It's a jungle out there.
04.03.2007 35 °C
We drove up to the Rainforest National Park in our hire car. Our route took us past a Police Launch at Khao Lak; left stranded where the Tsunami dumped it - 2 km inland. Due to a quirk of underwater topography, the wave topped 11 metres here and extended over 3 km inland, killing nearly 4000 people.
At Khao Sok we stayed at Arts Riverview Lodge in a wonderful location right by the river at the end of a jungle track. On the other side of the river the land rises in a shear cliff for hundreds of feet. We went on a 2 hour elephant trek through the jungle, following trails and creek beds. Although these huge animals are very sure footed (ever see an elephant fall over?), when they work their way down a steep river bank your perch on top can feel very tenuous!
Although the Sok river was very low (there has been a drought here too) and we were unable to take any canoeing or rafting trips, there is a deep swimming hole under the cliffs, named the Monkey Hole, no doubt on account of the troop of Macaques that clamber down to drink and cavort, at the end of the day. A rope swing has been set up and the girls had a lot of fun swinging and swimming before dinner. We were told that there were leeches in the river, but none of us was bitten.
Just as we were about to head to the restaurant for dinner a huge thunderstorm hit, so we had to sit in the shelter of our balcony and watch the heavy rain fall.....
During dinner a spider fell down Rhiannon's neck and gave her a really nasty shock, it took her quite a while to calm down.
Later, we sat on the porch in the dark drinking Mekong and listening. The cacophony all around us was awesome! Every niche of pitch and tone seems to have been occupied and creatures strive to outdo each other. Take every jungle movie you've ever seen, combine the soundtracks and turn them up to 11!
We awoke (did we sleep?) to the same orchestra of insects, frogs, birds and gibbons and a hazy mist hanging over the river. After breakfast we took a trail to some caves in the limestone karst. We saw countless lizards (one flying!), butterflies, birds, etc. Heard gibbons again but didn't see them. Although we only walked a couple of kilometres, we returned drenched to the skin, it was so humid.
We drove back inland along route 4118. This took us past a stunning landscape of jungle and huge limestone outcrops - the perfect setting for Jurassic Park or The Lost World.