June 18, 2006

phuket 2001 - BL4103 honours field course - part 1

[010901-070901] frog- (& lizard- & snake-) hunting in Phuket....

Kamala Beach Resort & Hotel:


view from e room that e 3 frog team girls shared. right smack in between coral reef prof & spider prof. but frog team girls were relatively quiet people, unlike some classmates whom coral reef prof shouted at over e balcony wall to pipe down =P

amazed to be put up at such a place - air con, beachfront location, swimming pool that a certain group used to 'desalinate' themselves & their equipment after returning from outfield, view of e Andaman Sea with glorious sunsets to be missed while giving presentations in e hotel meeting room every evening except for e last....

Kamala was a small quiet Muslim village by e sea, a winding drive north of e tourist trap of Patong beach. tourists headed to Kamala only to visit Phuket Fantasea for e cabaret, something that seemed rather out of place & alien to e locals. near e hotel was a Muslim cemetery. at night e place was dark except for some lighting along a short stretch of e main road & tiny food stalls, our torch beams, moonlight, & e occasional spray of sparks from fraying electricity wires. one of e restaurants where frog team had dinner at before heading outfield was nicknamed 'one light bulb'. that was all e lighting they had dangling from e ceiling over e few tables squeezed into a smaller than a living room space =)

Kamala is described in past tense as e tsunami tore through e place on e morning of Boxing Day 2004. Kamala Beach Resort & Hotel was affected, & e room that e frog team girls stayed in probably took a direct hit since all that stood between it & e fury of e sea was a narrow strip of beach, e swimming pool & a lawn.

frog team got down to work right after our arrival on 010901. M, our TA, had arrived a day (or two?) earlier & recced waterfall KTH on e night of 310801. had to run through his haul + settle that evening's presentation + prepare to go outfield that very night. all other groups would start fieldwork only e next morning.

made e amazing discovery that L had brought only a pair of slip-on flat ladies' shoes with cute pink bowties....!! fortunately e cat had two pairs of Teva sandals - an old pair with cracked soles + a new pair as backup - & could spare her one. & so began frog team's cycle of:
  • hotel breakfast with profs & classmates
  • outfield: recce new survey site + hunt lizards & snakes
  • lunch
  • process morning + previous night's haul
  • prepare evening presentation
  • evening presentation + Q&A
  • dinner
  • outfield: hunt amphibians
  • store specimens, clean up

& somehow fit laundry & sleep in between. slept around 1-2AM on most nights, though we knew M probably stayed up later since he was e one with e SLR camera & photography skills to document specimens. his hotel room was fully made use of - minibar fridge for storing fresh specimens, bathroom sink area for pickling them, & bed & floor for photography (specimens on large dead leaves laid on top of e bedspread/tiles).

[to be continued....]

[ filed under: thewanderingstraycat + phuket_2001 + 7_things_i_jumped_into + nature1 ]

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