Backtracking to last weekend... Again, it was good to get out of the city into green countryside on the edge of the jungle. At the Khao Yai sister school there are only one hundred and two pupils but twenty seven teachers and of course an army of ancillary Thai workers. A fifty metre swimming pool, a huge sports hall, a canteen that could cater for a battalion of soldiers and three tennis courts. It really is a crazy world. The ex-pat staff who live and work up there, three hours from Bangkok, must be exceedingly bored much of the time. It wouldn't be for me.
The highlight of last weekend was visiting two bat caves. The first one was located adjacent to a Buddhist temple and we had to descend a treacherous concrete staircase to the limestone caverns below. There as well as hundreds of roosting bats we saw little sanctuaries, altars to the Buddha and several small but amazing cave-dwelling creatures that feed on the bats' droppings.
Later, at dusk, our little tour party stood in the fields beneath the opening to a famous bat cave. And then the bats began to appear as if belched from the Earth. Their destination was the nearby jungle to feast on insects and fruit. They left like a plume of smoke, undulating towards the far horizons. I am not a mathmetician but I estimate there were well over a million bats and as they flew overhead they made a noise like ocean waves...
|Giant centipede which feeds on bat guano.|
|Deep in the limestone cavern - a Buddha sits peacefully in the lotus position.|
|Not easy to take good pictures at dusk but if you look carefully|
you can see the plume of bats heading for the forest.