An illegal night walk through the forest
Updated: Feb 18, 2020
It was certainly one of my more interesting starts to a Saturday night.... standing in a darkened hut with two men in raincoats, grunting as they covered my trainers in salt.
At 7pm, an American, The Boyfriend and I began a 3 hour evening trek through Sinharaja Forest, a bio-diversity hotspot in southern Sri Lanka.
As a Londoner, true darkness is not something with which I am well-acquainted. The choir of forest inhabitants chanted eerie songs as I anxiously walked through their unlit home...
If you go down to the woods today, you're sure of a big surprise If you go down to the woods today, you'd better go in disguise For every bug that ever there was
Will gather there for certain because
Today's the day the tourists become their picnic.
The hike started well with a viewing of a venomous pit viper and a cool little fella whose bioluminescent butt was used to invite unsuspecting bugs for dinner.
4 hours later, we were trying not to twist our ankles as we trudged through an overgrown, unused trail with waist-high foliage. Our so-called guide was utterly lost and seemingly unconcerned that any of the 5 deadly snakes in this region could be lurking unseen at our feet.
Mercifully, we only got attacked by a legion of leeches. Hideous but harmless.
Soon after, The Boyfriend walked face-first into a crab spider hanging in its web.
Thankfully, he noticed the next one and we all had to limbo under its silky lair, suspended 5 feet high between the trees on the path.
When we finally made it out of the forest at gone 1am, I was a fully-fledged arachnophobe, ophiophobe (snakes), nyctophobe (darkness) and leechophobe - I may have made that last one up...
The following day when we told the organiser all this, he just laughed and said that it had been a last-minute, illegal walk. As if this was supposed to make us feel better.
I think I'll stick to a night out on the town next time.