Monday, June 8, 2009

Back to Gumbalimba

We've been to Gumbalimba Park many times and always enjoying taking visitors there. This was Dave and Tracy's first time. The park is named after the Gumbalimba tree. Tracy was quite fascinated with the tree's smooth red bark. Don is holding up a red cashew fruit with the nut attached. He's taking it to feed the monkeys who love this fruit.

The park has a two large cages of macaws and two of parrots, all rescued or born there. They are released a couple of times each day for free flight; they always return. The best trained and well-behaved ones are allowed to interact with visitors.

I had to lighten up this photo - our guide took it and it was very shadowy.

This baby white-faced capuchin was born at the park and is just a couple of months old. He/she will cling to mama's back for six months before venturing out on his own. His father is the alpha male.

Don holding the baby black Howler monkey.

Tracy with a young spider monkey. She really wasn't too thrilled about even visiting the monkeys, but she enjoyed it once she saw how playful they are.

Dave takes his turn with the macaws.

When you first enter the park, you pass through a cave and you're given a little history of the island. This room of the cave is dedicated to pirate history and has (allegedly) authentic guns and swords from the 1700s on display. Our guide made Don pose with the pirate - ok, he actually suggested that someone should pose with the pirate, and we all insisted that Don do it. He's taken the pirate's flask.

The areas around the lake are beautifully landscaped. We had a great time walking around and got a lot of exercise, too. Pretty big park. We had pretty well finished exploring before several hundred cruise ship passengers descended upon the park. The cruisers don't get the same interaction with the monkeys that we got. Too many people make the monkeys shy or timid and they tend to stay up in the trees. It's much nicer to go when it is not crowded and early morning is ideal.

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