Coco, but the Monkey Farm was just up the road around the corner.
And it was!
The folks working were all "student" age...  about a half dozen...  from Coatia, Finland, Canada, the USA, and probably elsewhere.  
We introduced ourselves...  said we would like to volunteer...  and they put us to work.

But...  that's a blog for another day.

That's All For Today!


  1. Just catching up on blog reading, Sharon, and you and Bill are having more great adventures to share. I will have to backtrack through your previous posts to catch up. The little Canon did a fairly decent job for you.

  2. I'm always amazed at your adventurous spirits, in a strange country, walking about ....Wow! I admire you guys. That's a beautiful bird too by the way.

  3. up to some monkey business I see...

  4. I can't wait to read your stories of volunteering there. What a job!

  5. I had never seen a Turquoise-browed Motmot. That is amazing. I look forward to the next post!

  6. Now that is one cool bird. Who would have thought that you'd be volunteering with monkeys?

  7. I guess with that hidden-away access road there won't be too many visitors coming by. Looking forward to your next post.

  8. Looks like that MotMot comes complete with PomPoms:))

  9. Great pictures!
    Watch out for the spider monkeys - they like to throw things.

  10. Great pictures!
    Watch out for the spider monkeys - they like to throw things.

  11. Now you really monkeyin around, need more beer.

  12. I wondered when you would get to work. Looking forward to new adventures.

  13. I guess since you volunteered you will have to quit monkeying around and get to work (grin).

  14. Sounds like a great adventure. Love the feathers on that bird.

  15. volunteering on a monkey farm... you and Bill are so COOL! beautiful Turquoise-browed Motmot ... who names birds...

  16. You can take the volunteer out of the country, but you can't ... I wish I could think of some clever way to finish this up!!