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Mutts On Bikes

I Am tRyInG tO jOG YouR MeMory

BOLIVIA | Friday, 20 February 2009 | Views [777] | Comments [4]

It is a sunny day in Cochabamba in the rainy season. We survived the amazon jungle with little more than an unidentified plant rash. We are a day away from carnival and a day away from Ororu where, upon arival, we either have three places to stay, or none.

So, about the jungle. MONKEYS put their fingers in our mouths. In a setting, which we have since speculated could not have possibley been regulated in terms of sanitation, we attended a wildlife refuge for mistreated animals where we were immediately given the offer of recroutment as volunteers. Though we almost left Meg to be a Puma trainer, the volunteer positions required a two week commitment minimum, and as always, the ants in our pants roshamboed for no. The spider and cappacino monkeys, in an open wildlife area, found crawling into our shirts, digging in our pockets, and hanging upside down from our faces, were hard to leave behind. There is a lot to be said about looking in to a monkey´s eyes as it looks up from your arms, it resolves wonder for evolutionary theory. Especially the completley bald two day old spider monkey that we saw. Not to get too magical, the monkeys also instigated antics amongst each other while we were there that included a lot of squabling and screeching, and, after many monkey fingers in the mouth, one showed up on the trail in front of us eating a dead mouse.

We also got to see monkeys in the wild, along with bats in caves and orchids in bloom. We crossed a river with a system of pullies and levers, with our ranger, who was not a ranger, but a German volunteer who was given permission to take us into the Jungle as no one else was available that day. We hiked a loop passing delicate cup shaped translucent mushrooms, millapeeds as big as snakes, and butterflies as big as your hand, none of which we know the names for as our guide barely spoke English, let alone spanish.

We slept, dispersed, on the huge porch and in the back yard of the house of Jose´ bordering the amazon as it thunderstormed, the first night. And the second night we slept there as Jose, a middle aged guide whose wardrobe consisted solely of floral print shorts for the entirety of our stay, and who informed us that he had been featured in the lonely planet if we didn´t know, after returning from a night of drinking with his friend to celebrate the purchase of a new car, lifted our sleeping pads to shove plastic bottles and other items that he found lying around and then rolled up under our heads. Along with the two Argentinian travelers who showed up earlier that day and asked us where we were staying, all of us scattered in the circumfrance of Jose´s yard, we all woke that night being tucked in by Jose. For dollar thirty we paid him to stay there, he was quite the host.

We will stay in the recreation room at the fire house tonight, which, different than the ping pong and foosball tables we have encountered previously, contains only thirteen red plastic chairs and a small television in the middle of the room with cable television. E.T. llAMA CASA and Homer Simpson choking bart while speaking casetallano have been witnessed, as has Rambo, yes Rambo, dubbed.

Not to steal the glammer, we aren´t rotting our brains on TV anymore than we spend time surfing the web to bring you this news. We have a date to dance in the street in a women´s only night of festivities and a date to take Rachel´s stitches out, someone might be getting a tattoo(not Meg).

Things change quickly traveling, when you are riding your bike and when you are in a different climate all of the time, (taking all of your newly purchased winter clothes including wool thermals to the jungle, yes we did that). When it is raining and when it is not and you are being pegged with water balloons (yes, until carnival ends, that will remain constant).

And now, here, it has begun to rain so hard that people are falling over in the street as the water hits them.



Loved this....especially the part about the Simpsons speaking Castellano...they're my favorite brain rotter.

  Renee Milligan Feb 21, 2009 1:47 AM


Hmm, Well Pat and Ev (Meg's parents) will be glad to hear that Meg is not the one considering a tatoo.

It is snowing here at Schweitzer this evening.

Hope you all are having the experience of a life time.

Roger Root (Ev and Pat's friend from skiing.) PS: Ben is up this weekend and Ev and Pat are bunking with me.

  Roger Root Feb 23, 2009 12:40 PM


I echo Roger's comment about the tattoo-seeking individual who is not Meg. That's a good thing, Meg. Glad Rachel's stitches will soon be out! Will there be any monkeys stowed away on the plane home? I'm sure you'll be glad when the rainy period or area is past. Must be awful to be somewhat soggy all the time. Keep those blogs a-comin'... we love 'em! Mom

  Pat Coulter Feb 24, 2009 8:34 AM


Ladies: the monkey story was great. Don't suppose the little critter was putting it's finger in other places!! Meg I won't say anything about the Tat, you know what I would say if I said anything.

Rachel, hope the stitches came out smoothly and your knee is flexible.

How about some pictures of the women only dancing?? It must be a hoot.

  Ev Coulter Feb 25, 2009 10:59 AM

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