Saturday, May 15, 2010

A Walk in the Woods

Yeah. Serious spider. Big as my hand. Should've put my hand near it for scale but...that would mean putting my hand near it. Found along a trail in the mountains near Chiang Mai. After settling in for an extended stay in the old walled city of northern Thailand, we embarked on a three-day guided trek through scrubby, late dry-season terrain. It was a blast. The trails followed the tops of long ridges and dropped down into valleys that were a bit more leafy and cool.

And we faced other monsters along the way.

Yeah. Cone-making wasps. They didn't bother us, but they did all kinds of freaking me out.

This is not a monster, it's our guide July. Not his real name, surely - and I think our other guide Jungle Man was using a pseudonym, too. He's doing a magic trick with that plant that didn't really get captured in the pic. It's a latex-producing plant that you can break the stem and blow on - to make bubbles. Totally cool trail entertainment.

July later got really drunk on rice whiskey and talked about how he worked for the Thai army killing drug dealers along the border with Burma.