Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Villa Tunari

Thieving monkeys and Spanish speaking parrots...

THIS IS a one-dog kind of town. Actually there are in fact several dogs, but you get the idea. Beat and I are here to see some animals in the nearby Parque Macchia. It's a place where for a reasonable fee you can volunteer to look after rescued monkeys and birds and big cats for 15 days. Beat and I do not have 15 days, so we're just wanting to have a look around.

Our plans are initially thwarted by a downpour that last abot 18 hours. We got wet. Quite wet. We are not allowed to go into the park as the animals are hiding from the rain and the trail is dangerous. So we wait. And wait. Altogether we wait for well over an hour and a half. But then we didn't have anything else to do. At least we dried off.

Eventually we were let in and we walked around seeing some birds (parrots that speak Spanish - quite strange), met some volunteers and walked through the rainforest type forest. Good walk, getting good views of Villa Tunari and the BIG river next to it and the mountains. At the end of the trail is a little cascada (another waterfall). They're everywhere, these waterfalls.

After the walk back we go to the monkey house and that really made the trip worth it. There's loads of monkeys all ages jumping on you. It's great fun. Sometimes they curl up and go to sleep on you, it's quite charming. But you have to be careful, these monkeys are mischevious and clever little things and are experts at searching your pockets, even undoing zips. I presume they were after food. I can't think what use they'd have for money. It was all going quite well, then Beat sat on the bench that I was on and it collapsed dropping us into a sandy pool of water. Wet again. But it was worth it.

We didn't get to see any of the pumas or anything. That's in the refugio part of the park where the vounteers are. It would have been cool to work at the park and look after all the animals but unfortunately time simply doesn't permit. Beat and I must move on, and get back on the road. I think that a few more months more in South America would be good, but you can't do everything and it's always possible to come back to different countries on holidays and see places you didn't see this time round.

Villa Tunari doesn't have many great restaurants but we managed to find some battered fish that I assume must have come from the river or something. We also found a bar with no-one in apart from 3 guys watching a Steven Seagal movie. I don't know which one. They're all the same. The bar had a great sloping pool table so we wracked up a few games. Needless to say I was victorious over the Swiss.

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