Saturday, 5 November 2016

Thailand 3

I'm getting to know this beach and its wildlife.  And there's lots of it.  I've walked most of the 10km bay, its soft hard sand a good home for crabs.  There are sand coloured crabs that freeze, hoping their camouflage means you won't notice them; then at the last moment they scuttle away sideways to their hole at vast speed. By contrast there are the hermit crabs. Almost every spiral shell on the beach seems to be occupied by one of this tribe, from the smallest to the biggest. They lumber around clumsily and seemingly endlessly, engaged in some Sisyphean task, until someone approaches and then they shut up tight in their temporary home.  There are birds - cormorants out on the rocks; common mynahs grubbing about in loyal pairs, quietly calling to each other when they find something juicy.  There are brown pigeons softly cooing; the occasional sea eagle cruising just above the tree tops, always alert; and way above, a wheeling gang of swallows.  Everywhere there are butterflies, small yellow ones and huge black ones.  I saw a bird swoop down over the wave crests and take one of the bigger ones in its beak, then off again to its high perch as a broken wing came fluttering down. And the sounds: the beach is full of noises, sounds and sweet airs, that give delight and hurt not.  At five minutes before sunset precisely, a thousand twangling buzzsaws appear to hum about our ears, then stop just as suddenly, five minutes after: a cricket chorus.  Then all through the night an antiphonal, atonal symphony of frogs, especially after a rain storm. We wake, and wish to dream again!
Ian is now largely recovered, the bruising fading. Tomorrow, after our extended stay, we move on to NZ and a very different experience.  But the memories will remain, and I'm sure we will be back to this perfect beach. 

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