Friday, July 27, 2018

Adventures in the Amazon Day Three: "Welcome, my dear Mr. Bond, to...Monkey Island!

Marvel at the cute, wacky antics of lovable monkeys!
"For you see, Mr. Bond, Monkey Island is a training ground for my personal army of monkeys where I shall eventually unleash them on an unwitting world to conquer...Disneyland! Mwah-hah-hah!"
Yes, Monkey Island sounds like a Bond villain compound. And, yes, Monkey Island actually exists. Come with me now, intrepid explorers, as I recount our adventures on...MONKEY ISLAND!

Tuesday morning we set out by boat on the Nanay River, an Amazon River tributary. Where the tributary meets the Amazon River, a visually distinctive color change differentiates the two rivers from "black (that's what it's called, although it's not really. Hey, I don't make up the rules.)" to light creamy brown. Shifting sediment causes color change. 
Thrill at the incredible changing water color!
Which is just one of the many amazing things about the Amazon: the landscape changes constantly. (I saw a huge tree actually topple into the river as we traveled. And there are "walking trees!" They uproot themselves and move toward sunlight. Sure, they're slower than sloths, but I ain't making this up!)
See the incredible, uncanny tree that walks like a man!
Soon, we neared MONKEY ISLAND ("ka-blammo!"). My spidey senses tingled (or maybe that was water sickness). As we disembarked, I was quickly reminded of my lousy sense of balance and lack of grace. Pay heed, folks, for we'll be revisiting this theme many times.

Excitement swelled in our group as we walked the planks up to...Monkey Island! ("Bum, bum, bummmm...") 
Duck and cover from flying feces!
Another habitat (brought to you by the fine folks of the previous manatee habitat), Monkey Island personnel rescues rare monkeys and nurses them to health. Unlike the manatee habitat, though, the monkeys roam their island freely to jack with unsuspecting visitors.

Our host warned us to wash off all bug spray and sunscreen since there'd been an earlier incident where several monkeys died by licking toxic bug lotion. We were also told, "monkeys are curious. So watch your jewelry." Understatement.

Our group washed up, stripped down, and prepared to enter...MONKEY ISLAND ("Dun, dun, dunnnnnn...").

Three minutes into our tour, a woolly monkey approached my wife, crawled up her body, and tossed its arms around her. For twenty minutes, they were inseparable as the monkey licked and kissed her and tugged playfully at her necklace.
Get jealous as my wife finds comfort in the arms of a furry stranger!
One of our traveling companions wasn't so lucky. Sara's monkey started off all cutesy, innocent and sweet, but within seconds "cute" morphed into stark-raving TERROR! The monkey climbed atop Sara's head, yanked at her hair, entangled its limbs throughout Sara's tresses, and held on tight. Like a victim in the film The Birds, Sara ineffectively tried to disengage her primate pal, plucking at it to no avail. That monkey wasn't going anywhere.

Elsewhere on MONKEY ISLAND ("Zinnnnnngggg!"), another fellow traveler, Liz, welcomed a monkey into her arms. But this monkey had a hidden agenda, an evil one. Feigning sweetness, it jabbed out, snatched Liz's glasses, and tore off into the bushes. Miraculously, one of the guides was able to retrieve the glasses.
Don't dare trust these little b@$+@*ds!

Yet another monkey dragged one of our pals, Kelly, by the hand. We all thought it the cutest thing. Until the demonic beast's true intentions became apparent. The creature stopped Kelly by a small tree, positioned her oh-so-carefully, then used her as a ladder to climb into the tree's limbs.
Hold onto your wallets and purses!

Even the sloth appeared less than trustworthy, evil gleaming in its eyes. (But I wasn't too worried; even I could outrun a sloth should it come to it.)

Me? My only contact was with a parrot. Oh, sure, it was friendly enough as it roosted on the teens in our group, but when I approached, it pecked at me.
Beware the feathered face of evil!
Maybe these surface-cuddly beasts truly were a secret, evil army in training after all.

Speaking of evil beasts, have you heard the one about the Demon with a Comb-Over? No? You just might die laughing reading this sucker. 
Clickety-click-click for horror with a side of humor.

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