Wednesday, 11 May 2005

Between Leeches and Vipers

I'd almost forgotten what it was like to muck around the jungle.

I used to go jungle trekking quite a bit a few years ago, but ever since I came back from my traineeship in Europe, I've been too darn lazy to get my sandals dirty.

This morning, I woke up at 8am to follow an animal researcher into the jungle so we could track some animals he'd radio-collared. We followed him around the jungle for about four hours, during which (in between smacking mosquitoes and checking my sandals for leeches), I began to recall just exactly why I used to run around the jungle last time, to the point of having the blood in my big toe (the left one) sucked dry by leeches, and getting a LOOOONG scar on my left calf.

It was fun. Although this trip into the jungle wasn't too hard (we mainly followed very easy trails), it was still fascinating for:
  • The rays of early morning sunlight shining through the treetops, like a highway from the skies
  • The lazy black and white viper basking in the sun while suspended on a branch just next to the trail. I'd just seen the exact same snake last week in the Singapore Zoo, but to see it in the open, in its natural habitat beats anything the zoo can dish out.
  • The awesome trees trunks and crowns
  • The tiny little white mushrooms that sprinkled the dead twigs of a fallen tree
  • Little muddy petals of a white flowers that covered one section of the forest
  • The little squirrel scurrying up the tree next to me
Of course, there is a whole lot more can be seen in the jungle, but on this trip, these little sights were enough to make me wonder why I never went back jungle hiking.

Maybe it was the leeches...

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