The sun glistens, running sun kissed fingers across the sparkling waters of Chalok Ban Koh.
Swimming naked in its aquamarine waters, I feel at one with the ocean. It’s not my normal character, to take such a risk but the opportunity arose and I couldn’t resist. Making the most of my quiet time, daring my body to be free from the confines of the swimsuit I’m wearing. Striking out to the middle of the bay. I’m neither close to shore or near to moored boats. Blissfully alone with my husband.
The feel of the water running over my naked body brings a depth of aliveness and fun. Naughtiness pervades me. I hold tight to my cozzie. Not wanting the embarrassment of having to escape the waters without it. Finally redressing, we swim back to shore, laying in the warm sunshine on the faded wooden sun loungers. Below the trees and atop the tide resistant concrete wall.
My eyes close. I’m relaxed. Happy in my secret.
Dozing in the warmth, I feel a gentle thump on my chest. I realise something has fallen from the tree.
Instinct tells me to jump up.
I glance down and in the moment, feel a fluid gliding movement, as something sweeps across my body.
A Golden Flying Tree Snake has landed on me.
Vince shouts, “take a photo.” Chloe clambers for her iphone.
I run to the dive school, wanting to share with the others the wonder of this reptile encounter. Encouraging them to come look.
The snakes dark alert eyes, connecting with ours. As if recognising its vulnerability as we surround it. Watching with awe, the up close beauty of such a creature as it evades our presence as it hurt pounds against its scales.
My thoughts turn to our other encounters whilst here.
A Preying Mantis – only the other night swaying to the sultry sounds playing in Easy Bar. Enchanting us with its temptress ways and hypnotic movement.
The resident rat, previously seen before at sunshine in January, still running across the rooftops in the evenings and down the side of the bins.
The eye candy butterflies, fluttering by us in our resort as we sit upon our balcony in the cool and quiet.
The dragonflies caressing the breeze. The noisy birds singing their songs.
The baby gekco sitting on my son’s finger. Found in the corner of his room, becoming a pal, before being set free. One of the many animal encounters experienced in Thailand.
Working on Koh Chang it was the encounters with the monkeys which made me laugh the most. Whilst scaring me at the same time.
One sunday morning, after I’d sat on my little balcony, drinking my morning tea -relaxed and refreshed after an intensive work week. I sat, looking out over the canopied jungle, Eventually retreating to my bedside to pick up my phone.
On turning round, I came face to face with a long tailed macaque, stealing the banana skin from my rubbish bin next to the bathroom door, as its partners in crime posed as lookouts on the railings. A blatant room invasion. How they made me giggle but only once they had gone. So many monkey encounters. They are truly destructive, delightful and cheeky. All at the same time.
So many creature encounters. Such a beautiful country. I’m feeling reflective as we approach year’s end.
The Golden Tree Snake landing on my flesh, I will treasure as a special moment in travel. If I had been given the choice of holding it, would I have done so?
I read up and found that it has a mild toxicity. Scary. I’d most likely have stayed away. I’m glad it happened the way it did. I feel blessed.
As we move towards the new year, my mind always turns to travel. What encounters have you had on your travels?