Swamped by monkeys

Trip Start Feb 19, 2010
Trip End Jan 31, 2012

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Where I stayed
Hotel Puerto Viejo

Flag of Costa Rica  , Province of Limon,
Monday, January 10, 2011

Day 1 - Transit

After Lunch got the bus to Puerto Viejo. Another American town full of american tourists which sort of put me off at first. Nice bay though with lots of nice beaches and surrounding forests.

Got dropped off at the hotel and interesting listening to the woman who checked me in. Typical american attitude of welcoming me to the hotel while at the same time managing to completely ignore me. Basically going through the motions and script she always goes through when new people arrive. Rooms in the place are basically cabannas which are small but quite nice. Especially for a bit of privacy.

After checking in went for a wander around town. Considered diving but nothing going the next day and dont really have the time to hang around. Definately a nice area for getting a bike and going for a ride. Pity about the weather though. Ever since hitting Costa Rica it never seems to stop raining.

In the end decided to stay one extra day to visit the Jaguar Refuge which the guy on the shuttle bus had been talking about. Decided to be lazy and pay a tour operator to take me there and back rather than trying to catch the local bus. Mostly since I had no idea where to find the place.

After my walk spent the afternoon sitting in a bar overlooking the street and having a couple of beers. Rather than watching the locals spent most of the time watching the tourists wandering around town. If you got rid of some of the tourists then this would be pretty much like most of the other Carabean towns Ive visited in another nice location.

Day 2 - Jaguar Refuge
Had organised to do the early 9:30am tour but the bus failed to show up to pick me up. Somehow appears that the driver forgot about me. Thankfully the refuge had another tour starting at 11:30am so I
was still able to go. Unfortunately it meant I had lost a few hours though given it keeps raining on and off Im not sure if I would have enjoyed going for the bike ride I had planned.

Refufe is not a zoo. Basically the animals in the place are determined by which animals are being treated and cared for by the refuge. When I visited there were some owls who were being taught to hunt, a hawk with a broken wing and lots of sloths. Most of the sloths had lost there mothers and were being nursed until they were old enough to take care of themselves. Also had a hawk that seemed to get attacked by other hawks whenever it was let out into teh wild. People not sure why the other hawks so disliked this one but it always seemed to get attacked in teh wild.

Given the number of snakes taht can be found in Costa Rica the refuge also provides a snake education center for local schools. Lots of snakes both poisonouse and non-poisonous. Aim of the education program was to help people identify snakes that might look like there poisonous cousin but who werent poisonous in order to stop people killing them

The place had no jaguars but it did have another smaller cousin of the cat but I forget the name (starts with 'm'). Also saw some toucans who called the place home.

Last stop ended up being the monkey cage. Appears that young monkeys are brought up here when they loose their parents and then released into the wild. Interacting with the visitors to the refuge is therapy for the monkeys. Was told that the monkeys like calm people who dont get to excited by them. Ended up getting jump on by a whole bunch of monkeys and had three that didnt want to get off of me. They even came running back when people pulled them off.

In the end after a few minutes the monkeys were starting to get heavy and managed to pass a couple of them off to other people with a bit of encouragement. Ended up being the last one out of the cage since I had a monkey sitting on my head that had to get pulled off.  By the end the monkeys were getting very excited and a couple going bonto since it was getting close to the time they get let out into teh jungle to play and form bonds with some of the local wilder monkeys.

Given all the rain and the fact Im feeling lazy, decided to spend the afternoon in the Cabana reading a book. Been carrying it around for a bit and so decided it was time to finish it off.

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