Sunday, May 28, 2017

5-28-2017 Monkey River Tour

Friends Dean and Janine wanted to take a trip to Monkey River since Janine's brother, Bret was in town for a visit. We had done the night tour a couple of years ago, but we wanted to see it during the day, so we went along.

We depart from Placencia with Captain and Tour Guide Terry at the helm.

We depart through a series of channels on the west (lagoon) side of the peninsula.

It's a fast boat ride along the coast and through mangrove-lined channels to get to Monkey River.

The first time we were here we ate at a restaurant in this main part of the village.

This time we past that and turned into a little bay, where we pulled up to the dock and placed our lunch orders in the ground
floor of the orange building straight ahead. The upstairs appeared to be the rooms that were currently hosting a group of
university students from Canada - they were here to study the howler monkeys we had come to see.

As we continued down the river we saw loads of birds, including many types of herons.

At the restaurant we picked up Terry's son TJ (Terry Jr.), and he was TERRIFIC at spotting all kinds of wildlife.

An Anhinga (called a "snake bird" because of the way it moves its neck).

The sack-like things hanging from this tree are nests of a bird called the Montezuma Oropendola. We saw one of the actual
birds (quite pretty), though we didn't get a photo of it.

TJ saw these bats from quite a distance away.

After a bit the boat was tied up and we got out for a jungle hike looking for howler monkeys.

We saw lots of these tiny little crabs.

A Strangler fig wrapped around another tree.

An Owl moth.

Giant bamboo.

Bret sporting one of the leaves that sticks to you like Velcro.

We saw a family of howler monkeys, and they were very vocal.

Back to the boat for a little more river tour, then back to the restaurant for lunch.

Bret, Janine and Dean.

A Great egret maybe?

Lobster pots soaking to get ready for the opening of lobster season.

On the way back we stopped behind Harvest Caye to look for manatees.

Harvest Caye is where they take the cruise ship passengers. It's a private island that has been carefully sculpted to look like a
little natural island paradise. Far from it, though - Harvest Caye has had some negative publicity recently because they
acquired a Scarlet Macaw (endangered) to keep in captivity and entertain the cruise ship guests. (These incredible birds
would normally be in the jungle - not on islands.) 

Little Harvest Caye

Back to the channels of Placencia.

Along these channels you see beautiful resort-type places, as well as less manicured working homes.

Um, something tells me the owner of this boat didn't mean to park it here...

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