Monday, June 22, 2009

How One Accidentally Hikes Six Miles Through the Jungle

Awkward things like this seems to happen to me a lot. The sad thing is, I usually have an accomplice that is being forced along for the ride too. This time it was my poor husband Aaron.

It began innocently enough. I had been researching MacRitchie Resevoir after seeing two different people's videos of monkey swarms. Yes, I said swarms. These people had more than eight monkeys in a single video that was filmed at this particular nature reserve. This place is to monkeys what the mall is to teenage girls. I had to see it. No forgetting it. I had to go.

I have a monkey fascination if you couldn't tell. It began shortly after I saw the episodes of Friends with Marcel the Monkey and it only got worse when I held a trained monkey on our honeymoon. I love them to pieces. If I could have one as a pet, I so would. I've even asked Aaron if I could smuggle one into our house. He does not share my monkey-loving sentiments.

So if I can't bring a monkey home, I'll go to their home. And I made my husband promise to go with me.

Here's the first thing we saw as we hopped on the trail around the resevoir. Looks promising, doesn't it?

Then the paved part ended. Here I am trying to convince Aaron that it's going to be so much fun that he won't care how hot it is.

"Come on! It's an adventure! As soon as we see the monkeys, I swear we can go. It won't take long, I promise."

Fifteen minutes later...

The trail was getting a little nasty. We became very aware of our footwear at this point. Had I known we'd be trekking through the jungle to see these creatures, you'd better believe we would have worn very sturdy boots or at least tennis shoes. Definitely not flip flops that do nothing to protect against snake bites or rugged terrain.

30 minutes later, things were not looking up. The trail looked like this...
"Megan! OH HELL NO. That's just scary. Come on, this is ridiculous."

"Come on Aaron, it'll be fine. We've already come all this way. Here I'll lead. I bet we're almost there." (In my quest for monkeys, I'd somehow forgotten how much I hate the outdoors. Monkey chasing does crazy things to an indoor girl.)

Two hours later, my husband looked like this...
The poor guy was soaked in sweat from Singapore heat and humidity. We'd been walking through the rain forest for way longer than we signed up for (more so him than me). But, I noticed that the more exhausted he got, the less he was mad at me for making him come along. He wasn't happy, but he wasn't mad. A very interesting development. So we continued on.

Two hours and 30 minutes later...
I'm still trying to convince Aaron that this is fun. This part of the jungle trek was the most terrifying to be honest. The wooden trail pictured above is there because the vegetation and animal life is so thick that you can't walk through it. I didn't even want to know what was slithering beneath our flip flopped feet. We walked very fast. And even faster when we heard something rustling beside us.

Fifteen minutes after that, I was done pretending this was fun. I had gone nearly three hours of hiking through this mess of dirt, bugs and scary things to only see one monkey from really far away. I was not happy. Actually, I was pissed. To top that off, the part of the trail that was supposed to have the most monkey activity closed one hour before we got there. I was not a happy hiker.

We continued to walk, but at this point, our only wish was to reach the end of the journey. I was so over monkey searching at this point. I wanted food and I wanted a chair. I was over it.

We reached what we thought led to the park exit and were not pleasantly surprised to find it only took us back into the depths of the jungle. We were both not happy at this point.

And then it happened.

We just somehow stumbled into a monkey haven. There were about 20 of them feasting on a rambutan tree all around us.

It was the single most exciting thing I've ever witnessed. Aaron will tell you that it was the single most terrifying thing he's ever witnessed. (Aaron has this silly suspicion that monkeys attack people. Apparently, he's never met my monkeys. My monkeys are always nice. Yes, I'm claiming these ones.)

So I was too excited to hold still to take pictures and video. Aaron was too scared to stand still to do it either. Then to top it off, the monkeys started throwing their rambutan shells at us. (Isn't that funny? Silly adorable monkeys.) So the pictures we got are very blah and the videos are very amateur and all over the place. However, it was one of the greatest days ever. I might even go so far as to say that all of the effort was worth it.


Don't read me wrong. I'm still an indoor girl. The next monkeys I will be seeking out will be ones in a zoo.


Kristen said...

check out my latest post, pics of monkeys!

Travis said...

At least they weren't throwing their poo at you.