Bangladesh: Gibbons, spiders, orchids, leeches, tea

I just want to have a shower in the hut and put yesterday’s clothes back on.

Charging through the jungle, following the sound of many hoolock gibbons. Clambering up and down dense undergrowth, slippery and wet underfoot. Bamboo, and spiky things whipping my face and legs. We are running. Flat out, pounding through the jungle after a family of gibbons.

Gah, spiderwebs. And worse – orb spiders the size of elephants. Cunningly positioned at face height.

Have I ever sweated this much? I really don’t think so. Humidity must be 100% in the jungle.

Russel, our eco-guide, seems genuinely fond of the gibbons. Not much of an animal lover, I’ve never really cared for monkeys, or apes. Or whatever they are.  But I do love a good adventure, and I am certainly getting that!  And this is rather exciting.

Bleeding from leeches. Russel obligingly helps to pull them off.

There is blood.  We carry on.

Yes, so racing through the Lawachara jungle after gibbons is quite a way to spend a sweaty morning – but the wild orchids!

Now that’s something!

Russel has a sound knowledge of plants, and when he manages to switch out of gibbon mode, he starts talking about the different human applications for the greenery. He also has a skill for pointing into dense jungle to indicate a small plant growing ‘on that tree’, which I then would disappoint him by not possibly working out which tree, or which plant I should be looking at.

After all that excitement, we find a shack and have a cup of tea. Satisfied.

A very successful mission indeed.