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Sensory overload at Isla Parida

Posted by Susanna On January - 15 - 2011

As Daniel had said yesterday we were picked up in the morning. Unfortunately my alarm went off but he was very kind and waited. I did not know what to expect but I had the feeling it would be wonderful, maybe like my so far favorite island Nananu in Fiji. From the mainland it took about 30-40min by boat to reach Isla Parida. The weather was great and the sun shining. The water glinted. I was so exited! And then there was the private island. Beautiful! Marvelous. Like a jewel in the ocean. From the side we arrived at to the other side Daniel used a golf cart as transportation vehicle. That was so fun! Especially cruising along the over 1km beach…

After inspecting the wonderful property I got to see the first time in my life pygmy marmoset. These are probably the tiniest monkeys of the world around the same seize of a tarsier maybe. They had three – two males and one female. And they had even a story: They all including another male belonged to a private zoo in Panama what needed to close. So the owner was looking for a place for the four. Finally they found one and all four pygmy marmoset were divided in two each between two new owners. Isla Parida got two males. And the female with another male came to somebody else… But the female behaved strange. People said every morning she was looking out for someone or something calling… Nobody understood what was going on. After six months her companion the other male died of a scorpion sting and the new owner suggest to reunited the remaining female with the two other males of Isla Parida who she already knew from times back in the zoo. And can you imagine what happened? As soon as the female met the two others she got exited and so happy. And it became obvious why she was looking for someone everyday – she had missed her choses partner! He was one of the two males of Isla Parida. When the four had been divided people did that just randomly without thinking that even a tiny monkey could have chosen a partner for life! So a big happy end for the pygmy marmoset couple!

Then I saw the macaws. The owner of the private island own over 20 macaws and lots of other parrots. They breed them and goal is to release the to Panama native macaws on the island. At the moment of my visit there were already a few couples flying around wild. Michelle a lady from the states takes care of them and brought her own parrots as well. It was an amazing experience to see these magnificent and intelligent birds that close. So wonderful. And each of them has their own personalities, habits, likes and dislikes.

Furthermore the owner had Panama deer, two females and one male. There were so tame that I could go close and pet them. I felt like in paradise sine I love animals so much. Close to the deer was the monkey tree! On that tree live five female spider monkeys. As soon as I entered the place one of them got very excited. Her name was Bella. She loved the attention and the cuddles. She was one very communicative monkey and all time she did a sound what was similar to the twitter of a bird. Another monkey was Lucy. She was curious and shy at the same time. Even while looking at her photos you realize the two different personalities of the monkeys. The other monkeys stayed on the tree. Outside the monkey tree was a kind of angry whitefaced capuchin. He was supposed to be caught and brought of the island because he was alone and aggressive. Supposedly he had killed a few tamarind monkeys. But he is just a very smart monkey and since he was escaped a trap he is now difficult to catch.

And if you think that is enough of overstimulation for one day – you are wrong!
With Daniel and his family I visited later the other side of the island or maybe just another island? I am not sure. Anyway at that place his mum and dad lived. It was beautiful! The mum had few wild caymans as pets who she fed everyday. Wow! What an experience! I had never seen that before but it was real! The place was wonderful as well and I really don’t know what was the best on that day. I have seen so many miracles… If there is a paradise it will look like Parida!

I am very thankful that I had met Daniel and for his great invitation to Parida. It was really one of the best things I ever have experienced traveling. For everything I had witnessed today one day was not enough….

Isla Parida

Pygmy marmoset

Panama deer

Spider monkeys

Whitefaced capuchin

The other side and feeding the caymans

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Golden sunset

Posted by Susanna On January - 4 - 2011

I did not feel good today so my plan to explore the area in and around Santa Catalina failed. Still I got some pretty amazing shots from a golden sunset at the beach of Santa Catalina. Enjoy!

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Jungle school

Posted by Susanna On December - 20 - 2010

In the morning we visited the community school. There were not many kids at that time since most families went to Puyo for the Christmas holidays. The result was that they were only two kids in one and three kids in the other class. In Ecuador especially young teacher who just finished their degree at university will be send to these jungle schools to make their first teaching experiences. That is hard since many tribes have their own language and the teacher mostly does not speak it but the curriculum requires studies in their tribes language, in Spanish and also English. The kids are very intelligent and clever and thirst for knowledge.
Then we packed our things and took the canoe down the river without using the engine so we were supposed to see more wildlife. In reality it is very hard to spot animals in the amazon. We saw just a few birds every now and then but even those were so far away for taking great closeup pictures. We tried to fish some piranhas with the meanwhile smelly rotten leftover bait meat. I felt them biting but I could not catch any. This night we slept in the jungle were the guides cut free a campsite. Normally we would have tried spotting some alligators but it was full moon and that’s the only time where it is bright enough for them to spot you in the dark. So – never make a jungle trip at full moon if you want to spot them. Otherwise the moon was very beautiful and I ask the guide for just taking me out with the boat for watching the moon. I even saw few alligator eyes glowing red on the other riverside but that was all I saw of them.

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Jungle Life

Posted by Susanna On December - 19 - 2010

I woke up several times at night since it was so uncomfortable sleeping on a tree root. But anyway I didn’t wanted to sleep! I wanted to see some big cats going for my bait. But the night stayed calm except the rooster fall from his tree and unbelievable it didn’t crow in the morning – how unusual. I guess that was the only time when I wanted a rooster to crow. Short after waking up we packed and left back for the village. I learned a few things about healing plants of the amazon and I ask for seeing the Uña de Gato vine what helps to cure several ailments and also supposedly helps against cancer. I saw butterflies and tiny frogs and later being back in the community we saw wild wooley monkey. The same monkeys I had seen in the ‘Reserva de mono’ but in the wild. They came as close that the guide was feeding them with a couple bananas. For luch they prepared one of the village chicken since the villagers wanted to keep our lazy rooster to breed with their chicken. The food was delicious and after eating everybody came together and showed us their handicraft things to sell, how to make a fire without matches or lighter. They painted us with paint what will become dark blue over night. First it was transparent. Stories were told about one of the last uncontacted people the Tagaeri which try to resist the contact with civilisation. When they come in contact with people not of their own kind it is very common for them to kill them. So nobody can make contact to them. I was wondering how the Huaorani avoid crossing their territory by accident and they told me that funny but true fact: When they read the footprints Tagaeri ofter have six toes. That’s probably caused by inbreeding. So if they see a print with six toes they leave as fast as possible the area. Also Tagaeri avoid water. So their only way of crossing river is on fallen trees. They don’t use boats in contrast to the Huaorani. Later at dusk we were not allowed to leave far without guidance and flashlight since there supposedly so many venomous snakes and bugs in the jungle. At least we saw one snake what someone found close to the toilet. It was immediately killed because this community had lost a few children already to snakebite accidents.
The night was wonderful. It was close to full moon and the sound of the jungle is unique and you will never forget.

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Malapascua Island

Posted by admin On October - 21 - 2009
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Sagada and Hanging Coffins

Posted by admin On October - 1 - 2009

I went to Sagada actually because I’ve heard about some Hanging Coffins. Sounds strange therefore I got especially curious! Supposedly there is a strange ritual in Sagada in the north of the Philippines. If someone died they had put up the coffin with some favorite belongings like cheers up on a rock formation. I really did not know what to think about it. So I had to see it with my own eyes. The time was tricky because the Philippines just have the worse typhoons in ages. So basically I went with two fellow travelers I met in Manila up north and our second destination was Sagada. The town is famous for 1. The Hanging Coffins, 2. The Weaving, 3. The civet coffee like coffee Alamid.
First of all a tip: To go to the coffins you really need no guide they are just behind the cemetery. Just cross it and walk 5min into the forest. And then you see the coffins hanging on the rocks. Really I was disappointed. It was nothing really special to me. I have seen more interesting graveyards. Some lose bones lay around from a coffin what broke down. On the way back I went to the . It is especially nice because you can watch the ladies weaving the material. Close by is a shop where you can buy lots of different seized bags and more. And then you are probably interested to know what is Coffee Alamid? It is the most expensive coffee on the world and it is made out of civet poo! Yes it is true. Basically the civet a nocturnal animal of the mongoose family eats the ripest and sweetest coffee cherries during coffee season. Later people collect the ‘leftovers’ after the animal excretes them out and make coffee with a special taste out of them. Weird but very true!

Sagada Read the rest of this entry »

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Viewpoint Ngemelis

Posted by admin On August - 15 - 2009
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Camping at Ngemelis Island

Posted by admin On August - 14 - 2009
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From Sepahua to Atalaya

Posted by admin On July - 9 - 2009
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Exchanging gifts at Mariaria

Posted by admin On July - 8 - 2009
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“What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”
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