I have been chasing for moonshadows around stupas, golden temples and night markets here in Changmai northern Thailand.
We had the most extraordinary day walking in the forest. Our female guide, spiky haired Nik began by choping me a perfect bamboo walking stick with her very sharp machete. We stopped frequently underneath tall trees ringing with birdsong to sample jungle fast food. She offered us a peice of liane to eat to cure whatever back ache we might have. The bitter taste was enought to distract us from the backache. Then some soft bamboo shoot, followed by juicy banana tree trunk, succulent red petals from a plant, sweet pure sugar cane, lemon grass, vietnamese basil, and even the bitter new leaves of a mango tree. After all these snacks we stopped at a wondrous waterfall to swim while she carefully handcrafted some chopsticks out of a nearby bamboo. We used these to eat our Pad Thai, noddles thai style,which was wrapped in environmentally banana leaves. Macdonalds take note! After lunch Nik meticulously made a cup out a peice of Bamboo.
After lunch we headed up the hill through a new rubber plantation to a small village complete with three solar panels and TV aerial. There was a pig with lots of little piglets only a few days old. The villager in an yellow teashirt and his hair cliped up announced he was going to eat at least one tonight, to celebrate the harvest of sticky rice! He said they were delicious!
We headed out of the village past a huge tree with a tall straight trunk whose spreading canopy seemed far into the sky. This was a bee tree. There were bamboo spikes hammered into the trunk to create and ladder for some extreme person to climb up and fetch the honey! That wouldn't be me!
After quite a long walk we came to the bat cave. This entailed scambling down some slick rocks into a dank cave which was actually specactular. The bats clung to litte domes in tne ceiling which were illuminated by our delightful guides flashlight. They looked like weird little mice.
Nik pointed out early on that there were not wild animals in the forest because they had all been eaten by the locals. She did catch a couple of circada and some red ants. Apparently the red termites are drunk with whiskey but only by men.