Thursday, April 02, 2009


Not last weekend, but the weekend before, we took a trip to Cát Tiên National Park. It's a national forest preserve about a hundred fifty kilometers north of Hồ Chí Minh City. We have friends up there studying black-shanked doucs, an endangered species of Old World monkey found only in Vietnam and Cambodia. We had a really good weekend hiking and hanging out with them. This is one of the things that happened to us there. We'd just hiked the last leg of a ten-kilometer round-trip into the forest; we were waiting for our prearranged rendezvous with a pickup truck to take us back to the research compound. Where that trail intersects with the road there are two concrete benches. Two people can sit on each. There is also a sign that says "Crocodile Lake, 5k." We'd just done the return hike in about sixty-five minutes, far faster than we'd managed the hike in. We'd been a little nervous about catching our ride, see. All four of us were tired and took a seat. The bench on the trailhead side of the road was clear, but the bench on the opposite side was occupied by a dense cloud of wheeling butterflies. I sat with one of our friends on that clear bench--we'd gotten to the intersection first. Sunshine and our other friend, coming off the trail a moment or two later, sat in the butterfly cloud. This story is instructive. Butterflies are harmless and pretty and tired hikers can see them from across the road, lazily swirling in the air around a concrete bench. This is not the case with dozens of droning sweat-hungry bees. The moral? Sit in the butterfly seat. Anyway, here you can read everything else that happened that weekend in Cát Tiên Park. [Cavin]

Then, a 2 sided conversation ensued...

To which Blogger truth added:

Call me sadistic but I wanted to read about the bees.

I enjoyed the story of your trip. The living bile production is nightmare inducing stuff.

I thought of you when I read about all the brouhaha over the Miss USA pageant.

Thursday, April 23, 2009 2:47:00 AM  
To which Blogger Mr. Cavin added:

Oh but that's all there really was about bees. They annoyed us while the ladies got to sit in a puff of harmless butterflies. And because of that, after our brisk hike, we had to to continue walking rapidly up and down the dirt road hoping they'd get tired of landing on us and buzzing around our ears and being threatening. Finally, we just gave up and walked down the path back toward the compound. We made it about a full kilometer before we met the truck coming the other way. There, all the rangers heading for Crocodile Lake felt obliged to immediately hop out of the truck to make room for us in the back, the truck turned around, and we were taken home. We all felt bad that the rangers had to add an extra k to their hike into the jungle, but they would brook no protest. And besides, it was really the fault of the damn bees, after all....

Thursday, April 23, 2009 3:26:00 PM  

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