Getting back to nature

I’m not a big fan of “getting back to nature” on holiday. I would never go camping, I think as a species we’ve evolved past that point and why anyone would want to sleep in a tent without electricity or running water, even for one night, is beyond me. I do enjoy a country walk as long as it ends at a pub or cafe and I’m in my own warm comfy bed at the end of the day.

I appreciate animals in a wildlife reserve, safari park or zoo but I firmly believe that accommodation should provide a clear and distinct boundary between “them” and “us”. It was therefore a shock to discover, on our yoga retreat, that we were staying in a basic mud hut which various critters would visit whenever they liked. They came and went as they pleased.

I didn’t mind… monkeys swinging through the trees above, frogs in the bathroom, squirrels coming in through the ceiling, caterpillars, moths, the huge spider in a web outside our hut as long as it stayed there (pictured above).

I took issue with… huge spiders in our bathroom, beetles, massive ants and mosquitoes.

Going to the bathroom at night was an anxiety-inducing experience, because I never knew what I would see when I turned on the light. One night I was confronted by a… thing… the likes of which I’ve never encountered before. It was big (the size of a side plate), black and spiderish but with antennae. As I stood, horrified, wondering what to do (it was too big to kill or ignore) it crawled across the wall sideways, like a crab, and disappeared into the huge crack in the wall from whence it came, not to be seen again (thank god).

Our accommodation post retreat may be grim but at least it’s sealed against the outside elements. Every cloud…

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