Friday, February 19, 2010

Monkey Business

  Our last full day in the jungle was the best.  Early in the morning we took a boat tour down the Chagres River, through the Panama Canal, into Lake Gatun and around the many small islands that are home to monkeys, iguanas and a variety of birds.  The canal was busy, several large freighters steaming through and we sped by dwarfed by their gigantic sides. Our guide Liz was great and all ten tourists "oohed" and "ahhed" as she told us about the canal and the wildlife.
  The Capuchine monkeys are the most gregarious, one jumped right into our small boat and grabbed at the guide.  She warned us that they might try to grab our cameras but we kept taking pictures.  The family of six monkeys live on a particular island and do not like to swim as there are caimen (small alligators) and large fish that enjoy monkey for dinner.  On a different island we saw an old Capuchine male who lives alone, either too sick to be with or banished by the larger group. At another island we saw three large howler monkeys in the tree tops.  At a fourth island we saw two huge iguanas, one with a large orange belly who the guide said was pregnant. We even saw a sloth hanging upside down in a tree. It was a wonderful tour and we highly recommend it to anyone to ventures into the jungle.  This has been a great visit.  The weather perfect, the food delicious and the scenery magnificent. 

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