I ate some ants this morning. Considering what insects some visitors to Thailand actually PAY to eat, I consider myself lucky.
The ants were in my cereal and because Thai ants are so small (Except they also have really huge ones, like the one at Fry’s Electronics in Burbank.) I didn’t notice them until the second bite. Ants were never a problem at my old place, up on the third floor of a large condo complex.
All of the pictures I’ve posted of my new place, The Arc of Light, have featured the view to the east, the city, the ocean and the islands. The front, however, butts right up against the forest jungle of Phuket.
I live near the end of a barely paved road. When I moved in, I noticed that road led further up the hill. When I investigated, I saw that it seemed to go a long way. It was a double track, but looked like no one had driven on it for some time. But, it was obvious that someone had a reason to head for these hills. Intrigued, I set out the next morning to explore.
For those of you who have been saying that I’m too skinny, rest assured, that problem is solved. I’m realizing that I need to get back into some form of regular exercise. Hiking is the hardest activity for my ankle and I know that I need to make it stronger and more flexible, so I’m glad to have a trail head so close to where I live.
I started up the road, which very soon became unpaved. And steep. But, looking at the trail, it seemed like no-one had been driving it for some time. I did notice some empty water bottle hanging from tree branches, but realized that they were actually trail guides. It wasn’t long before I was deep in the forest of the hills of Phuket. Everything was green, although there were many dead wild orchids on the ground. A couple of months ago, this area was probably blooming with color. It must be the low season for butterflies.
As the trail continued up and up, the double track got more and more overgrown. But someone had driven a 4WD up here at some point. Why?
I found the answer about a mile from where I live; an abandoned cabin in the woods.
A large tree had fallen on it’s roof. The jungle had already started to reclaim it.
The double track continued on and so did I, until I reached a shady glade. From there, I could find no other trails, double or single track.
I considered my mission accomplished and headed back. But, about halfway back, I saw another trail, single track, that I hadn’t seen on the way up. This looked like an honest-to-god hiking trail.
I followed it for a while as it turned away from Phuket and into the valley behind the hill where I live. Up until this point, I could still hear the sound of the city as I walked. But now, there was only the sound that a living forest makes.
The trail split, one fork went left, continuing along the side of the hill, the other lead down into the valley along a stream.
It was beautiful and inviting, but my shaky legs told me that this trail would have to wait for another day. But, when I get to that fork again, I’m going to take the road less traveled by and see if it makes any difference.