I'm in the forest. No one can know the thrill of being allowed into the shelter of this place, unless they have experienced it themselves. There's no fanfare, no ceremony. I simply walked in, and except for a slight tingling sensation on my skin, may never have noticed that I had passed through the Veil. Though completely invisible, it has protected the Arrakesh Forest from the depredation of those outside for thousands of years. Had I been found to have destructive plans for this place, the Veil would have turned to something like thick canvas, impenetrable and impossible to tear, and my trip would have been wasted. So many meet that wall and so few have come this far. That's how the forest has survived so long.
I didn't anticipate failure, yet still it's a relief. My intention, as I’ve said, is to study the ways of the Arrakeshi people. Nowhere else in the world do I know of any people whose connection with the land is so close that the land itself protects them. I wish to delve into the mechanics of this relationship, to unearth the stories connected with it, for I suspect there is much that Carlika can learn from these people.
The path to the village is clear as the boys promised it would be, but I don't intend to venture further today. My mind is overwhelmed by the strangeness of this place. The closeness of these trees is somewhat claustrophobic as well as exhilarating. I want to study the plant and animal life before I venture further, get used to the lack of horizon. I shall camp here tonight, in this glade protected on all sides by the sloping forest floor. Tomorrow, I'll make my way east along the path. I look forward to meeting the Arrakeshi in their own place.