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Travels in South America

Monkeying About

BOLIVIA | Tuesday, 21 October 2008 | Views [654]

After the Ride of Death, we cycled to La Senda Verde animal sanctuary for lunch.  Dave and I had seen this place on the internet and had wanted to visit anyway, so the ride ending there was a bonus.  We spoke to the owner and decided we would stay there for a week volunteering.

La Senda Verde is such a lovely place.  First of all it´s warm down there, second of all it´s green and lovely, third of all the cabin and showers etc. were really good and fourth, and most important, there are monkeys there that you can cuddle!

They have 14 capuchin monkeys, 4 spider monkeys, 3 squirrel monkeys and one howler.  They also have a load of Macaws and parrots, ducks, dogs, cats, a goat, an ocelot (type of cat), a boa constrictor, an iguana and a bear.  These animals were all rescued.  This place isn´t a zoo.  It gives homes to many animals who have been mistreated or whose owners finally realised that they don´t make good pets.  Our jobs every day were to feed the animals, clean them out, show the Gravity bikers around and help on other projects (which did not get done).  The monkeys also need a lot of time and cuddles.

The Capuchin monkeys were the best.  There were 6 babies and they were all really cuddly and funny.  By the end of the week we were starting to recognise them and get to know their personalities.  Although cute and cuddley, I don´t think that we had ever been as filthy as we were that week.  The monkeys love to sit on your shoulder and neck.  They do not deem it necessary to move when they wee or poo.  They have porridge for breakfast.  This is a very messy affair.  The monkeys basically put their heads into it and therefore get covered in it.  Then of course they jump on you and put the porridgey faces all over you.  They have fruit for the rest of the day which isn´t so messy but they do drip juice over you.  I didn´t mind this too much except for when they had papaya as it stinks like shit.  In the evening after their last feed you sit with all the monkeys and give them cuddles before bed time.  They´re just like kids only less irritating.

While we were there, there were 6 other volunteers (the owner normally only has 4).  The Frenchies (a French couple), an Australian couple who had been there for 5 weeks and another couple (one Australian and one Canadian).  They were all very nice and we had a good few games of poker in the evening.

After a week with the animals and other volunteers, we sadly had to move on.  This place was so nice and it was really good to spend time with all the baby monkies (and Lunar, Martin and Serasa, not babies but cute) I really reccommend it to anyone who comes to Bolivia.  Even Dave enjoyed it and we all know he doesn´t like to get messy.

Everyone loves bananas

Everyone loves bananas

Tags: animal sanctuary, coroico, gravity, la senda verde, volunteering

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