After waking up, we bused back to Bagaces, and then took a cab from Bagaces to Pijije where Ava lives. The roads were terrible leading up to Pijije – you could only go 20 mph max otherwise you’d screw up your car. After we unloaded our luggage, we geared up to explore the jungle in search of the white-faced capuchin monkeys.
Ava said it always varies when searching for them – sometimes it takes half an hour to find them, sometimes you don’t find them all day. We found some unhabituated ones within 15 minutes of entering the jungle. They fear humans, however, as ticos hunt them for fun.
We made our way deeper into the jungle snaking around the river and climbing over rocks before we found a group; how lucky! The group consisted of about 20-30 monkeys. At first they were very anxious when they saw us. When they get intimidated, the males try to get as big as possible, and break small branches to appear strong and macho.
After a while, they settled down and started behaving like they normally do, disregarding our presence. It was unlike anything I’ve ever seen (I feel like I’ve said that a lot now this trip). They are some of the most acrobatic creatures I’ve ever seen. If only I had a tail, I thought.
The kids would chase each other around and wrestle, pulling each other off trees, rolling around in the dirt, and even dunking a few heads in the river. I saw two hanging upside down from a tree by there tails and wrestling each other. They would run right up to us and eye us curiously – still slightly confused as to who we are and what we were doing.
We observed them for a long time before going to an opening in the river and went for a swim. We then headed back to the hostel, where I took a long nap as I was exhausted from the day. Upon waking, I was startled as a large tarantula the size of my first sat motionless on the floor beneath my bed. It was easily the biggest spider I’ve ever seen.
We had an easy night. Mark, Luke, Fredrico (Ava’s friend), and I went into town for a few beers and to watch the soccer game. Tomorrow we are going to Coco beach.