We were warned on arrival that it was still the back end of snake season, and so we should exercise caution as we made our way around the campsite and the surrounding area. Dawn and dusk were the times we should be most alert to the possibility of slithery visitors.
This was my final weekend in Australia. My last hurrah was to be spent at a beautiful woodland camp, invited by some very dear friends of mine, to enjoy three days of musical fun and frolics. Though music making, singing and socialising were the main goals of this jaunt, I had one other aspiration I hoped to fulfil. It was my last chance to see a wild kangaroo.
Though I had been in Australia for 5 whole weeks, and was thankful to have seen a number of wild creatures, including baby crocs, various spidery fellows (who I admit are my biggest fear), the most beautiful fishies and their seafaring friends at the Great Barrier Reef, and countless birds of every size, hue and volume, I had not seen either of the continent’s most iconic marsupials, the kangaroo and the koala. I had seen one kangaroo on my travels, but this was sadly in a cage and was not a happy sight to see. I hadn’t seen a koala bear at all (apart from one very large stuffed example in a shop window in St Kilda). I was hoping that this final journey into the wilderness might offer up some magic.Read More »
We had been trekking through the Chiang Mai highlands for three days. It was the rainy season and, smelling damp and slightly steaming, we battled to keep large banana leaves above our backpacks to offer some protection. Raincoats required but too humid to wear them, we were all tired, and conversation had withered, as we trudged through the jungle undergrowth, trying to keep up with our guide, and transfixed by his slashing machete, clearing our rain-soaked path.
At some point a mangy dog joined us, his melancholy provoking our own. We could not help him. When we stopped he stopped, when we ate he ate, whatever scraps we could spare. He followed us for a day, this poor sad specimen. There was nothing to be done. After a day he slowed and we left him behind.
On the third day our route steepened, climbing steadily towards hints of mountains, momentarily visible through the lattice of leaves. So much rain, drawing greenery, tall and rapid, from the damp earth. Intensely hued blossoms fireworked across our path, and occasional oversized creatures, some with more legs than we cared to concede.Read More »