Hiking Through the Jungle
By Corrie Sample
I would like to take you on a hike with me. It isnít a very long one, only about 45 minutes one way. It is a Sunday afternoon and Manuel and myself are going to find a certain tree with birdsí nests in it. Christina wanted to come with us, but she stubbed her toe a couple of days ago and doesnít feel like hiking. It isnít too hot when we start, so we decide to walk along the bank of the river. It is a bit more muddy than the trail, but it is also a bit shorter. After about 30 minutes we cut in towards the jungle, using a little trail that leads us past this house. There are no other houses nearby and it is close to the river, making this an ideal and quiet location.
This is the tree we came to take pictures of. We had noticed it before on previous walks, but had never had our cameras with us, so we had to return to take pictures. Notice that many of the branches have dangling nests hanging from them. This is what could very accurately be called a Ďfamily tree.í :)
Here is a closer view of the nests. As you can tell, the birds that create them have very good workmanship. These nests can be found in trees such as this one at the edges of and in the jungle surrounding the towns where we are stationed. This particular one is near San Pablo and another little village called Colonia (45 min. walk from San Pablo).
As you can see from this picture, the birds that create these nests are mostly a dark brown/black. What you cannot see however, is the tail feathers are a bright yellow. This can be seen best when the birds are flying.
On the return trip, we notice a couple hard at work building a boat/canoe. Most of the boats here are not dugouts. They are built instead out of planks made at the lumber yard. Here in San Pablo they have their own lumber mill of sorts, so planks are readily available.
Also on the return from our hike we are invited to go to a villagerís home and see his Ďpiel de tigreí or tiger skin, which actually turns out to be a leopard skin. It is quite a large one and is a little bit longer than I am tall (not counting the tail). It was quite a nice specimen as skins go.
Manuel is admiring a snakeskin the villager also had. He wanted to sell us either the leopard or the snake skins, but I knew I couldnít get them back the U.S. and Manuel wasnít sure he could get them back to his home either.
The villager that we were visiting had several different live jungle animals as well as the skins. This here is an Achuney. This one will get quite a bit larger has it is still only a few months old. It was very friendly and definitely very curious. It came right up to me and sniffed me. It seemed to like the sweat on my hands because it liked to lick them.
You canít see it very well, but I am holding a little baby monkey in this picture. It was only about 2 months old and appeared to be a bit malnourished, but it was cute anyways.
These were the two girls that were holding the monkey to start with. Right now they are feasting on green guavas. Yumyum!
And then I got to hold it again. Only this time it didnít want to stay with me. It wanted to go back to who it was used to. So it crawled all over me before Manuel finally figured out how to use the camera and took the picture. :)
And that is the end of our hike. We return to the launch now to try and figure out what to do for the rest of the day. Being Sunday, there really isnít much going on, especially since we are moving on to the next village soon so we are through with the evening meetings as well as all medical attention.
~ Corrie ~