Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Black...Jungle?

Well. Our first visitor has arrived. Last week Heather and I went to Managua to pick up her sister. It was Heather´s 30th birthday! Happy birthday Heather! Whats fun is that we both got to spend our 30th birthdays in Managua, in the medical office. Not for anything major. I had my chest x-rayed on my birthday to see if I had bruised a rib. For Heather, well, we were in town for our mid-service medical checkups. That´s right. Mid-service. Anyway, we picked up Becky on Friday. Saturday we headed to Selva Negra (black jungle), in Matagalpa.

Selva Negra is a natural reserve and coffee production farm that was founded by Germans, thus being named after the Black Forest in Germany, which incidentally is also not black. The reserve is a touristy little collection of mountain cottages, Hansel and Grettle style. We stayed in a three person room for about 16 dollar U.S. per person. There are some really beautiful hikes through the jungle. We found ourselves on a trail that lead straight up the mountain and didn´t realize until halfway up that it was listed as a "difficult" level. We passed many fabulous moss-covered trees larger than our health center.
Throughout the hike the jungle was filled with the calls of the congos. For those who don´t know, congos are a medium sized monkey, halfway between a howler monkey and a chimpanzee in size. Their call sounds like a deep moaning dog bark, like a pitbul barking through a megaphone, underwater. It is a very haunting sound.
So if the trip up the mountain was hard, the trip down should be relatively easy, what with the assistance of gravity. If the preceeding sentence makes good sense to you, then you can count yourself among the non-jungle-savey. Has anybody ever seen the movie Romancing the Stone? Yes? If yes, skip to the bottom of this paragraph. If no, read on.

Note: Gravity plus mud plus 75 degree slopes plus being chased by leopards equals potential disaster. Fortunately we didn´t run into any leopards. However, the treck back down the mountain was nevertheless riddled with peril. I saved Becky´s life, by breaking her fall which might otherwise have continued to the bottom. Heather fell once, sliding only a short distance, but enough to thoroughly soil her pants (with mud). My elbow still hurts from an amaizingly graceful and acrobatic tumble which left my pants noticable unsoiled.

Near the bottom of the trail, we came accross the congos. They were everywhere above us. All throughout the canopy. We watched them for several minutes. Then, the males started getting a little protective. They were organized. One tried to urinate on us. Then they started screaming to eachother, a sound which, at that distance, makes your skin feel like it will shiver off of your body and crawl into a hopefully unoccupied hole. The screaming was aparently a signal to join in the attempted urinary bombardment. We ran to clear ground, escaping unscathed.
I know they´re hard to see, but they are pretty freaking high up.
Selva Negra was beautiful.
Now, we are here in La Dalia just chillin. Becky got some of the business. You know what I mean. We fixed her up and she got some rest, otherwise we would be at Peñas Blancas right now, doing the same thing we did at Selva Negra. Tomorrow we leave for Matagalpa then to Granada to spend a few days before heading off to Costa Rica! Dang vacation is fun!

We should be able to update soon on this trip. Talk to you from GRANADA!!


Megs said...

Wow. You named your blog well, for these truely are 'the amazing adventures of heather and kory'!

Emilie said...

Just wanted to give ya'll a big cyber hug. Give one to Becky too. Happy Belated Birthday Heather. Holy crap, you're 30! Aye Dios Mio!

Lots of love,

Srishti said...

How fun!!!!!
Those trees are out of this world!!!!
Enjoy :)

Marie-Christine said...

I love your drawings, (got your book) and LOVE the photos of the trees =O)

Matt said...

Jealousy come to mind... envy also... uhmmm... oh yeah, and a hint of depression that I'm not slidding down a muddy jungle path with urinating monkeys above my head with only my best friend to break my fall and save me from the treacherous rocks below.

Missing you both.

Anonymous said...

Is that a strangler fig or two I see? Love those trees, creepy as they are. Happy birthday to you both, since I missed Kory's too.


karol said...

Hey guys, karol and kerrie here. Wish we were tromping through the jungle with you instead of enjoying the gray and dismal weather we have here. I have a package on the way with lots of wedding photos for you, thanks again for coming. Love you so so much and miss you more.

The Olsens said...

Happy Birthday Heather!! I cannot even believe we are turning 30!! Good Lord we are getting old.