Mount Nuang (Janda Baik)

Into The Jungle

We were well and truly in the jungle now, the canopy so dense that not much sunlight managed to find its way through. Macrofungi and series of termite (Nasutitermes sp.) mounds were occasionally spotted fringing the path, giving us a brief interlude from the incessant uphill hike and the perpetual and almost unchanging jungle that seemed to swallow us whole. I was aware at that point of the great disparity between the textures that surrounded me, a dichotomy of sorts between the hard: the armour of the flat-backed millipedes, the menacing thorns, and the enormous buttress roots; and the soft: the moss that fringed the bark of trees, the squishy mud underfoot, and the subdued sunlight that occasionally found its way to the forest floor.

Flat-backed millipedes (Order: Polydesmida) mating

Rusty millipede (Trigoniulus corallinus)

A kukri snake (Oligodon sp.)

We came upon a level patch at the 3.8 km mark that could and probably had already been used as a campsite, large enough to accommodate up to three tents (there was also another much smaller clearing 500 metres further on). We pressed on, the trail descending for a short while before ascending once again. The ascent from here seemed a little gentler but the dropping temperatures and the sporadic drizzle occasionally sent a shudder through my body. The insects continued to buzz and the monkeys continued to howl off in the distance..

Circinate vernation of a fern

Next : Mount Nuang (Part 3)