Sunday, what a day ! I have finally understood what it takes to spot some cool animals and birds in the forest. It's simple, or maybe not. It requires some slowing down and patience but if one does not have much patience or is used to walking fast just logging in miles every day, this is an achievement. I went to walk La Corteza trail that goes deeper into the forest. I walked the trail some days ago and did not see much but continually heard the howling of Congo Monkeys closer and closer to me. That first time it scared me because I immediately imagined those monkeys attacking me (in my imagination for some unknown reason). The howling can be heard often also in the village and it reminds me of a deep scream mixed with train noise. It scared me. It was not “cool”. But today I actually enjoyed the group howling, walked toward it and tried to find the monkeys in the canopy of trees. I could not see anything but I knew they were there above my head. I completely slowed down and stopped to go undetected (they wer eprobably observing me), but they stopped howling. I waited a bit and they started to howl again; still, I did not see anything. I just tried to keep still but it was a little hard because the moment I stopped my face got attacked by about 7 mosquitoes and I waved my hands all over. But I tried slowly....couple more steps forward and then couple more and then I looked to the right, and suddenly I saw something dark, black walking on the tree. First I thought “AH, … sloth” seeing the body size but I kept thinking that it was moving too fast although cautiously and then I realized it was the Congo Monkey. It was smaller than I expected (perhaps, in my ignorance, I was thinking of orangutans).
|Yes, that black spot in the middle that's the monkey with her baby taken with an old camera.|
The monkey saw me and slowly stopped; it was only about 30 m from me, not very far, I saw it clearly. It was a beautiful, satisfying feeling to watch it ….and then a baby came to her, a cute little monkey, she cleaned it a bit and then they both walked away toward he tree’s crown. It was hard to see them up there even if I followed them. That moment when I saw it , surprised that I was so lucky, I just felt this was it, now I can die. Of course, my biggest dream in live has NEVER been to spot a monkey, but in that moment it felt like “This is it, coming to Costa Rica was worth it!” It was a magnificent sight. After that I kept enjoying that slow walk, that stop and slow go movement of consciously putting one foot in front of another as if I was searching for a treasure. To really see something, one must completely slow down. Maybe something to remember when I get back to Indiana.