June 25th, 2011

Monkeys in Rio

Denver has squirrels, California has raccoons, lots of places have other cute (or not so cute) little rodents or critters that frequent the neighborhoods. Rio has monkeys. Capuchin monkeys, saguis, micos, macacas – there are many types and many names but they are everywhere – they are Rio’s squirrels.

Our first sighting was with my sister, Sharon, at the Pão de Açucar tourist site. Should you ever visit Sugarloaf, you should definitely take the trail at the back side of the site and wander down a bit into the forest. The trail is good and the company is great!

Sharon headed home and Maha came to visit from São Paulo. We had the afternoon open so headed up to Corcovado (the Christ statue) for a quick tourist visit and some pictures. And we made a new friend! It is possible that Maha smelled particularly good having just finished a plate of fresh mango….

This is kind of a cute youtube video by another tourist of the friendly visitors. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=jHCZtwvhMUI

We have seen dozens of these critters by now – as visitors to friends’ homes and as companions along hiking trails. Most recently we encountered a whole bunch (herd, pack – what are they called in groups?) along the Praia Vermelha trail at the base of Pão de Açucar.

While we were snapping away our pictures a little girl walked by eating potato chips – and the crowd of micos came down to visit! It reminded us of elk sightings in Colorado – all the tourists stop to look and some get just a bit too close….. Fortunately no one lost a finger and the micos did not get any snacks.

And we returned to the beach to enjoy yet another beautiful Rio day enjoying Praia Vermelha….