A Travellerspoint blog

Monkey Business

sunny 30 °C

Here we are on the top of the world; in the forested foothills of India’s highest mountain and just a few miles from the border with Nepal.
Somewhere in these peaks there are tigers, snow leopards, Himalayan bears and a host of exotic creatures – maybe even a Yeti or two. But as the burgeoning population continues to overrun the wilderness with mega-homes and agricultural endeavours many animals are being squeezed to extinction. Ritish, our butler, tells us that it no longer snows in these foothills because of pollution and global warming. Some animals, however, have not only learned to co-exist with humans but are actually thriving on the locals’ droppings. This little monkey is scavenging through piles of roadside garbage – and there’s plenty to choose from.
This is monkey world. Several silver-haired fellows, like handsome youths with spindly arms and legs, greeted us at dusk as we made the final climb to our mountain-top retreat, and a rowdy red-faced troupe uses our lofty roof as a lookout each night. They sound like a gang of hob-nailed roofers as they stomp around on the corrugated iron and leap from ridge to ridge, turning our serene paradise into a nightly Bedlam. Here’s one just waiting to annoy us…
We saw swarms of monkeys in the greener parts of Delhi and the residents threw stones to send the little beggars into the trees. They can be quite aggressive and it was widely reported in the press here that a crack team of police sharpshooters had been detailed to take out any monkey that came too close to President Barack Obama during his recent visit. The headlines, “President mauled by monkeys,” wouldn’t do either his or India’s PR image a lot of good, (although some might think it is analogous to the actions of certain Republicans). However, these two had some monkey business on their minds rather than attacking us or anyone else…
After a week under a cloudless blue sky with fresh sharp air, invigorating mountain walks and starlit nights, we are heading back down to the smog and grime of the plains. We will miss the snow-capped peaks, the exotic birds, even the riotous roof monkeys, but the great cities of the Ganges, Varanasi and Calcutta, await.

Posted by Hawkson 17:16 Archived in India

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