Along the Natchez Trace

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Looking for Monkeys

We have been wanting to walk back to the area across the valley where we walked to the Monkey Farm.  Not only had we seen monkeys on our previous walk, but the views along the way are spectacular.  We thought our friends, Ann and Steve would like this as they are hikers... even more so than us..  and when we saw Ann after church yesterday she mentioned that we hadn't done this yet.  We quickly agreed that Monday would be a great day for a hike.  They bicycled from their condo over to our place.  Bill & I walked down the hill at 8am...  we met them and headed off.  Steve and Ann have been in Coco nearly a month now, but have only caught quick glimpses of monkeys...  so... we were off to find some monkeys!

That's Steve and Ann....  and Bill on the right.
We walked about 4.5 miles in all, but the terrain was rough at times, as well as some pretty steep hills.

 I've been trying to capture photos of some of the magnificent butterflies here...  finally got this one...  not a malachite nor a morpha....  but still quite attractive.

 Birding is always fun...  and we had our binoculars and cameras ready just in case...
This Black-headed Trogon was quite a distance away, but we did all manage to see him.

 This Scissor-tailed Flycatcher was one of several we saw.  While we saw them daily when we lived down near Laredo, Texas, it's always a thrill to see a bird for the first time in a different habitat.

 Remember that Strangler Fig tree from another blog?  Well, this one has totally enveloped its host tree.  That tree is long gone, leaving the Fig tree with a huge hollow in the middle.

Somewhere along here is where Bill & I saw a troop of monkeys before.  But none were out and about today.

 The hillsides are dry...  it is summer here.  The rains won't start until mid April or May.  

Looking back towards Coco, you can see the condo where Bill & I live...  It's that long white building almost in the middle of the photo.  The building has 9 units, but at this time only 2 are habitable.  Right now, the one beside us is empty, but Rudolpho and his family might be back on Wednesday.  So we live in a very quiet area...  often the only sounds are the howler monkeys or the parakeets talking to each other.

At this point of our walk, we have come out of the wilderness and are walking along a road that overlooks Ocotal Beach.  That outcropping of rock is the area that Bill and I walk around occasionally.  It takes us about an hour to walk totally around it, but we stop at tidal pools and other places of interest.  The houses up here are large, expensive and all have a fantastic view.  We stopped and talked with a man who rents one of the nearby houses.  He and his family are here for one month... so they rent the house (we didn't ask the cost), but they also found a car they rent for $100 a week.  

 The hill is quite steep...  this man, and the young woman who proceeded him were giving it all they had just to make it up this hill.  So, for most people, walking to town would be out of the question.

Well, our quest to see monkeys just didn't work out...  So... 
 We headed down to Father Rooster, a restaurant/bar right on Ocotal Beach.  We're sitting on the outside deck that overlooks the beach and the sea.  Can you see the Magpie Jay?  He's on the railing...  Bill gave him a bite of a cookie, and he was more than happy to hop down and carry it off.

We all had a drink (those Imperial Lights are pretty darn good... especially when you're hot and dry!), and then we headed up the road...  back to our condo...  
Not too far along, we saw this young iguana.  I say "young", but don't know how quick they grow.  He was only about 2' long....  pretty small compared to most we see.

The walk home is up a big hill...  then down the other side.  Bill had just mentioned that there was a Monkey Bridge across the road...  looks like a webbing of rope, but monkeys can use it easier than using a high-powered electric line...  and it's also much safer for them.  Just about then we looked up in the trees....
I think there were 5 or 6 monkeys that were lazing around in the tree tops.  There could have been more.  Even though they weren't really close, Ann and Steve got to see the monkeys we all started out to see about 3 hours ago.  What a great hike that was!

That's All For Today!


  1. A pretty good hike today and at the end rewarded by a Monkey sighting!

  2. Happy to hear you achieved your goal! Gorgeous photos--especially those of the ocean. Another great day in paradise!

  3. Looks like there were a lot of boats out in the harbor. Are they all pleasure craft?

  4. Sounds like a very nice Monday walk and you did finally find your friends some monkeys.

  5. Amazing creatures in Costa Rica!
    That blue water is beautiful. Do you snorkel?

  6. I was walking along with you as I read that. Now I will have to put my feet up and rest for awhile (grin). Great tour, thanks again for taking us along.

  7. That turned out to be a great hike! I like seeing all the different wildlife and birds that you're seeing. Keep 'em coming!

  8. Loved this hike! what a pretty pretty place....

  9. Great day to enjoy walking with friends! Happy to hear that you finally did find some monkeys. Afraid for a minute there that everyone would have to be content with looking at Bill. ;)) LOL ( He's fun to "pick on" , but I don't mean anything bad...he's such a good guy!)