From the Delfin II in the Amazon
Feb 2, 2013 - Delfin II
Zapote & Supay Caños
Our last full day of exploration of the Pacaya-Samiria Reserve in Peru was filled with all the required ingredients that have made this expedition a memorable one with great animal sightings, cultural experiences with the local inhabitants of the area, wonderful company, and excellent meals with regional flavors.
This expedition has been extraordinarily good for wildlife sightings. Early in the morning while exploring “Zapote Caño” we had a great sighting of Monk Saki Monkeys. These strange-looking primates were observed for a long time feeding on the red ripe fruits of a tree. We turned off the skiffs’ engines and had a great look at one of the most unusual monkey species of the Neotropics.
Monk Saki Monkeys (Phitecia monachus) are generally quiet but when heard they make peculiar calls unexpected in monkeys, they vocalize high-pitched whines, grunts, and bird-like chirping sounds. This relatively large monkey weights approximately 2.5kg (a little less than 6 pounds) but is appears to be bigger due to the thick fury hair that covers most of its body. The thick bushy non-prehensile tail is long and characteristic. It has been suggested that this thick fur, unusual in the tropics, protects the monkeys from insect bites. This monkey species is one of my favorites. When travelling, they make acrobatic movements extending its arms just like “flying” from branch to branch. The latter behavior is the origin of one of their common names, “mono volador” which is Spanish for flying monkey.
Before lunchtime, we had a “Pisco sour” elaboration demonstration conducted by Delfin II barman Mario Alban. By coincidence today is the Pisco sour national day in Peru. In 2003 the former Peruvian President Toledo established this day replacing wine and champagne in official ceremonies and acts with this drink. All over this multicultural country people are celebrating drinking this famous cocktail, and we were not the exception. To the cheerful tune of a traditional Latin American tune “La cucaracha” our guests showed their skills shaking the drink behind the bar. It was a lot of fun!
The afternoon was spent exploring Supay Caño by kayaking or by skiff rides. This narrow water channel, locally known as “caño” is covered with a thick vegetation with many bromeliads and huge Ficus trees. Several species of colorful birds like macaws and toucans were seen as well as monkey troops.
Later in the evening we watched the slideshow of the pictures of the week and had a great barbeque farewell dinner with music included. It was a golden finale for a spectacular and memorable expedition.